‘Law & Order: SVU’: How Mariska Hargitay Reacted After Her First Screen Test With Christopher Meloni

by Madison Miller
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There’s not a lot of positivity or happiness on “Law & Order: SVU,” a show that delves into horrifying and realistic portrayals of sexually related crimes.

However, over the 22 seasons that the show has been on, characters and actors have built lifelong bonds. These relationships and the personal lives of characters can often provide a break from the darkness of “Law & Order: SVU.”

For example, fans have fallen in love with one of the most iconic duos — Captain Olivia Benson and Detective Elliott Stabler.

These two popular characters are played by Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni.

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Screen Test

According to an article from Glamour, the two have amazing chemistry both on and off the screen as friends and co-stars. The two originally starred in “Law & Order: SVU” together for the first 12 seasons of the show. Then, Hargitay stayed on as a main cast member and Meloni left after contract negotiations fell through.

The two recently got to reunite as Meloni was welcomed back into the “Law & Order” universe with open arms and his own show. He is the lead on “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”

Even though they had years apart from acting with one another, that initial chemistry on the screen is still as strong as ever. That chemistry has been around since the beginning of it all.

“I walked in, saw him, and I went, ‘That guy. That’s the guy.’ It went deep, very fast. We both knew that it was something big. I won’t say that I fully understood it, but I knew that meeting him was important and life-changing,” Hargitay said on seeing Meloni during their very first screen test.

Now, there’s even a possibility the two characters could start up a romantic relationship. Fans are split on whether they want to see Benson and Stabler’s bond become something more. However, the possibility for something intimate has always been up in the air on “Law & Order: SVU.”

Possible Romance And An Unbreakable Bond

Regardless, the two will always have an irreplaceable bond on and off the screen.

“I have a million memories from the pilot, especially the immediate chemistry with Chris. We were filming in the Meatpacking District, and it was really hot and raining, so we all had to wear baseball caps. I was going, ‘How lucky is this California girl to be shooting a television series in New York with this fantastic actor and fantastic crew!’” Hargitay said to TV Insider back in 2018.

Although that initial screen test went incredibly well and led to 12 years on the screen together, Meloni isn’t who she was expecting to see auditioning with her. Rather, she told People that she believed it would be John Slattery from “Mad Men” in his place.

Luckily, it was Meloni, who she instantly connected with. He felt that connection with his future “Law & Order: SVU” star as well.

“From that moment forward… we walked into the screen test, me telling her a story, and we get up onstage in front of all the suits, and we’re just so engaged. We said to the execs there, ‘Just give us one second. I just need to finish this story. It’s really funny.’ From then on it was like, ‘We got this,'” Meloni said.

Outsider.com