It’s been 20 years of pursuing justice for Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU, and fans just want the character to find some happiness. But what does that look like for the beloved character whose dedicated her life to helping others? E! News took that question to the person who knows Olivia Benson best, Mariska Hargitay herself.
“Happiness, I think, is balance for Benson. I think she’s been such a mama bear and so singly focused on survivors and on the victims. She’s so fierce and such a mama bear, and has been sort of on this Pavlovian way, in this maniacal quest for justice. I think one of the beautiful things that happened is when she became a mother and adopted Noah and the balance of her life changed and her focused changed,” Hargitay told E! News at the Law & Order: SVU season 20 premiere at Tribeca TV Festival.
“I think that there is such deep fulfillment in her heart now having Noah, not to say that comes without its complexities and heartbreaks, but, I think, one step at a time. The fact she has a family now after being alone is so…life changing. Hopefully someday she’ll have somebody to share it with, but right now, Noah’s doing a pretty good job. Between work and Noah, I don’t know how much more time she has,” she concluded.
As for another relationship in Benson’s life, viewers can expect to see more of her friendship with Rollins (Kelli Giddish) on screen.
“We’re filming, I think, the sixth or seventh episode and already we’ve had such great, meaty scenes,” Giddish, who announced her real-life pregnancy on the red carpet told us. “It’s my favorite part of working right now is getting to see that friendship evolve.”
Rollins will be expecting on SVU as well, and viewers will see her previously mentioned love interest on screen. That’s not to say fans of Rollins and Carisi (Peter Scanavino) should give up hope. Click play on the video above to hear from Scanavino about that.
Last season ended with Benson in an intense hostage situation and Peter Stone (Philip Winchester) losing his sister during an intense standoff. He’s not handling it well, and that’s where Benson’s mama bear instincts come in.
Watch the video above to hear from Winchester and the rest of the cast.
Law & Order: SVU returns Thursday, Sept. 27 with a two-hour premiere at 9p.m. on NBC. Be sure to tune into E! News at 7 and 11 p.m. for more from the SVU cast.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)