Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni will be sharing the screen once again during the upcoming Law & Order crossover special, and they couldn't be happier about it! As People shares, the two stars opened up about their years-long friendship, as well as getting to reunite as "Benson" and "Stabler".
Hargitay says she was "devastated" by Meloni's exit
Hargitay and Meloni starred together as "Olivia Benson" and "Elliot Stabler" on Law & Order: SVU for 12 seasons. However, Meloni ended up leaving the show in 2011 because of contractual issues, which Hargitay said "devastated" her. "I was just so sad, because we started this thing and built it together," she told People.
The actress said that she and Meloni "went through so many milestones and spent so much time together," and had a shared understanding of "so many things that nobody else could understand." She admitted that she was also "scared" about what her future on Law & Order: SVU would look like without Meloni by her side.
Hargitay and Meloni talk returning to Law & Order
Hargitay then went on to talk about how "the fans never moved on" after Meloni's departure, which she called "just so incredibly beautiful and so incredibly powerful." Meloni now stars in the spinoff series Law & Order: Organized Crime, which the 2-hour Law & Order reunion on the night of April 1 will lead into.
Meloni shared that while he "couldn't have been happier" to have worked on many new projects after leaving the show, he and Hargitay "stayed connected" over the years. Hargitay called teaming up with Meloni again "this thing that I had really dreamed about," and the two shared behind-the-scenes photos of their reunion. And according to Meloni, their on-screen connection came back just as naturally!
"It was Pavlovian: Ring that bell, and you get right into Stabler and Benson," the actor explained. Hargitay also mentioned that she trusts Meloni completely, knowing he's always there to support her! "He's always made me feel like I could just jump off the ledge, the cliff, the bridge," she said, "and he would catch me, in so many ways, whether it was comedy or acting or friendship."