It’s not hard to see why Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni made such great partners on Law & Order: SVU. The two ooze chemistry in every scene they share. It’s closer to a brother and sister relationship because they would get into petty fights, but at the end of the day, there were no hard feelings.
Hargitay named her Law & Order alum pal as one of the “four pillar men” in her life for that very reason.
The longtime actress told Glamour that the four most important male relationships in her life were with: her husband, Younger actor Peter Hermann, her late father, Mickey Hargitay, Law & Order creator, Dick Wolf, and Meloni. The former Law & Order partners have even stayed close long after he left the show in season 12 following a contract dispute.
Hargitay told Variety that losing Meloni was “so painful for me and so hard because the way he left, there was no closure. There was just a big hole.”
But the show flourished. Even as a cavalcade of different cast members entered and left the show. Now, Meloni is back with his own Law & Order spin-off: Law & Order: Organized Crime. To promote the new show, producers have already had a few crossover episodes to reunite the former partners.
“Ring that bell, and you get right into Stabler and Benson,” Meloni told People in a recent joint interview with Hargitay.
She added: “There was so much shorthand between us, which all goes back to the trust we have. He’s always made me feel like I could just jump off the ledge, the cliff, the bridge, and he would catch me, in so many ways, whether it was comedy or acting or friendship.”
Hargitay: It Was Law & Order Love at First Sight
Before Mariska Hargitay was Capt. Olivia Benson, she was just another actress looking for a job. Christopher Meloni was coming off of HBO’s OZ and was looking for something as well.
They both auditioned for Law & Order and made it to the screen test stage. Producers paired them up to see how they’d appear together in a scene. Hargitay said she knew immediately this was her partner.
“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 told Glamour.
And it has been. Despite not working together for more than a decade, they immediately slipped back into the roles that made them famous when he appeared in a Law & Order: SVU episode earlier this year.
Meloni was blunt when describing why they’re still so close.
“It’s simple,” he said. “We have each other’s back.”