Hargitay shared the story during an appearance with Ice-T on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, explaining that she was a bit hesitant to meet her co-star, who had been enjoying a successful rap and acting career.
“Well, I was so nervous to meet Ice-T,” she said. “He was OG. He was, like, the man. He was, like, the rapper. I was excited about it...So he came on the show and he was the sweetest, kindest, most open...it was such a joy. And for 20 years it’s been an education for me. He's taught me about so many things."
Ice-T joined SVU in 2000, shortly after the series had premiered, playing Fin Tutuola and starring alongside Hargitay's Detective Olivia Benson.
"We're very fortunate to be on a show that everyone likes each other, everyone gets along," Ice-T said. "Twenty years is a long time, it's a very cool work environment. Mariska's the best."
The 60-year-old has now been on the show for 20 years, but shared that he was originally slated to appear for just four episodes.
"They asked me to stay and I've been there and I'm happy and I'm not going nowhere until she's gone," Ice-T said, indicating his co-star.
"We're sticking together," Hargitay chimed in. "It's been such a crazy surprise journey and gift."
SVU is one year away from becoming the longest-running drama in the history of television, and it's looking like the procedural series will have no problem hitting that benchmark.
During the pair's appearance, Fallon also made sure to ask Ice-T about the fact that he had never eaten a bagel until recently, something that sparked a firestorm on Twitter after the rapper made the admission, which came about after his character on the show was scripted to eat one of the pastries.
“I just never ate one!” he explained on the show. “So I ate one the other day. I actually did a commercial the other day for a dating site called Coffee Meets Bagel or something and basically I ate one and it tasted like, I ate one bite, and it felt like I ate a whole loaf of bread. Why would I eat an unsweetened doughnut? I’m OK with it. Coffee’s cool. I’m good. I like jelly doughnuts. Let’s keep it moving.”
Photo Credit: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon