Law & Order: SVU is nearing the premiere of its 20th season, and Mariska Hargitay recently opened up about her favorite moments from the show's history, Olivia's hair and how she would like to see the series end some day.
Hargitay, who has lead the cast in the 8-time Emmy nominated role of Olivia Benson, has said she has no desire to see the show end for many years to come, having been affected by the stories of sexual assault the show spotlights so much that she launched the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 to empower survivors.
With the two-hour 20th season premiere of the show on the horizon, Hargitay spoke to TV Insider about the legacy of the series, adding how she would like to see her character end the show on a happy note.
"[She'd like the show to end] With Olivia finding real peace and balance and love," Hargitay told the outlet. "She's given so much to others that I want her, as she has fought for other people, to fight for herself.
The actress said the fact the series has run for 20 seasons has not really sunk in yet, despite NBC's heavy marketing of the landmark season, one shy away from tying the record of its predecessor, Law & Order.
"I feel deeply grateful to Dick [Wolf] for creating this show and having the vision to sustain the quality," she said. "The other night we had a dinner party. When I brought him the cake with "20" in Roman numerals, it hit me like a ton of bricks."
During the interview, Hargitay also looked back on some of Olivia's most epic hairdos, even the ones she didn't enjoy as much.
"Like any woman, Olivia is trying to find the hairstyle that fits her life," Hargitay said. "I stand behind all my hairdos, except maybe three."
"After one shoot, the hairdresser, who was French, wanted to trim my hair. So he's drinking wine and cutting, and when I looked up from my magazine, I just went, 'This is not good.' Dick told me he was going to fire me. I cried so hard, like, 'You're blaming me?' It went on for two weeks; then he said, 'There's no crying in television,' and we moved past it."
With the beginning of its 20th cycle looming, Hargitay reflected on how the series has evolved in its portrayal of the dark subject matter of sexual assault.
"What is beautiful is that the show has evolved from 'Let's shine a light on these issues' to 'Time's up, let's make changes and stop these issues' I think the culture is catching up," she said.
Law & Order: SVU returns for its 20th season with a two-hour season premiere on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.