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Long Live Olivia Benson: the REAL Reason Why Mariska Hargitay Can't Quit 'Law & Order: SVU'

Mariska Hargitay on the set of 'SVU'
Source: NBCU

Olivia Benson has survived 25 years on 'SVU' for a reason.

Jun. 29 2024, Published 5:30 a.m. ET

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Fearless Mariska Hargitay, who's chased the perviest of perps playing Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU for 25 years, is afraid of ONE thing — retirement!

“Mariska refuses to retire and is prepared to take this show as far as it’ll go,” an insider spilled to “She is Olivia Benson and Olivia Benson is her and she can’t let go.”

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why mariska hargitay cant leave svu
Source: NBCU

She's played the iconic character for 25 years!

Hargitay isn't slowing down anytime soon despite turning 60 earlier this year.

“This season she’s prepared to commit to the full 20 to 25 episodes because she loves her job,” the tipster tattled. “She dreads the day they might shut down production, but luckily that seems to be a long way off.”

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According to the mole, everything in the crime-fighting star's life is connected to SVU, including her husband, actor Peter Hermann, 56, whom she met on the set of the show and married in 2004.

The couple of nearly 30 years share three children, August, 18, Amaya, 13, and Andrew, 12.

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“Her kids, her wealth and stability, her Joyful Heart Foundation that she founded 20 years ago to help women in crisis are all rooted in SVU,” the source dished.

Hargitay isn't just thinking of her love for the job either, as those behind the scenes of the long-running series have become family.

Mariska Hargitay
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mariska hargitay cant leave svu
Source: NBCU

Her cast and crew have become family.

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“She also feels a responsibility towards the cast and crew. They’d be out of a job if it weren’t for her and this show,” the insider shared, adding this is one of the many reasons why Mariska won’t ever voluntarily turn in Detective Benson’s badge.

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Mariska opened up about her growth on the show ahead of the 25th anniversary in January.

“I was the second detective alongside Elliot Stabler [played by her costar Christopher Meloni. He was the male lead and a little more experienced and I was trying to catch up," she told PEOPLE.

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mariska hargitay
Source: NBCU

She's scared of retiring, an insider shared.

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“As I became more comfortable with the character, you saw this powerful woman emerge," the actress explained. Olivia Benson was crowned the longest-running character on a prime time drama series with the milestone, with SVU being the longest-running drama series in TV history.

But she doesn't take all the credit.

“We’ve been on a parallel journey,” she said. “There’s a thing WWOBD, what would Olivia Benson do? The fans would always talk about it, and one day it hit me. I also have those moments where I’ve sort of slipped into her. If there’s a crisis, I just take over and lead like that. Being strong and fearless. It’s sort of this perfect feminist story.”



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