Mariska Hargitay reveals that while she spent most of her childhood surviving after her mother died when she was just 3-years-old, she considers growing up fast her “superpower.”
“I think I learned about crisis very young, and I learned very young that s— happens and there’s no guarantees, and we keep going. And then we transform it,” she shared with Glamour in an exclusive interview.
“That’s been kind of my superpower, and the gift of having trauma early in life. I’ve spent the last 50—how old am I?—57, so 54 years sort of trying to figure out what happened and why, and what am I supposed to do with it?”
Hargitay is one of Glamour’s Women of the Year. She was just a toddler when her mother, Hollywood actor Jayne Mansfield, died in a car accident, and her father, Mickey Hargitay, raised her.
While speaking with the outlet, Hargitay recalled being in a “frozen place,” which was the result of “the tightening that happens as a result of trauma, whether it’s sexual assault, domestic violence, or losing a parent,” for most of her childhood.
“I clearly was in that frozen place for a lot of my childhood—of trying to survive, actually trying to survive,” she said. “My life has been a process of unpeeling the layers and trust and trusting again.”
And while Hargitay is most known for her role in “SVU,” (she has filmed over 500 episodes of the popular show) but she admits she is not like Olivia Benson.
“My personality is very different from Olivia Benson,” she said of her straight-laced “SVU” character. “I like to laugh…. I like to make my kids laugh. And comedy has a real currency in our household.”
And while Hargitay has had plenty of co-stars, Christopher Meloni stands out among the rest. Meloni, who left the show in 2011 after 12 seasons, recently returned for his own spinoff, “Law & Order: Organized Crime,” which often crosses over with “SVU.” Hargitay showered the former co-star and real-life friend with praise.
“He’s a bull. He’s intellectual. He’s clear. He’s focused. He’s funny. He’s a ballbuster. And to see him back stronger, faster—he’s like the bionic man,” she said. “He’s like this 60-year-old superhero who is even more dedicated, more badass, more pure, stronger, more focused. He’s just more of everything that he was.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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