Mariska Hargitay says meeting longtime co-star and friend Christopher Meloni was 'life-changing.'
The Law And Order: SVU actors spoke about their deep bond while taking the cover of this week's issue of People, right ahead of the premiere of the crime procedural's new spin-off Law And Order: Organized Crime.
Meloni, who played Detective Elliot Stabler opposite Hargitay for 12 years, said he instantly connected with the actress when they first met at the screen test in 1999.
Former Law and Order co-stars Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni have a deep and enduring friendship. They felt a strong connection from the moment they met during a screen test, and it quickly became something significant. Mariska knew that meeting Christopher was important and life-changing. He is one of the four pillar men in her life, along with her father, husband, and Law & Order creator Dick Wolf.
Instantly: Meloni said they clicked from the moment they met at the screen test while Hargitay said she knew meeting Christopher was 'important and life-changing.' They're seen in season one with co-stars Richard Belzer and Dan Florek (left to right) above
Mariska Hargitay felt an instant deep connection when she first saw Christopher Meloni. He witnessed her romance with Peter Hermann, whom she eventually married and has three children with. Mariska was inspired by Christopher's strong relationship with his wife Sherman Williams and their solid family dynamic. They even asked her to be the godmother of their daughter Sophia in 2001. Seeing their stability played a significant role in Mariska's own life.
Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni have a close bond both on and off-screen. Mariska is the godmother to Meloni's eldest child, and he supported her during her romance with her now-husband. Although Meloni left the show in 2011, they remained connected. Now, they are reuniting for a new Dick Wolf production, and working together again feels natural to them.
Like no time passed: Working together again was natural, according to Christopher, who said: 'It was Pavlovian: Ring that bell, and you get right into Stabler and Benson.' They're seen chumming it up on set last week above Hargitay explained: '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.'
'It's simple,' Meloni ended. 'We have each other's back.'
The new era of Law And Order will kick off April 1st when Meloni will make a special appearance on SVU ahead of the premiere of Law & Order: Organized Crime.