Joyful Heart in the News

Mariska Hargitay is on the case and helping others

October 10th, 2012
Detroit Free Press/USA Today
Donna Freydkin

It's a fruitful time for Mariska Hargitay, in every sense.

The star of NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit just shot the landmark 300th episode of the procedural crime series, one of the network's workhorses that's now in its 14th season. It airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

And she spends her Fridays hammering out new initiatives for her other baby, the Joyful Heart Foundation. Hargitay founded it in 2004 to help victims of sexual assault. This month, as part of her organization's pledge to carry out small acts of kindness, Hargitay and Do the Kind Thing will deliver specialty kits  filled with toiletries, toys, books and PJs to kids at child advocacy centers.

It's easy to spoil your kids and raise brats, so Hargitay says she models behavior for her brood."When we're on the street and someone drops something, I pick it up. If you stop for one second and do something, everyone is happy," she says. "You pay it forward and it comes back to you twelve-fold."

Hargitay's rule of thumb?

"When I was pregnant, I was so huge and people on the bus would get up for me. That made me feel so precious and valued and valuable. I try to treat everyone like they're pregnant," she says.

As for her day job, which she only does four days a week now, Hargitay cops to being excited anew to play Detective Olivia Benson. She lost her partner when Chris Meloni left the show.

"We just had our season opener. I was strangely and oddly reinvigorated. I had a party for the cast and writers and we watched the show on the big screen. The writing has been exceptional. Everything is shaken up in the squad room," says Hargitay.

She doesn't exactly see herself adding to her family, but never say never.

"Three kids is a lot. Three kids is a game changer," says Hargitay, who adopted Andrew and Amaya last year. "Listen, I thought I was done after Amaya and then Andrew came along. Andrew has been the biggest unexpected blessing. A year ago, if you'd asked me if I'd have three kids, I would have said I'm done. Here I am, loving life. It's hard. There are times when I cry. I have a dressing room at work and they come twice a week. I have my Fridays with the kids. My weekends are extremely precious. I just figure it out."

Printer-friendly version

Facebook comments