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VIDEO: Mariska Hargitay Talks LAW & ORDER: SVU Premiere on 'Today'
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'Law and Order: SVU' star Mariska Hargitay stopped by NBC's Today this morning to talk about the premiere episode of her long-running drama series.
The actress who has played Detective Olivia Benson on the popular crime series since 1991, talked to Matt Lauer about her character's emotional trauma after being kidnapped and tortured in the upcoming season premiere. She also dishes on receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
LAW AND ORDER: SVU airs Wednesdays, 9 -10 pm/ET on NBC. Created by Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf, the show is now in its fifteenth season, making it the longest-running Primetime drama currently on television. This hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC's "Law & Order" brand chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York City Police Department, an elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes.
Dedicated Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), a seasoned veteran of the unit who has seen it all, heads up the department with empathy and professionalism, all the while dealing with her difficult past - as a product of rape and a witness to her mother's grief, she can personally relate to each victim she tries to help.
In 2011, Hargitay (Detective Benson) garnered her eighth Emmy nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and won the 2006 Emmy for that category. Also in 2011, she received her sixth SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Detective Benson. In 2009, Hargitay earned her second Golden Globe nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the role, winning the award in 2005.
Captain Donald Cragen (Dann Florek, reprising the role he played on the first three seasons of "Law & Order" 1990-1993) oversees the unit with a tough but supportive approach to the team's complex cases, guiding the squad through the challenges they face every day. Sergeant John Munch (Richard Belzer, "Homicide: Life on the Street"), a transfer from Baltimore's homicide unit, brings his acerbic wit, conspiracy theories and street-honed investigative skills to the team. Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola (Ice-T) adds a unique sense of humor and undercover investigative experience, making him a formidable match for any partner.
Detectives Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) and Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) have earned their place as top-notch SVU detectives and bring their own talents and style of investigation, while facing head-on the emotional toll it takes to work the SVU. Pino was nominated for the Imagen Award for Best Television Actor in 2013 and the ALMA Award for Favorite TV Actor in 2012 for his role as Detective Amaro.
"SVU" has been continually acknowledged for its guest players, with Emmy wins for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Ann-Margret (2010), Ellen Burstyn (2009), Cynthia Nixon (2008), Leslie Caron (2007) and Amanda Plummer (2005), and nominations for such renowned talent as Brenda Blethyn, Carol Burnett, Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Angela Lansbury, Marlee Matlin, Mare Winningham, Barbara Barrie, Martha Plimpton, Jane Alexander and Tracy Pollan.
In 2012, the NAACP Image Awards honored "SVU" as the year's Outstanding Drama Series, with Ice-T and guest actress Anika Noni Rose nominated in the acting categories. Three "SVU" episodes have been nominated by the GLAAD Media Awards for outstanding representation of the LGBT community. In addition, the show has garnered several People's Choice Award nominations, including Favorite TV Drama, Favorite Scene Stealing Star (Richard Belzer, guest star Luke Perry, and winning guest star Robin Williams), and Favorite TV Crime Fighter (Mariska Hargitay).