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Joyful Heart in the News
Mariska Hargitay: Give Benson a baby!
For the last 11 years I've been on every case, sitting on every jury and hanging on every "dun dun" that "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has to offer. But beyond implementing the law and keeping the order, it's the relationship between detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler that has planted "SVU" on the TV landscape.
Four years ago, Mariska Hargitay brought Olivia's on-screen battle into her real life, by forming the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization that provides support to victims of sexual assault. Since then the actress has done everything within her power to squash the stigma attached to these real life special victims.
Last night the foundation celebrated the 15th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act with a star-studded benefit. There Mariska chatted with PopWrap about Joyful Heart, the end of "SVU" and what "Glee"ful show she might pop up on next!
PopWrap: How does it feel to have friends like Hilary Swank, Marcia Gay Harden and Mario Bello here supporting you and your cause?
Mariska Hargitay: It's amazing. I feel blessed to stand amongst such powerful and like-minded women. I think that we're birds of a feather but that all my friends also recognize what needs to happen. Plus, as you can see, I only hang out with Oscar winners [laughs].
PW: What is it that The Joyful Heart Foundation aims to accomplish?
Mariska: That we need to shed light on something that’s been swept under the carpet for so many years. To change the way we dialogue about these issues. It's about stopping the cycle of violence and removing the stigma of sexual abuse. There’s so much shame and so much pain associated with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence that doesn’t belong there. Tonight is about starting the conversation, tackling it head on, being fearless and saying let’s change it.
PW: How has being on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" helped you get the message out there?
Mariska: I give the show all the credit. I wouldn’t be here without the show, absolutely not. I just am honored to be on such a courageous show, a progressive show, a fearless show that does, by the nature of it, shed light on all these issues that people are scared to talk about. The fact is addressing these issues on TV makes people think, “oh, I can talk about this.”
PW: There was some controversy about Christopher Meloni returning next season, Stabler will be back, right?
Mariska: Yes, of course he will!
PW: But it sounds like next season will be his last, can you envision doing the show without him?
Mariska: Oh man, it breaks my heart to even think about it. I love that man and I love acting with that man and I think it’s our chemistry that makes the show what it is. So I don’t even want to think about it.
PW: I love that despite being timeslot competitors for a while, you and Matthew Morrison have remained friends!
Mariska: He is my new friend -- I'm glad we aren't rivaling against eachother in timeslots anymore. Now look at us – best friends!
PW: We've all heard your rapping skills..
Mariska: Oh wow, lets not go there [laughs].
PW: Well, I'm wondering if you'd be interested in popping up on "Glee?"
Mariska: Yes! If they’ll have me, I’m so there. I could make a good teacher!
PW: Looking ahead, what would you like for Detective Olivia Benson in season 12?
Mariska: A boyfriend! A baby! I don’t even have to get married. I just want a baby! Give me a baby!
Click here for more information on the Joyful Heart Foundation!