After 25 years playing badass Benson, Mariska Hargitay is used to the public strongly identifying her with the character. Opening up about her three kids’ experiences of her fame, the actor said that her youngest, Andrew, “thinks I play a cop on TV, end of story,” and added, “So he asked, ‘Why does everyone say “I love you” when we’re walking down the street?’” Tell me you wouldn’t say “I love you” to Mariska if you saw her on the sidewalk. Look me in the eye and tell me you wouldn’t. Of course you would.

“She walks the walk and she talks the talk,” her costar Christopher Meloni told Glamour of our 2021 Woman of the Year. “She’s a force for good at whatever she does, whether it’s being a mother or being an advocate or being an actress or being a friend.” Or helping kids!

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