After 15 years of playing Detective (and now Sergeant) Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Mariska Hargitay is finally stepping behind the camera. The actress is making her directorial debut with the March 19 episode, titled “Criminal Stories,” which centers on the rape case of a young Muslim woman, which escalates to a hate crime.
“I’m thrilled to be directing,” Hargitay said in a statement. “It’s been a goal of mine for a long time, and it’s quite an experience to see it realized. My respect for the process of making this show and telling these important stories deepens with every scene we shoot. I have always been so honored to work with this cast and crew, but never more so than now, as a director collaborating in a new way.’
Below, check out a slew of exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from the Hargitay-helmed episode, which features Alec Baldwin as a renowned newspaper reporter doing an investigative piece on the Special Victims Unit who thinks the crime is a hoax. “I’ve watched Alec on screen for so long have always been in awe of his talent,” Hargitay added. “Having the opportunity to tell this story with him, having him bring his experience, depth, and fierce commitment to his craft, honestly feels too good to be true.”
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