Mariska Hargitay has been playing the character of Olivia Benson on Law And Order: SVU for over 16 years, but she says that she still loves her role and the show.
A lot has changed on the show since Hargitay first started it, including the cast. For 12 years Hargitay worked closely with Chris Meloni, who played her partner on the show.
Meloni left the show three years ago, but Hargitay said that she really enjoyed working with him and thinks that he made her a better person and actress.
"I'm so grateful for my time with him," she said. "I think Chris is incapable of lying. He is a truth-teller; he's committed to the truth at all costs. I loved his passion and commitment…He made me better and I love him. I loved acting with him and I love him as a person."
It took Hargitay a while to get used to filming the show without Meloni, but she said that once she got used to being without him, she started to embrace other changes as well.
— Mariska Hargitay (@Mariska) September 24, 2014
Now that the show is on its 16th season, Hargitay said that she is just as excited about her character as ever and has grown to love her even more than she ever expected.
"I love her more now than ever...I love her because I am challenged by her," Hargitay told E! News on the set of Law & Order: SVU. "I never know what's going to happen. She surprises me. This character has evolved, which is the most exciting part of it. I feel in many ways she's a new character because she's gone through so much that has truly transformed her."
She said she knows fans will love the new season and that she hopes there are many more in the future.