Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay, who has portrayed Olivia Benson on the hit series since its premiere in 1999, spoke with PEOPLE about the series that has just been renewed for three more seasons.
“I think I was meant to do this. I was the one who was supposed to play Olivia Benson.” the 56-year-old, revealed to PEOPLE in the cover story for this week’s Women Changing the World issue.
Hargitay acknowledges that while the show appears to be going strong, for now, it will one day come to an end, a realization that she will welcome when that time comes.
“When I finish SVU, as much as it will be an enormous adjustment, I will also be able to look back and say, ‘I gave it my all and maybe even a little more. And I’m excited about the next chapter,” she said.⠀⠀⠀⠀
The Golden Globe winner does admit that she often finds herself struggling to find time for her family, including her three children with husband, Peter Hermann.
“I’m on a TV show, and I have a foundation and three children and a husband, and they all need, as anything that you value does, a lot of focus and energy. Time is my most precious commodity now. I’ve had to think smarter to get more done.”
Nevertheless, despite her busy schedule, Hargitay remains grateful for her opportunity on the record-breaking show.
“Every day, I marvel at the turn of events that brought me here. That I was the one to get this role that led me to this life, to this mission. And every day, I say thank you.”