Award-winning actress Mariska Hargitay has played Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU for approximately 17 years now, appearing in almost 400 episodes. With that sort of tenure, it’s almost no wonder she was given the opportunity to work from behind the camera for a change, becoming one of the show’s producers and even directing two episodes. And now, she’s giving fans a unique behind-the scenes look at what it was like in the director’s chair for this widely popular show.
Hargitay posted a series of images to Instagram of her time directing two episodes, “Criminal Stories” and “Padre Sandunguero,” from the 2014–2015 season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. All the posts shared the hashtag “ThatFeelingWhen,” as the actress wanted to share her emotions during each pic and tie them into the face she was making in each shot.
A wide range of emotions are on display, ranging from joy (at seeing co-star Kelli Giddish’s baby, Ludo) to anticipation (from her bosses sitting behind her while the cast makes mistakes) to whatever emotion it is you feel when “you’re trying to frame the shot but your guest stars are SO money all you can do is watch.” But perhaps the best shot is the one featuring Mariska Hargitay’s favorite crew: the fans! “My #FavePart of shooting #OnLocation? #MeetingYouGuys,” she wrote, along with the hashtags, “BestFansEver,” “SVU,” “JoyfulFanes” and, “GratefulMe.”
And they truly are the best fans ever, loving this look into the process of making an episode of their favorite show. Standout comments included, “This picture radiates joy!” “Amazing! Congrats! Love the expression on your face! You look so young too,” and, “They have an amazing director!”
As for the photo of the fans, comments were a wave of people disappointed that they weren’t there to be in the shot. But hopefully they’ll have another chance, just as Mariska Hargitay hopefully has another opportunity to direct an episode!