Mariska Hargitay says romance is ‘percolating’ between Benson and Stabler on ‘Law & Order’

Chris Meloni, Mariska Hargitay
Photo credit Getty Images
By , Audacy

“Law & Order” fans’ hearts are about to go dun-dun!

After years of viewers hoping and praying, Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler may finally be getting romantic on this season of “Law & Order: SVU” and its spinoff “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”

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While the beloved characters have long been shipped, Mariska Harigitay, who plays Benson, has now given confirmation that something more is brewing between her character and Christopher Meloni’s Stabler.

"It’s all underneath percolating," Hargitay told Today of Benson and Stabler taking their relationship to the next level. "Right now after Stabler being gone for 10 years and the way that he left and the complexity of what’s happened and how he came back surprising me, we’re still finding our way.”

She added: "But it’s complex and real, and I think what I love about it most is that it’s earned. This relationship is truly earned. Not a lot of people have a 23-year relationship."

Last season, fans thought they were going to see the pair finally become more than friends/colleagues after Stabler uttered “I love you” to Benson on an episode of “Organized Crime.” Meloni attempted to add some clarity to his character’s mental state at the time.

"I was under emotional duress," the 60-year-old said about Stabler. "I was saying it because I was in the midst of an intervention. My family was coming together with the help of Olivia Benson for an intervention. One of my daughters said, 'I love you,' but I was looking at Mariska."

In real life, Hargitay and Meloni, who are both married to other people, have been the best of friends since first working together on the first season of “SVU” in 1999.

"It was an instant, instantaneous connection that is inexplicable, that has only grown," Hargitay added. "I look at it as a gift, but the second we met it was like *exploding sound*."

To find out if Benson and Stabler finally hook up, fans will have to keep watching “SVU” and “Organized Crime” Thursdays on NBC.

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