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The ‘Law & Order: SVU’ star dished to HollyBaby exclusively about what she and her family love most about the fall! Read on for more details.

Mariska Hargitay‘s character Olivia Benson finds herself in some scary situations on the hit NBC drama Law & Order: SVU, but the actress confessed that in real life, she and her family love the scariest time of the year!

HollyBaby.com caught up with Mariska during the special New York screening of the animated film Hotel Transylvania on Sept. 22 and the Lighthouse International Theater, presented by the Peggy Siegal Company.

She came to watch the fun Halloween-themed movie with her oldest son, August, 6. She and husband Peter Hermann are also adoptive parents to Amaya, 17 months, and Andrew 14 months.

Mariska said she and her family are “huge, huge Halloweenies,” and they already have their ideas for costumes this year! Unfortunately, she also said they are keeping their trick-or-treating outfits top secret for now.

The event hosted an after-party at Dylan’s Candy Bar, and everyone who attended had a blast with all the fall and Halloween-themed fun!


5. Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay has become a TV icon playing a decidedly unglamorous character: no-nonsense NYPD detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Entering its 14th season, SVU has been a bright spot on NBC’s sometimes dismal ratings landscape, averaging a steady number of loyal viewers over its many seasons. The show has netted Hargitay eight Emmy nominations (she won in 2006), and has had a deeply personal impact on the star. She founded her own non-profit, the Joyful Heart Foundation, to help combat childhood sexual abuse. For Hargitay, the charity is part of what makes working on Law & Order so meaningful. She writes on the Joyful Heart website:

“When I started playing Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit a decade ago, my eyes were opened to the silenced epidemics of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse in this country. It wasn’t just in the scripts for the show, but in the many emails I received from viewers disclosing their stories of abuse, many for the first time. I felt a great responsibility to these brave men and women and wanted them to know that they had been heard and that they could have hope.”


Law & Order: Special Victims Unit kicks off its 14th season by asking what once may have been an unthinkable question: Is Capt. Cragen a murderer?

“He should have not put that dead hooker in his bed,” executive producer Warren Leight tells TVGuide.com with a laugh. “Even if we know Capt. Cragen, it’s just never good to wake up with a dead hooker in your bed. That means you did something wrong.”

But did he? While Cragen (Dann Florek) comes under investigation, Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) will work furiously to prove his innocence, even though she has a new temporary captain (guest star Adam Baldwin) breathing down her neck. As Benson gets closer to the truth, she’ll learn what Leight says is a theme for the season: Everybody has secrets.

Read on to find out how quickly Cragen’s legal woes will be wrapped up, whether or not Detective Amaro (Danny Pino) can hold his marriage together, and why Law & Order: Criminal Intent‘s Kathryn Erbe will pay the SVU squad a visit this season. Plus: Will we finally meet Munch’s mother?

You’re coming back from a very big cliff-hanger. How challenging was that?
Warren Leight: I enjoyed ending the season that way. And then we got lucky because NBC said they wanted us to do two hours [on premiere night]. They didn’t necessarily mean a two-parter. That’s a big departure for Law & Order to have a three-part story spread out over three episodes. It required a little bit of persuasion, but essentially we have a movie that we shot over the course of 24 days. There are high stakes. Not only is there a dead hooker in Cragen’s bed, but obviously there’s a lot of tension between Amaro and Benson. We kept a lot of plates spinning and it was just a thrill to get to work in a longer form, For Dann Florek I don’t think it was too much fun. I think he prefers a tailored suit to an orange jumpsuit.

You could have presumably brought any of the SVU detectives under suspicion as last season’s big twist. Why Cragen?
Leight: He’s the father figure. You think he’s the last guy that would happen to, but he has his demons. We believe he has them under control. He was by far the most interesting character to involve, and if it’s a frame-up, he would be a good guy to frame. There was that weird little episode, “Russian Brides,” where he went on that date. We saw a side of him we haven’t seen before. One of the things you could take away from that scene is underneath his character’s stoicism is some loneliness. And loneliness can lead people to make bad decisions.

Will Cragen’s case be resolved in the premiere, or will it take some time?
Leight: Some things are resolved, but there are long-lasting repercussions. It’s not Homeland. I admire and I envy their schedule, but I can’t drag it out for 23 episodes. What we’re trying to do is maintain continuity from one episode to the next. Episodes can be freestanding, but if Amaro and Benson have a tough time in one episode, it’s not like the next episode it didn’t happen. So we have a lot more continuity, a lot of story lines spilling over.

Paget Brewster is guest-starring on the premiere. What can you tell us about her character?
Leight: She’s playing Paula Foster, who’s the head of the D.A.’s public integrity unit. All of this is falling into her lap. She has a renegade squad that is desperately trying to free the Captain. She has Amaro as the last person to see the dead hooker alive. She obviously has pressure from the mayor’s office saying, “Clean this up and clean it up now.” She’s between a rock and a hard place, and her relationship with Olivia is very interesting. Olivia is doing everything she can to free Cragen, and Paget Brewster’s character is trying to figure out what the hell happened.

Is the relationship completely antagonistic, or does Benson realize that Foster could actually help her?
Leight: They have to find a way to work together or neither of them is going to get what they need. But there’s suspicion on both sides. The cop wants the arrest; the DA wants the conviction. And those are two very separate things. So Paget’s character has some very tough choices to make, and Benson is more of a true believer. She doesn’t understand that compromises need to be made from time to time.

How will Benson & Co. respond to their new interim captain, played by Adam Baldwin?
Leight: Adam’s character is a fixer. He comes into situations that are all screwed up, and his job is to figure out who’s straight, who’s corrupt, who can he trust to restore order. If he does the job right, he moves on. He’s politically connected at NYPD and he likes moving the pieces on the board. That’s an interesting guy to throw into SVU, because Olivia and Amaro are pieces that don’t like other people moving them.

We’ll also see Amaro’s wife again in the premiere, right?
Leight: Yes. We’re trying to show the cumulative toll this sort of work takes on our heroes. We know his marriage is on very shaky ground. It was working while his wife was overseas and since she’s come back it’s just been a disaster. Their big question is: Can they work through it or is it over?

What personal stories are you hoping to tell with the other characters?
Leight: We’re hoping to see Rollins’ sister arrive at some point this season. We referenced her a bit last year, and we hope to see a little bit of what shaped Rollins [Kelli Giddish]. I’d love to get a bit more for Finn [Ice-T], who’s been underserved in some ways. I’d like to find out a little bit more about him, like: Does he have a house? [Laughs] We saw a little bit of his son last year but there’s clearly more to understand about him. We may even get a glimpse of Munch’s [Richard Belzer] mother. We don’t know anything about her. I think it’s kind of interesting.

Has crafting this season been different now that you’ve been on the job a year?
Leight: It’s great to have a season under my belt. There was something exciting about hitting the ground running. I feel liberated from the “Can this show survive without Elliott?” thing. That drove me crazy last year. We were on a network that was having problems and the headline writers kept blaming [Christopher] Meloni’s departure for the show’s low ratings. The thing I am most proud of is at the end of the year, our finale was NBC’s highest-rated finale. We had seven episodes in a row, and each week the ratings stepped up. I felt like, “Now we know there is a show after Elliott,” which I always knew that there was. I enjoyed being underestimated. It was like a little challenge, and this year the challenge is to keep it interesting and to get past the transition.

You’re bringing Law & Order: Criminal Intent‘s Kathryn Erbe to your squad room this season. How did that happen?
Leight: I did Criminal Intent for seven years. One of the things that’s strange is SVU fans watch Law & Order and Criminal Intent fans watch Law & Order, but Criminal Intent fans do not watch SVU. There’s not as much crossover between those shows as you might guess. And now that there’s only one show left, I’d like to bring those fans together. When we started to plot the fourth episode, we needed a Homeland Security agent. I didn’t want to just keep throwing new people into this mix, and our casting director said “What about your old friend Katie?” We were all like, “That’s it. We’re done.”

So what is her role exactly?
Leight: Once Katie said yes, we retooled the script a bit. The backstory is she worked the Major Case Unit for over a decade. Her partner left and she was looking for something new. She’s on loan to Homeland Security on a joint terrorism task force, which is high stakes and her character can handle that. It was great to have scenes between Katie and Mariska. These are two women who had long-term partnerships with difficult guys. These are two people who’ve been underestimated — who’ve worked just as hard, just as long —and people don’t quite get how good they are.

Is this a one-time thing, or will we see more of her?
Leight: She’ll come back. I don’t know exactly when, but she’ll be coming back. Katie is so believable as an NYPD cop. The notion of bringing in someone new when she was just sitting there seems crazy to me. She’s tough and she can be funny, but don’t mess with her.

Safe to assume you’ll still be ripping from the headlines this season?
Leight: I would say there’s an element of headline-ripping. Our third episode of the season is very much a courtroom drama with Roger Bart and Raul Esparza and Anna Chlumsky. Raul comes in as a DA loaded for bear. Anna Chlumsky’s character has written a book called Twenty Five Acts about a woman giving her life over to bondage and domination. The book is a runaway best seller and every woman in America is reading the book. She goes on a talk show, then goes out to dinner with the host, and then things turn ugly between her and the host.

Do you have an overall theme for the season?
Leight: We’re doing a lot with secrets. The secrets people keep and the damage those secrets do is part of the first five episodes. It’s an interesting way of looking at a lot of what happens in sex crimes. People stay in denial and hide things in themselves. People can seem to be decent, but people lead double lives and. How those secrets come out and what happens when the secrets come out is an interesting way of framing a lot of the episodes.

And will we learn that our heroes have their own share of secrets?
Leight: I think we have to. It’s not fair for just the bad guys to have secrets. In the premiere, Paget’s character says to Olivia, “Everybody has secrets. You do. I do. The captain does.” So, of course we’ll be seeing some of the ones our guys have. Obviously something’s going on with Cragen, but no one is exactly what they seem to be.

Any hints?
Leight: [Laughs] If I give you that, then they’re not secrets.

Law & Order SVU‘s two-hour Season 14 premiere airs Wednesday at 9/8c on NBC.


This is just an article that has a small Mariska mention from the Hotel Transylvania after party.

“Hotel Transylvania” looked to get Halloween going early with a New York screening packed with costumed characters followed by a candy-filled afterparty. We didn’t spot any top stars from the cast at the event, but a “Law & Order: SVU” star did get her groove on right in front of us. So there’s that.

The showing was held at Lighthouse International Theater on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and attracted such notables as Mark Feuerstein, Elizabeth Vargas, Mariska Hargitay, and Gabourey Sidibe. There were also plenty of hired hands dressed up as characters from the movie taking photo ops with the assembled guests.

“Hotel Transylvania” is an animated movie about a widowed Dracula (Adam Sandler) who opens up a hotel for monsters in order to safeguard his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and provide a place of refuge for other monsters, such as Murray the Mummy (CeeLo Green), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade) and, of course, Frankenstein (Kevin James).

The afterparty, another Peggy Siegal Company spectacular, was held at the nearby Dylan’s Candy Bar and featured themed drinks, cupcakes decorated to look like the animated film’s monstrous characters, and Hargitay hitting the dance floor. The playlist was a showcase for some horror-tinged hits such as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Read the full article here.

What are the greatest television shows of all time? Who are our favorite TV mom and dad? Who is our favorite television host of all time? It’s America’s turn to decide, as a collaboration between ABC News and PEOPLE Magazine gave TV fans the opportunity to vote online at www.bestintelevision.com for their favorites of all time. With more than one million votes cast, the results will be revealed during an unprecedented two-hour broadcast, a special edition of “20/20”, “Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time with Barbara Walters,” airing TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC, in conjunction with ABC’s broadcast of the Emmy Awards.

The program will include fresh interviews with stars, directors and producers including Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Arnaz, Carol Burnett, Tim Conway, Tina Fey, Mariska Hargitay, Florence Henderson, Christina Hendricks, Ron Howard, Warren Littlefield, Lorne Michaels, Muppets Kermit and Miss Piggy, Phylicia Rashad, Rob Reiner, Ryan Seacrest, Keith Thibodeaux — aka Little Ricky — from “I Love Lucy,” Betty White and Dick Wolf.

The special will also include classic clips from America’s favorite shows, as well as out-takes, screen tests and rare behind-the-scenes footage. In additiona, a panel of pop culture and television experts, including several editors and writers from PEOPLE, will weigh in with their thoughts and memories.


CT River Candles is excited to announce they will be making a soy candle especially for Mariska Hargitay, known for her role as Olivia Benson on the TV drama, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. What a great show and what a wonderful job she does portraying her character.

The candle will be included in a gift bag of handcrafted items made by members of The Artisan Group. Which candle scent do you think she would like? Jar style? Spa Jar, River Jar?? Packaging? Feel free to post your thoughts. A photo of the finished product will be posted in a couple of weeks.

CT River Candles workshop is located on the banks of the Connecticut River in Haddam, Connecticut. All candles are hand poured used soy wax, the finest fragrances and cotton wicks. Several jar styles are available, one featuring Connecticut River Photographs. CT River Candles can be purchased online www.ctrivercandles.com or at a variety of stores throughout connecticut.


‘Law & Order” star Mariska Hargitay has just purchased a stunning Upper West Side townhouse for a whopping $10.7 million.

The six-bedroom, nine-bathroom mansion in the West 80s near Central Park, which had an $11.495 million asking price, is on an idyllic street that should suit a growing family like Hargitay, actor husband Peter Hermann and their three children.

The sellers were Marc Ravner and Ben Shaoul of Magnum Real Estate Group. The business partners bought the building in 2009 for $4.4 million and then renovated it.

The 18-foot-wide home has an elevator, an eat-in chef’s kitchen and double-height ceilings. There’s also a sunroom with two terraces, plus a large garden with a built-in barbecue grill.


Stuck, a new documentary that exposes the broken international adoption system, is celebrating two prestigious milestones next week: a screening for members of Congress and competition in its first film festival.

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), serving as honorary host, will welcome members of Congress and others in Washington to a preview of Stuck on July 31 at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center Theater. Adoptive families who appear in the film will also be in attendance.

The film, which is narrated by Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU was shot in Ethiopia, Vietnam and Haiti, as well in as the halls of power in Washington, DC. It reveals how millions of children are stranded in orphanages thanks to a system that has gone into virtual paralysis in recent years with international adoptions to the United States plummeting 60% since 2004.

In addition to the Congressional screening on Tuesday, Stuck has also been selected to participate in the Traverse City Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film festivals in America. The largest film festival in the Midwest, it was founded by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore.

This film fest is a film-lovers dream. There’s a $10 entrance free, but this is not one of those festivals that nickel and dime attendees. The festival presents classic movies free of charge on a giant, inflatable outdoor screen overlooking Grand Traverse Bay in the Open Space Park at dusk and also offers free panel discussions with directors, writers and actors.

Some of the best-regarded films in the past few years have emerged from this film fest, including “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” – the story of Kevin Clash, who plays Elmo.

Stuck will screen at the Traverse City Film Festival on Friday, August 3. It’s also been selected to compete in the best documentary category and for the also the highly selective Founders Award.

Stuck is expected to open nationwide in November.


When Mariska Hargitay isn’t collaring criminals on Law and Order, SVU, she’s spending her days off with her family in the Hamptons.

Hargitay’s son, Andrew Nicolas, who turns one this month, is taking the beach by storm.

“He’s crawling all over town!” Hargitay told PEOPLE at a shopping event to benefit the Joyful Heart Foundation at East Hampton shop Theodora and Callum on Friday.

How does Hargitay keep tabs on her three children, including August, 6, and Amaya Josephine, 15 months? Easy, they’re all in one place: the pool!

“August is in the pool like 10 hours a day,” she says.

“What I do with Amaya is I blow out bubbles through my lips. And she thinks it’s so hilarious so she’ll do it too. Andrew has a round floatie that he sits in, and while he’s in there, I’ll hold Amaya and do the bubbles.”

Though her two younger kids are still getting used to the water, Hargitay says, “I make sure all of them go in because I don’t want them to ever be scared of the water. My kids are all fearless and they love the pool!”

Of course, for Hargitay, even more important than her kids’ water-baby status is their connection to the work that she does with Joyful Heart to empower and educate people about sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. “August knows that we help people, and he knows that what we do is important,” Hargitay says. “He’ll say, ‘Mommy, is that for Joyful Heart?’ And we’ll talk about it.”

Because of Hargitay’s devotion to safety and helping her kids develop their own boundaries, “August has a real sense of himself,” she says proudly.


Only three months after announcing their engagement, Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Thomas have tied the knot.

The 30 Rock star, 54, and yoga instructor, who is at least 25 years his junior, wed on Saturday at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York, a friend of the couple’s confirms to PEOPLE.

The bride – who’ll now take Baldwin’s name – wore a silk magnolia trumpet Amsale gown with cap sleeves and a keyhole back neckline accented with crystal buttons.

Amsale also dressed Hilaria’s mother and Baldwin’s daughter Ireland. Baldwin had a tuxedo by Tom Ford.

Friend Matthew Hiltzik tells PEOPLE: “Hilaria Thomas and Alec Baldwin were married this evening at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York City with family and friends sharing in the joy of the occasion.”

The Rev. George Deas performed the ceremony, which was conducted in English with readings in Spanish (the bride grew up mostly in Spain), and guests included Baldwin’s costar Tina Fey and his brothers Stephen and Billy Baldwin.

Also attending were Woody Allen and wife Soon Yi, Mariska Hargitay, Robert Kennedy Jr. and Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels.

The reception was set to take place in NYU’s Kimmel Center.

In the days leading up to the nuptials, the bride took to Twitter to share her excitement. “Being a bride is stressful…. ayyyyyyy,” she Tweeted Tuesday.

And it seems the planning went on up until the big day. “If I buy one bride magazine, which should it be?” she Tweeted Wednesday. And on Friday, she thanked the exercise program Physique57 for “making me bride ready, physically and mentally!”

Baldwin, who began dating Thomas last summer, has said that she is “very important” to him.


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