Mariska Hargitay Helps Lost Little Girl Find Her Mom After Being Mistaken for Real-Life Cop

Kicking off your weekend with a little wholesome.

Mariska Hargitay is seen taking a break from filming 'Law and Order: SVU' help a child at the Fort Tryon Playground on April 10, 2024 in New York City
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mariska Hargitay may just be a cop who saves the day on-screen, but she's just become a real-life hero, too.

While she was filming season 25 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on April 10, a little girl who had lost her mom made a beeline for Hargitay, thinking she was a real police officer based on the actress' prop badge.

An eyewitness told TMZ that the child got separated from her mother in the Anne Loftus Playground in Fort Tryon Park, New York City, and approached Hargitay for help.

The TV star halted production on the show for 20 minutes, with members of the crew helping the little girl to successfully find her mom, according to TMZ.

Photos show Hargitay crouching down to speak to the girl and assess the situation, touching her arm in a gesture of reassurance.

Mariska Hargitay is seen taking a break from filming 'Law and Order: SVU' help a child at the Fort Tryon Playground on April 10, 2024 in New York City

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hargitay's character Olivia Benson has long been a source of inspiration for many viewers—including Taylor Swift, who named her cat after her—and the actress herself has previously spoken to her on-screen persona's influence on her actual life.

"We’ve been on a parallel journey," she told People in January. "There’s a thing: WWOBD, 'What would Olivia Benson do?' The fans would always talk about it, and one day it hit me. I also have those moments where I’ve sort of slipped into her. If there’s a crisis, I just take over and lead like that. Being strong and fearless. It’s sort of this perfect feminist story."

Looks like she put those finely honed skills to good use here!

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.