Law & Order: SVU set visit reveals heart stopping new season
Call girls, white-collar crime and murder. It's just the tip of the iceberg in an explosive Season 14 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Once on set, you learn it takes more than a week to shoot one fast-paced, ripped-from-the-headlines episode.
Star Mariska Hargitay told KPRC Local 2 that she still gets chills reading the scripts.
She said, "After 14 years, you're like, 'Aren't you just done with it?' And I read a script and I go, 'Wow! I love this! I've never done this and I love this. I've never done this.' This is exciting to me."
Hargitay's character, Detective Olivia Benson, is already off to a troubled start as her squad captain is under fire after waking up next to a dead call girl.
She said, "It's very difficult seeing someone fall from grace, so I think the rug is getting pulled out this year a lot by her pillars, and so she's trying to figure out what she has left to hold onto."
And this season, we'll peel back the layers on Liv's new partner, Detective Nick Amaro, played by Danny Pino.
Hargitay said, "Danny Pino is just a rock star in my opinion. It's been such a pleasure to work with him. So fun and he's good … and invested and cares and sexy, no question about that!"
KPRC Local 2 reporter Rachel McNeill asked Pino, "I feel like last season we just scratched the surface with your character. A lot more to come this season? He's very tormented!"
Pino answered, "I think his family life is incredibly rocky and that's going spill over into his professional life, so it will make for a very volatile squad room."
Hargitay said, "I love my job. I love the people that I work with, and so I think I am infused with energy that way."
As a wife and mom of three, Hargitay also finds time to help raise more than $10 million for the Joyful Heart Charity, which empowers survivors of rape, domestic violence and child abuse, clearly inspired by her work on set.
Hargitay said, "I feel very grateful in life. The show has brought me to a place where I can start this foundation that really I feel like is my life's work and maybe the reason I was born."
The 300th episode of Law and Order: SVU will air in this new season and show veterans say they're still surprised by the twists and turns which may be the key to its success.
Ice T, who portrays Detective Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola," said about an upcoming episode, "I've seen that script. I was confused until the end, so it's really, really good. You don't know who did it. It's crazy!"
Pino added, "The plot twists are equally as challenging and surprising to the actors as they are for the viewers."
When asked, "Are you going to be there for the next 300 (episodes)?"
Pino laughed, "We'll see. I'll bring my cane. I'll be ready to knock it out!
Ice T added, "I want to do 600!"
The fans are right there, rooting them on to catch the bad guy every time.