I am a HUGE fan of Mariska Hargitay – I love her character detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, I love how she seems like just-another-mom off screen, and I love how the wonderful work she does for abused and neglected children.
Forty-seven year-old Mariska and husband Peter Hermann have a son together, 4-1/2 year old August, and recently adopted their daughter Amaya Josephine in April.
Mariska sat down with PEOPLE and said that having two children presents challenges she has to develop new skills to deal with.
“It’s a new skill to have two children that want you at the same time. Sometimes … I wanted to rip my hair out…I’m like, August! Amaya! August! Amaya!’ You don’t know what to do.”
“So … [it's my] first time with two-children syndrome and I’m trying to figure it all out. But so far everyone’s been pretty good.”
And how is big brother August dealing with his new sister? “He is so protective. He is a little bit like the gate-keeper of her. He’s been really … amazing … so affectionate. He says, I’m going to be her protector.’ And something else. Teacher. Guidance and protector. She gets a lot of kisses.”
And while Mariska loves the role of being mommy in real life, she also loves her job as a detective on TV. In fact, she’s been on the show for more than 10 years!
Rumors have been flying around that she’s leaving the show? Are those rumors true?
“I’m so madly in love and married to my show…But its been very difficult for me with two kids, so what I wanted this year in terms of my deal was lifestyle issues … I needed more time with my kids. So I will be working a little bit less and eventually getting a little promotion, so we are going to bring on a new detective.”
I can’t wait to see where Detective Benson ends up, and I hope Mariska finds what she’s looking for!
Learn more about Hargitay’s work with the Joyful Heart Foundation!