Back and better than ever! Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay and Law & Order: Organized Crime actor and her old SVU co-star Christopher Meloni are back together on screen as respective detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler, and it feels so good!
The dynamic duo have been a beloved pairing throughout the show's run. But it just so happens that Hargitay and Meloni may have been more excited about their reunion than fans were to watch it. "It was Pavlovian: Ring that bell, and you get right into Stabler and Benson," Meloni explained.
"There was so much shorthand between us, which all goes back to the trust we have," Hargitay said about her relationship with the New York born-and-bred Meloni. "He's always made me feel like I could just jump off the ledge, the cliff, the bridge, and he would catch me, in so many ways, whether it was comedy or acting or friendship."
The handsome actor agreed, saying, "It's simple, we have each other's back."
While it was nothing but good times for the closely-knit actors to work together again, things were not as comfortable for their on-screen counterparts. "We've reintroduced two characters that their 'their-ness' ended abruptly, very unsatisfactorily, and now they are just as suddenly reunited," Meloni, 60, pointed out.
"There is a lot of emotional and psychological unpacking to do between these two people so you know it's a long-winded way of saying, it's complicated," the seasoned television actor explained.
His on-screen partner, Hargitay, 57, agreed, stating, "I think they have a lot of understanding and a lot of healing to go through before things get back to a state of normalcy or understanding, where they are in their lives and how each other, truly, deeply fit in with each other."
Although they may have had to figure out their character's complicated dynamics, the two stars make for a perfect team. "She brought her game, I brought mine and I liked the results," Meloni said.
It seems like it is not just the brunette actress who was happy to see Meloni back on the New York-based set. While filming, New Yorkers would honk their car horns at Meloni and shout out, "I love you."
"It's sweet, they're all my best friends. They've welcomed back the prodigal son — it's very nice, it's heartwarming." Meloni sweetly said.
While the show is welcoming back one past star, Hargitay has some other SVU casting in mind. As OK! exclusively reported, the actress '"loves working with" her husband, Peter Hermann, and is "dying" for him to become an SVU regular, a source said. The two met while the actor was making an appearance on the popular crime show in 2002 and have been married since 2004. The actors share three children: August, 14, Amaya, 10, and Andrew, 9.
PEOPLE first sat down with Hargitay and Meloni to talk about working together again and their crossover episode.