Many a Law & Order: SVU fan has shipped Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Though you could sometimes feel the sexual tension between these two detectives onscreen, they never quite veered into relationship territory, much to our chagrin.
But even though we think we wanted Elliot and Olivia to become romantically involved on SVU, Christopher said that would have completely ruined their relationship on the show. "That, I think, [the producers] always knew would be the death knell of that relationship. I think they needed to keep that line taut but very clear," Christopher told James Liption during his appearance on Inside the Actors Studio Thursday night (clip above). "Keep the tension. Never cross it."
But these characters were so captivating onscreen on their own, they didn't really need to have a love connection spice things up a little, now did they? That was thanks, of course, to the incredible acting talent behind them. "[Mariska] was always ready for anything new, like let's try something. Let's try this. Like, yeah, ready to do it. There's always an unspoken shorthand to what we were doing. That makes it just so much easier," Christopher said. "And off-camera as well. There's a lot to be said for that when you work with someone 16 hours a day, you better get along when the camera's not rolling as well [as] when it is. And so, that was priceless, I think for both of us."
And you just need to take one look at these adorable pics of the pair to know that Christopher and Mariska have an amazing off-camera camaraderie. "Oh my God, always cracking up. Constantly trying to make each other laugh. You know, not in certain scenes, though. But yeah, constantly busting chops," Christopher said of what he and Mariska were like in between takes.
Well, if Elliot and Olivia can never be together, we're happy to know that Christopher and Mariska are true friends.
But would Christopher choose Mariska over the actor who played his character's lover on Oz, Lee Tergesen? His answer may surprise you.