Mariska Hargitay pauses Law & Order: SVU shoot to help lost child who mistook her for real cop

The girl in need was oblivious to the cameras, crew, and even Ice-T.

Even when the cameras aren’t rolling, Mariska Hargitay is embodying Capt. Olivia Benson.

While filming new episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in New York City last week, Hargitay, 60, had no choice but to channel her onscreen counterpart when a lost child saw her badge, mistook her for a real police officer, and sought her help.

A witness told PEOPLE that the April 10 shoot was briefly interrupted after the young girl got separated from her mother while playing in Fort Tryon Park. In true Olivia Benson fashion, Hargitay didn’t hesitate to step up and paused production for 20 minutes to assist the girl, who was oblivious to the cameras, crew, and cast — including Hargitay’s scene partner, Ice-T.

Thankfully, 25 seasons of SVU have taught Hargitay a thing or two about saving the day, and it wasn’t long before she helped reunite the kid with her mom.

Mariska Hargitay pauses filming 'Law and Order: SVU' to help a child

The Emmy-winning actress has been portraying Benson since 1999, when she was cast to lead the Law & Order spinoff that would eventually become the longest-running drama in prime-time American television.

To celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary, Hargitay and Ice-T recently revisited some of SVU’s most pivotal moments for an Entertainment Weekly digital cover.

“It’s so different,” Hargitay said after watching a season 1 clip of Benson and then-partner Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni). “We’re so young, and it’s got a cute vibe. It’s so sweet and innocent, and I love that. If you gave us that same scene and we did it now, it would be oh so different.”

Mariska Hargitay Was Mistaken for a Real Police Officer by a Lost Little  Girl

She continued, “But I love looking at the beginning, so we can really sit in appreciation of the evolution of these characters. And the evolution — especially of Olivia Benson, and the maturity, and this woman growing into her power. It’s beautiful.”

Law & Order: SVU is currently in the midst of season 25, with new episodes airing Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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