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'Law & Order: SVU' Star Mariska Hargitay Opened Up About The Horrifying Injury She Sustained On Set And How It Changed Her

Date November 15, 2018 09:58

Award-winning actress Mariska Hargitay seems to be cut out for her role as NYPD Lieutenant Olivia Benson on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. One incident that happened on the set of the show a decade ago proves that the actress is as tough in real life as she is on-screen.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Mariska Hargitay (@therealmariskahargitay) on

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What happened to Mariska?

In October 2008, while filming an episode of Law & Order: SVU, the actress sustained a serious injury, but the way she handled it deserves admiration.

Mariska used to do her stunts all on her own. While filming a scene in which she was chasing a bad guy, she fell, badly. Speaking to Redbook Magazine, the actress recalled:

I jumped and landed on pads, but on the second take something happened – I just landed wrong. I got up and felt that something inside was not quite right. At first I thought I had the wind knocked out of me. I was angry with myself. Later, I thought maybe I'd pulled a muscle, but I didn't focus on the injury and kept expecting it to get better.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Mariska Hargitay (@therealmariskahargitay) on

It seemed to be getting better, until it didn’t. Mariska developed shortness of breath and chest pains. Then, on January 1, 2009, the actress had intense chest pain and was rushed to the hospital, where tests revealed she had suffered a partially collapsed lung. Two weeks later, she had a surgery to repair it.

Several weeks after the operation, her injured lung collapsed again, but doctors managed to fix it successfully.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Mariska Hargitay (@therealmariskahargitay) on

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How Mariska handled the trauma

The health scare was quite terrifying for the actress, as it brought back deep childhood trauma. Her mom, actress Jayne Mansfield, died in a car accident when Mariska was just 3 years-old. She was asleep in the backseat of the car when it crashed.

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Mariska’s first child, son August, was just 2 years-old when she suffered the injury. Speaking to Redbook Magazine, the actress opened up about the scary experience:

All those old fears about my mom and my grandfather [both of whom died relatively young] came shooting up.

Having a child changes everything. All of a sudden you have so much to lose, so much to live for. Sometimes things in life happen that allow us to understand our priorities very clearly. Ultimately you can see those as gifts.

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Although losing her mom at such a young age was traumatic, it also made Mariska a stronger person. Reflecting on her loss in an interview with People, the actress said:

The way I’ve lived with loss is to lean into it. As the saying goes, the only way out is through. In my life, certainly I’ve tried to avoid pain, loss, feeling things. But I’ve learned instead to really lean into it, because sooner or later you have to pay the piper.

I’m not saying it’s easy, and it certainly hasn’t been for me. There’s been a lot of darkness. But on the other side things can be so bright.

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The loss taught the Law & Order star to count her blessings and understand the inevitability of bad things. It also taught her to take the trials that come her way in stride. She told Redbook Magazine:

I have so many blessings, and I've learned from all of my experiences and my losses. I think you learn to feel grateful when you are exposed at such a young age to the fact that bad things can happen. I look at all the things life has allowed me to do and I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

'Law & Order: SVU' Star Mariska Hargitay Opened Up About The Horrifying Injury She Sustained On Set And How It Changed Her'Law & Order: SVU' Star Mariska Hargitay Opened Up About The Horrifying Injury She Sustained On Set And How It Changed Her'Law & Order: SVU' Star Mariska Hargitay Opened Up About The Horrifying Injury She Sustained On Set And How It Changed Her'Law & Order: SVU' Star Mariska Hargitay Opened Up About The Horrifying Injury She Sustained On Set And How It Changed Hergettyimages

Mariska truly is remarkable, both as a person and an actress. She is a prime example of perseverance!

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