One of the more delightful developments of 2015 has been the emergence of a friendship between pop princess Taylor Swift and TV queen Mariska Hargitay (who's been starring in "Law & Order: SVU" since 1999).
It may have all begun when Swift named her kitten after Hargitay's "SVU" character, Olivia Benson, but it definitely picked up steam when the pair met at the Met Gala and bonded. Hargitay has since appeared in Swift's "Bad Blood" video and onstage during her most recent tour.
And as the Emmy winner told TODAY.com, the friendship endures. "It has been such a treat and a joy and a surprise," she said. "She is so lovely and mature and has really inspired me."
Taylor Swift is inspiring? Yep. And it's all about a song.
"The song 'Shake It Off' touched me deeply, profoundly," revealed Hargitay.
"I thought, 'What a beautiful message to send to people,'" she continued. "I've certainly had thin skin at times, and things hurt my feelings and you sit there and go, 'Why do you let that hurt your feelings? And you know what? Shake it off and move on.' What a beautiful lesson. ... There are certain things in life we need to put our attention on and there's other things we don't."
A reaction that seems totally natural from the woman behind Olivia Benson, who was just voted the most popular (by a wide margin) female character on TV. Hargitay is set to return for her 17th season on Sept. 23 and is one of Olivia's biggest fans.
"She is fearless, a lioness, a protector and she's compassionate and empathetic," she said. "So we feel safe with her and it's all those feminine things we are and yet she is not pigeonholed, because she is a badass. ... She does it all; it's not easy, but she doesn't quit trying. Takes the hit, gets up again. She's really the Terminator."
Still, even the Terminator might have been a little intimidated by joining Swift in the middle of her concert. "The first time I went onstage in Philly, I was like, 'I don't know what's happening!'," laughed Hargitay.
So will we get Swift — or other members of her posse — on board at "SVU"?
"We can only hope," said Hargitay. But then she whispered behind her hand, "I think so!"
"Law & Order: SVU" returns to NBC on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. ET