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Mariska Hargitay watched an 'SVU' rerun and didn't remember her performance

Mariska Hargitay has been playing Olivia Benson on "Law & Order: SVU" for so many years, she's forgotten making some episodes, as she told "Late Night" host Seth Meyers.
/ Source: TODAY

After you've appeared in over 460 episodes of the same series, as "Law & Order: SVU" actress Mariska Hargitay has done, it's no surprise that they tend to run together a bit.

Normally, Hargitay has a hard time escaping "SVU" when not on the set; Olivia Benson (her crusading detective character) is ubiquitous in reruns.

"I can't get away from myself!" she told "Late Night" host Seth Meyers Monday.

But "about a month ago," she happened to come across a rerun — and didn't flip channels. "I just said, 'Oh, I'll just watch and remember what episode it was,'" she recalled. "And I sat there watching and watching. A half-hour went by, (I) got completely engrossed in the show, didn't remember a thing, didn't even know it was me."

We forgive her: While we find Hargitay and Benson unforgettable, playing TV's longest-running character on the longest-running live-action prime-time series means a lot of shows to try to recall. But Hargitay wasn't done.

Mariska Hargitay as Lt. Olivia Benson, with Ice-T as Sgt. Odafin "Fin" Tutuola, on "SVU." Virginia Sherwood/NBCU

"I'm like, 'This is a good show!'" she laughed. "But it was so sad, because I could not remember. And then I tried to remember, and I just couldn't. And that's sad."

Not only that, "SVU" has had so many guest stars, or rising actors who went on to their own TV series and films, that it's impossible to remember all of them, either. Hargitay said she "constantly" forgets series guest stars.

"The other day, I was watching 'SNL.' There was this amazing actor, amazing host," she continued. "He's so genius, and he was so hilarious. And I said, 'That guy's good! That guy's great, who is that guy?' ... and then everyone went, 'He was on "SVU."'"

It was "Stranger Things" star David Harbour, who had one of his first roles ever on the series in 2002.

Well, we can't be perfect, though Hargitay comes close.