Red Light Management

Mariska Hargitay on How Starring in Grace Gaustad’s Music Video Fits ‘Seamlessly’ with Her Other Work

July 16, 2021

Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay plays a therapist in the new music video for Grace Gaustad’s song “93 Days”

Mariska Hargitay is continuing to use entertainment to spread an important message.

The Law & Order: SVU actress plays a therapist in the video for “93 Days,” a new song from young artist Grace Gaustad about reaching out for help and healing from trauma.

In a joint interview with Hargitay, Gaustad, 19, tells PEOPLE that she grew up watching Hargitay, 57, play Detective Olivia Benson on SVU, calling her a “real-life superhero on screen.”

“’93 Days’ is a song with a message that really speaks a lot to what I think Mariska stands for as a person and a leader and a mentor,” Gaustad continues, as Hargitay adds that their collaboration came together “so beautifully and so brilliantly.”

“I was so honored and privileged to be invited into the project and into Grace’s world this way because I have been a fan of Grace’s for such a long time,” she says, noting that she connected with “93 Days” and Grace’s entire album, BLKBX: wht r u hding, because she is on her own “healing journey.”

“I was moved most not only by the access that Grace has to a depth of feeling, but also the language and artistry to communicate it,” Hargitay says. “Through this album, there’s so much hope and inner strength that comes from being vulnerable.”

She continues, “Our vulnerability is one of the most powerful things we have. I’ve always thought of it as a superpower. Then I met Grace and thought, ‘Wow, here is that superpower on steroids.’ I’m always in awe when someone makes art out of their pain, and Grace made music that just rocked my world.”

In addition to her forthcoming album, Gaustad has partnered with therapist Jaz Robbins and various nonprofit organizations to create the BLKBX Project, offering educational and therapeutic resources to those facing difficult issues like anxiety and depression.

Hargitay says that Gaustad’s mission and music fit in “seamlessly” with her work on SVU — which frequently tackles difficult topics relating to trauma — as well as with the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization she founded that supports survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

“We’re dealing with so many of the same themes, that’s why Grace’s art resonated so deeply with me,” she says. “People feel alone, and her message — and the message of SVU, the message of Joyful Heart, and my own message to the world — you are not alone.”

As for filming the video itself, Gaustad says it was “a really exciting day.”

“We trusted each other,” she says. “We were just laughing, singing — having an amazing time.”

Hargitay similarly mentions the trust between her and Gaustad that day.

“Grace and I trusted each other implicitly, and we’re so open, so there was a little bit of magic that happened on the set because we were going into something and building something and creating something together,” Hargitay added.

More songs from Gaustad’s full album, BLKBX: wht r u hding, are being released weekly, culminating with the final track release on Aug. 20.