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Mr. Right Turns Out All Wrong in Mariska Hargitay’s HBO Thriller

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Mariska Hargitay’s always been a comedian, “the extroverted class clown. I find comedy in everything. “

But there aren’t many laughs in her latest film, “Blind Side,” HBO’s thriller premiering tonight. Hargitay plays a young woman looking for Mr. Right who ends up with Mr. Wrong--a psychopath played by Rutger Hauer.

“It’s really bizarre,” says Hargitay, who was a regular on CBS’ “Downtown” and “Tequila & Bonetti.”

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“To tell you the truth, I was really happy because it was so different. You never know how a role is going to turn out.”

Hargitay, 29, is the youngest daughter of the late sex symbol Jayne Mansfield and famed body builder Mickey Hargitay. Born and reared in Los Angeles, she never thought she’d become an actress. “With my mom being an actress, it was like that has been done,” she says. Instead, she was really “into school,” attending Marymount High School. Hargitay was bitten by the acting bug, though, while a junior.

“They had auditions for a play and I literally said, ‘What the hell?’ I played this very wacky French woman and, of course, I had no qualms about going further than the play demanded. I had so much fun.”

She began working professionally while attending UCLA. “It was really hard. I had to drop out for about four quarters. I think college is such an incredible and important experience. Sometimes I feel like I robbed myself of that experience because I was half in and half out.”

Hargitay says it’s been both an asset and a hindrance having famous parents. “(Producers) are judging you three times as hard. I have been acting for 10 years. I think I have done enough work that people can formulate their own opinion. But people give you this identity. I am so proud to be my mother’s daughter, but it gets to the point where you go, ‘I am Mariska. That is who I am.”’

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