"ADA Haden (Harry Connick Jr.) made her realize that there is hope," Hargitay told TVGuide.com at her fifth annual Joyful Heart Gala. "She was so broken and in pain and devastated with the departure of Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni), that the truth is, now that he's gone I think there's room. With him there I think she had blinders on and now she's going, 'Wait a minute there's a whole other world out there.'"
In the interview below, Hargitay talks more about the "Joyful Heart Revolution" and what her charity's big plans are. Plus: Best friends Hilary Swank, Debra Messing and co-star Danny Pino explain why Hargitay is the biggest goofball they know.