“Law & Order: SVU”'s Ryan Buggle Reveals the 'Best Thing' He's Learned from Mariska Hargitay (Exclusive)

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The teen, who plays Olivia Benson's son Noah, mingled with costars Octavio Pisano and Kevin Kane at NBC’s Olivia Benson Plaza pop-up event in New York City

<p>Ralph Bavaro/NBC via Getty</p> Ryan Buggle at Olivia Benson Plaza on Thursday, March 14, 2024

Ralph Bavaro/NBC via Getty

Ryan Buggle at Olivia Benson Plaza on Thursday, March 14, 2024

The cast of Law & Order: SVU is supporting their captain.

Ryan Buggle, who plays the son of Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson on the long-running series, attended NBC’s Olivia Benson Plaza event at Rockefeller Center in New York City on March 14 and 15 to celebrate the iconic show’s 25th anniversary.

Buggle stopped to chat with PEOPLE amid the festivities, and he was singing Hargitay's praises.

“The best thing I've learned from Mariska is to always be real in a scene, and to never forget who you are," says the 14-year-old actor.

<p>Ralph Bavaro/NBC via Getty </p> Ryan Buggle serving coffee at Olivia Benson Plaza on March 14

Ralph Bavaro/NBC via Getty

Ryan Buggle serving coffee at Olivia Benson Plaza on March 14

Buggle also happily volunteered to help serve fans some morning beverages from behind the “Benson & Co. Coffee" truck while hanging out at the plaza experience honoring his onscreen mom.

“I want to try Fin’s iced tea!” Buggle said, choosing from the curated menu that included drinks named after the cast of characters, including "Benson's Captain-ccino," "Carisi's Classic Americano" and a "Cup of Joe Velasco."

<p>Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images</p> Ryan Buggle and Mariska Hargitay with Hargitay's glam squad at Olivia Benson Plaza

Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Ryan Buggle and Mariska Hargitay with Hargitay's glam squad at Olivia Benson Plaza

Related: Ice-T Jokes Mariska Hargitay Was 'Just Another Actress' When They Met: 'It Wasn't Some Holy Meeting' (Exclusive)

Det. Joe Velasco himself, Octavio Pisano, says that the love for Hargitay comes as no surprise because she's such a professional. The cast recently filmed episode nine of the season, he says, which Hargitay is also hopping behind the camera for.

“I have so many things I learned from her as an actress, and then we just went through her episode where she directed,” he says. “[And now] I've got like 10 more things I learned.”

<p>Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images</p> Mariska Hargitay at Olivia Benson Plaza on March 15, 2024 in New York City.

Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Mariska Hargitay at Olivia Benson Plaza on March 15, 2024 in New York City.

Kevin Kane, who plays Det. Terry Bruno, was quick to echo his costar's sentiment (and to share a bit of a full circle-moment, too).

“I was on an episode as a different character years ago, and she was the director, and that's how I really got to know her,” he says of his guest appearance in the season 20 episode "Mea Culpa." “But she's always there for every actor to try to elevate their performance. And I try to emulate that [now] when I'm with guest actors as well.”

<p>Andrew Walker/Shutterstock for NBC</p> Kevin Kane and Octavio Pisano at Olivia Benson Plaza on March 14

Andrew Walker/Shutterstock for NBC

Kevin Kane and Octavio Pisano at Olivia Benson Plaza on March 14

Related: Bradley Whitford on Being Directed by Mariska Hargitay for 'SVU' : 'I Wish Fans Could See Her Working'

Buggle ultimately distilled the love for Hargitay down to just a few words (enough to fit on a beaded bracelet, like the ones fans were able to purchase at the plaza from Little Words Project).

When asked what a bracelet he might give to Law & Order's leading lady would say, Buggle beamed.

“'Mariska, you're the best,'" he says.

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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