By Nick Romano
October 22, 2019 at 10:31 AM EDT

Mariska Hargitay is always surprised when she hears that Law & Order: SVU marks the longest-running prime-time drama on television, because her career definitely didn’t start out that way.

Appearing on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Hargitay teleported down memory lane to revisit that time she almost starred in 1995’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie. The experience was “super short, little too short for me,” she said. That’s not just a reference to her outfit.

Hargitay was originally cast in the role of Dulcea, a warrior queen on the planet Phaedos who bestows the Ninjetti powers on the Power Rangers. (It’s all coming back to you now, right?) “I was so excited because I was going to Australia to play this queen,” she recalled. “I get there, hair, makeup, prosthetics pieces, walking around like that, feeling pretty good.”

Seth Meyers even showed still images taken of Hargitay on set during production, but, obviously, she didn’t end up keeping the role. Actress Gabrielle Fitzpatrick eventually took over for the final theatrical release. So, what happened?

“I was there from November and then December, and then we were getting close to Christmas and they had me on hold a lot,” Hargitay said. “And finally, around December 21, I said, ‘Hey, guys, this is great, but you kept me on hold too long. I gotta go.’ It’s Christmas. I think that’s only fair.”

“I fly home, and January 3 I call them,” she added. “I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m ready.’ And they’re like, ‘Sweetie, you’re good. Don’t worry about it.’ Yes, and they fired me… because I wanted to go home for Christmas and be with my family.”

Well, it worked out for Hargitay, who’s still in business as Olivia Benson on SVU. She’s a real-life queen.

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