EXCLUSIVE: Chris Meloni says he's open to coming back to 'Law & Order: SVU'


Could we see Stabler and Benson together again?

ET's Lauren Zima caught up with Chris Meloni at the NRDC Stand Up for the Planet Benefit in Los Angeles on Tuesday, where he answered the question every fan wants to know: would he ever return to Law & Order: SVU?

"I have always said I would be open to it," said Meloni, who left the series after season 12. "[The] circumstances have to be right, that is all."

"We will see [if I return for the series finale]," he added. "It has never been brought up to me, so that is the kind of question that's kind of out of my hands."

In the meantime, the 56-year-old actor enjoys seeing fans' reactions to reunion pics with former co-star Mariska Hargitay.

Friends at Xmas.

A post shared by Chris Meloni (@chris_meloni) on

"You know, we don't live under a rock. We do it one time and suddenly, you know, she called and she is like, 'Do you believe what just happened?' and I'm like, 'Yeah, that is crazy,'" he recalled. "Now we do it just to see the reaction, [to] ring the bell."

WATCH: 'Law & Order: SVU' Stars Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay Reunite for the Holidays

"It is lovely [to still see the fan support]," he confessed. "I always kind of felt it and knew it. I knew how important it was to people, how much it meant to people. 12 years with your partner in crime it is a long time."

EXCLUSIVE: The Impact and Legacy of 'Law & Order: SVU' 400 Episodes Later

See TV and movie animals who totally stole their scenes

32 PHOTOS
31 scene-stealing animals in film and TV
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31 scene-stealing animals in film and TV

Billy Crystal's character in the 1991 comedy "City Slickers" adopts a calf and names him Norman. 

Photo Credit : Columbia Pictures 

Once Punxsutawney Phil poked his head above ground, all hell broke loose -- at least in one of the seemingly infinite amount of days Bill Murray endured in the 1993 comedy "Groundhog Day." 

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures 

The most tweets about the season finale of the HBO crime drama "The Night Of" were focused on the appearance of, yes, the cat.

Photo Credit: HBO

Digby, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in 2014's "The Interview" proved to be both precious and integral to the film's climactic end. 

Photo Credit: SONY 

Yes, there's an actual goat in the college hazing drama "Goat." Without spoiling it, the animal is at the center of a tragic plot twist that happens toward the end of the film.

Photo Credit: Paramount 

Speaking of goats, there's an evil one featured in 2015 horror movie "The Witch." 

Photo Credit : A24

The cat in "Inside Llewyn Davis" knew no bounds, escaping multiple times and heading off to faraway places. 

Photo Credit: CBS Films

Talking bulldog Mr. Beefy made "Little Nicky" with Adam Sandler a whole lot more fun. 

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema

A walrus stood out in another Adam Sandler movie, "50 First Dates," also starring Drew Barrymore. 

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures 

The snake in 2000's "Road Trip" got memorably mouthy. 

Photo Credit: Dreamworks Pictures 

The tiger in the bathroom in 2009's "The Hangover" put a night of drunken debauchery among a group of guys over the top. 

Photo Credit: Warner Bros 

Comet the Golden Retriever in "Full House" was pretty handy sometimes. 

Photo Credit: ABC

The bear in "The Revenant" is easily among the most ferocious in cinema history. 

Photo Credit: 20th Century FOX

Lucky the cat took some attention away from the famously smart-mouthed Alf in this 1990s sitcom. 

Photo Credit: NBC

Baxter! The pooch from "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" was quite the little survivor. 

Photo Credit: Dreamworks Pictures 

Oscar bit Larry David so hard in an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" that he had to go to the doctor -- and have a very uncomfortable conversation about it. 

Photo Credit: HBO

Eddie, the Jack Russell on 1990's sitcom "Frasier" was so popular he made the cover of Entertainment Weekly.  

Photo Credit: NBC

If dogs could win Oscars, Uggie, who played the dog in "The Artist," would have easily earned the film its sixth Academy Award. 

Photo Credit : Warner Bros. 

The kidnapped kitten that was named after a movie star stole some laughs from Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key in the comedy "Keanu." 

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. 

Toto was Dorothy's prized pet in 1939's "The Wizard of Oz." But did you know his real name? It was Terry. 

Photo Credit: MGM

The Lone Ranger wouldn't be right without his trusty steed Silver. 

Photo Credit:ABC

Ferguson is Winston's scene-stealing cat on Fox's "New Girl," starring Zooey Deschanel. 

Photo Credit: FOX

We all know what happens to Marley the Lab at the end of 2008's "Marley & Me."

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Marcel the monkey kept Ross company on "Friends." 

Photo Credit: NBC

Yes, Clint Eastwood acted opposite an orangutan called Clyde in the 1978 adventure comedy "Every Which Way But Loose." 

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser helped make collie mix Murray famous on "Mad About You." 

Photo Credit: NBC

When a guy gets severely downsized in the 1957 sci-fi film "The Incredible Shrinking Man," suddenly a house cat poses imminent danger. 

Photo Credit: Universal

Jack Nicholson won an Oscar for playing a grump who got hoodwinked into caring for a dog named Verdell in "As Good as It Gets" -- also starring Helen Hunt.  

Photo Credit: Tristar pictures 

Orion the cat has an entire missing galaxy hanging from his collar in 1997's "Men in Black," starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith.  

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

It was the cat in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" that brought the two lovers (played by Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard) together in the end.

Photo Credit Paramount Pictures 

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