Mariska Hargitay Thanks Alec Baldwin for 'Brave Performance' on 'SVU'

The actor played a tabloid reporter on the show last night.

March 20, 2014 — -- In February, Alec Baldwin claimed he was leaving public life behind. A month later, he's in an episode of "Law & Order: SVU."

In a heavily-promoted return to TV, Baldwin played the very people he despises last night -- a high-profile tabloid reporter.

All the drama of Baldwin's rants and public life aside, the episode also marked Mariska Hargitay's directorial debut.

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"Thanks to @ABFalecbaldwin for one of the most brave & real performances we've ever seen on #SVU. You hit it out of the park. #BallsOfJupiter," the "SVU" star tweeted last night.

Baldwin took on the role of Jimmy Mac, a tabloid journalist that nearly ruins the life of a rape victim with his front page stories.

Baldwin then thanked Hargitay on Twitter for the kind words. He even praised her directing chops.

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"Tonight I appear on @nbcsvu in an episode directed by the the talented and hard working and funny.....[Hargitay]," he wrote.