On Monday, October 7, the leading cast of Chicago P.D., Patrick John Flueger, Marina Squerciati, Laroyce Hawkins, Lisseth Chavez, Jesse Lee Soffer, Tracy Spiridakos, and Jason Beghe joined us in a roundtable discussion about the upcoming crossover episode/s—set to air October 16 on NBC.
Some major talking points were: relationships between characters, deaths from previous scenes, and what we can expect as the stakes are raised this season.
We’ve seen some hinting toward a romantic interaction between Atwater and Rojas. What kind of storytelling avenues do you hope it opens up and why do you think they’re drawn to each other?
Laroyce Hawkins: “Well, I don’t know if you saw how they met, but they almost killed each other. And I like to think that’s how some of the best relationships get started. It’s like we’ve been through most of it already. [Laughter] But what I do enjoy about Rowater, which is Rojas and Atwater collectively, the stories that we can tell now very authentically, bridging the gap between the brown and the black, I think is very necessary and can be a very nuanced way of telling a romantic story. I would hope that unlike our constituents, on the team prior to us, that we can take our time and really plant seeds that grow into a solid synergy. I think with Rojas being a part of the unit, it’s going to make our feelings even more difficult to have. Because I don’t want to go out the way; I’ve seen Halstead and Ruzek. But I also got to kind of get to her before Ruzek does. Because that boy ain’t playing. But I think we have the opportunity to do something very different. This show hasn’t seen a relationship like this. I think it’s necessary especially for now.”
What’s your opinion as actors on the romantic relation between Jay and Hailey. Do you want to see them together?
Jesse Lee Soffer: “I think if that were to happen, Jay would have to get his stuff together. Because he’s always…You know, they get closer, there’s a bond, and then Jay goes off the rails and does something crazy and Upton has to reel him back in. So that would have to shift in some way.”
Is there any chance that Adam and Kim end up getting back together this season?
Patrick John Flueger: “You won’t be disappointed. If that’s what you want, you’re not going to be disappointed.”
Marina Squerciati: “I don’t know, they may be disappointed. I think that we will definitely have some fun. We’re going to explore something. We don’t know where it’s going, but I think that there’s something very interesting happening.”
What kind of lengths will Ruzek go to prove that the deal was worth it?
Patrick John Flueger: “I just think that he doesn’t question it, ever. Like Halstead, his moral compass will come into play. But I just don’t think you’re gonna see Ruzek question Voight ever again. It’s like, what do you need me to do?”
Do you think that some of this has to do with losing Olinsky and feeling like he needs to jump in?
Patrick John Flueger: “Absolutely. For me, in that season, when Denny Woods kind of had Ruzek, he was trying to play both sides, protect his family, protect his work family. Right before they basically let him know what was going on with Olinsky and Voight, Olinsky says, ‘you’re like a son to me.’ They never got to make up. I think he thought there was time to [say] I’m going to gain his trust back, and he died before that happened. And I think that really [screwed] Ruzek up. He’ll never be on the wrong side again.”
How do you see Kim fitting in with these other characters that are developing? Is she going to fill Antonio’s void by being that person that takes care of everybody?
Marina Squerciati: “I don’t know yet. I think she has something coming up that’s very personal, that sort of takes her inward and not really outward, but sure, I’ll be the caretaker of everybody. I love that idea…I feel like I am that voice with the cast, certainly.”
You guys have lost some major characters three seasons in a row and yet you seem to still do well with ratings. What does it say about you guys as a core that keeps appealing to the fans and bringing them back every Wednesday?
Jesse Lee Soffer: “We’re in the fans’ homes once a week and being that the shows are about first responders, we try, the producers, the writers write the shows very realistically where we walk this line between right and wrong and being imperfect and we see the characters in situations where they are very human, and they’re not always heroes. Sometimes they make mistakes, big mistakes. And so, that humanizes them, and I think the fans connect with that more and they see the humanity in it and I think we do a good job and have realistic storylines.”
Patrick John Flueger: “I think it all boils down to Dick Wolf. He’s got the formula down. And our bosses, our producers, our directors, they’ve got the formula down. I think that the only person that you truly could not…from our show, is Voight. That you truly could not lose without the show feeling. Which is kind of scary to say out loud, but I think it’s incredibly true. He’s really the baseline for the show. And outside of that, Chicago is the star of the show.”
What are you most excited for fans to see in the crossover episode?
Marina Squerciati: “I just filmed this scene with Derek Hass and he wanted it really specific, to be like a horror movie, shot from my back. He said it looked really cool so I’m really excited to see that scene. It’ll be on Chicago Fire.”
How is Atwater mentally and emotionally right now after all that he’s experienced?
Laroyce Hawkins: “Atwater’s doing his best. He’s learning a lot about himself and about the city. The last episode we saw with Mike Beach, he did an amazing job playing Darius Walker where he introduces us to those necessary evils. I think now, Darius Walker gives Atwater the chance to embrace those necessary evils that actually help you do good sometimes. And I don’t mean to get Biblical, I truly don’t. But Paul said it, every time I try to do good, evil is always present. And that’s something that for me, I’m allowing Atwater to tap into that understanding.”
What is Voight’s take on Darius Walker?
Jason Beghe: “He’s going to try and manipulate and mold things in a way. There’s things that you have to deal with. He’s not an angel. How do I get him to serve our purposes? And that’s part of the thing and the thing that’s interesting is he’s kind of a comparable terminal, so I would imagine that hopefully we’ll find things that we can learn about ourselves from each other. And so, it could go a lot of ways.”
What stories can we expect with the Halstead brothers in the crossover?
Jesse Lee Soffer: “There isn’t a ton of brother stuff. It starts off that everybody is hanging out. So you see the brothers together and then Nick’s character, Will, he ends up almost succumbing to our threat. Nick gets hurt and Jay arrives just after that, after Will has kind of gone down.”
How do you feel the stakes are being raised for your character this season?
Tracy Spiridakos: “I think Upton is put in a different situation with our new character, Rojas. In the coming episode, you see that Rojas has joined the team and Voight sends Upton to [check] her out and see what she’s all about. And in that process, they kind of figure some things out and Upton ends up taking her under her wing, like a big sister. So that’s a fun, different side that we don’t get to see of Upton very often.”
Rojas is coming in at quite a difficult time. Why do you think she wants to be apart of this team?
Lisseth Chavez: “I think she wants to be part of a family. She comes from a foster system, so I think that family and love is something she’s always wanted. And hopefully they will adopt me.”
On the challenges of joining around this time..
Lisseth Chavez: “We were just shooting our episode and also shooting different episodes. I guess [the challenge was] getting to know the different characters I wasn’t familiar with.”
On playing Voight…
Jason Beghe: “The thing that’s kind of interesting about Voight is that I think he doesn’t worry about what’s going to happen and he doesn’t fret about what did happen, no matter how daunting or terrifying it was or will be. He’s really rooted in this moment and that’s what gives him his power. It’s an interesting part of the character that I consciously put there. It’s also easy to just be here now and not have to worry about the other [stuff]. And I thought, if I’m going to spend time with this guy, a good idea was to put qualities into him that I would like to develop in myself and I’m getting used to being present. I think I’m more present from playing this guy so we affect each other. It’s a relationship.”
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