NBC’s ‘Chicago PD’ continues its latest season with Tracy Spiridakos as its new female lead.
Spiridakos plays Detective Hailey Upton, a hardened former Robbery-Homicide detective, and the latest addition to District 21’s Intelligence Unit.
We got the chance to speak with her about her experiences learning the ins and outs of tactical police work, collaborating with each episode’s production team, and exploring the proud city of Chicago.
Spiridakos shared some of her favorite scenes from this season, but kept tight-lipped about what to expect in the rest of the season, so we’ll have to stay tuned for the next episode! Here’s what she had to say about the latest season and her new character:
THE KNOCKTURNAL: Can you tell us a little bit about your new role on Chicago PD?
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS: Well this is my second year being a part of the show. I was part of robbery homicide and I was working on a case that ended up interacting with the intelligence unit and from there Voight asked if I wanted to come on on a temporary basis, but then kept me on board. Hailey Upton is the character’s name, and yeah, that’s the basis of it. And now we’re coming up to the end of year two being part of the team.
THE KNOCKTURNAL: Awesome! How has this role challenged you?
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS: I think, interestingly, learning all the tactical stuff, that has been a big challenge for me trying to understand. There’s a tech advisor that we have on the show. His name is Brian Luce, and he walks through and makes sure our form is correct, just to make it – you want to be the most authentic thing you can be. And the attention to detail that he comes through and teaches us how to, […] for example, when you’re clearing the room and all that stuff, has been interesting and a challenge to learn for me.
THE KNOCKTURNAL: Have you preferred doing roles that involve a physical aspect, whether it’s action or stunts? Is that appealing to you, do you see yourself going through that more?
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS: I do get excited by physical stuff, yes. It’s fun. I love stunt days. It’s really fun getting to play around and just learning about all that stuff, I find fascinating as well – just how stunts work, and camera angles around stunts and everything. It’s very, very fascinating. So yes, I would say I’m definitely drawn towards physical roles like that.
THE KNOCKTURNAL: I watched a little digital exclusive of you and some of your co-stars. Can you talk about the energy that is on set? I watched the fake lie detector segment. I thought it was so hilarious.
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS: Oh, with Jesse, yeah! It’s really fun on-set. I mean, it’s like hanging out with your friends all day. We laugh a lot and tease each other a lot, and it’s a really, really, really wonderful group of people. I’m having a really wonderful time.
THE KNOCKTURNAL: How has it been now going into your second year working with the creative team and the writers and the director?
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS: It’s been great. So we have different directors that come in. Each episode is a different director. We have some directors that come through several times throughout the season, but each episode is a new director. But it’s a really great group. Our show-runner is amazing, and our executive producers, our writers, and everybody’s just really lovely, very open to ideas that we may have or if we have any input, which is a very warm environment. It’s just been all around a really wonderful experience for me.
THE KNOCKTURNAL: Can you tell us a little – without giving away any spoilers – can you tell us anything to kind of expect straight into this season?
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS: I’m not sure. So we’re kind of almost caught up to what’s aired to what we’re shooting right now, so I don’t really – and we don’t know very much. [laughs] They don’t tell us very much information. So I’m not entirely sure what’s coming up in the last few episodes. We’re only shooting – I mean I think we’re shooting episode 18 right now, and I think they just aired episode 16. So that’s how close to airing things are, but throughout the season, we’ve gotten to see – there was a relationship that has unfolded, and it’s one of the characters, Adam Ruzek, and they kind of fell into each other […] and that’s grown throughout the season. And there’s different chemistry with all the different other characters that have come throughout the season. So we’ll see what they’ve got in store for the last few episodes. I wish I could tease more, but I know very little.
THE KNOCKTURNAL: How has it been filming in a city like Chicago? You’ve obviously been on several different Chicago series. What do you love about the city the most?
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS: I think my favorite thing about the city, aside from the food, that would be on the top of my list, is the people. Everyone that’s here; I just really loved all of the locals, and everyone’s very proud of their city, proud to be from Chicago. Throughout the whole city, everyone that I’ve met is like that and it’s really cool, I mean it’s a really, really great city, and one of my favorite cities that I’ve gotten to work in the United States actually.
THE KNOCKTURNAL: What are some other projects that you’re currently working on?
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS: Well, we work a lot. We work 10 months essentially, kind of like 9 and a half months out of the year, so this is kind of, this is it. And then when hiatus comes, I usually lay low and sleep. [laughs] So yeah, the show is kind of the main thing.
THE KNOCKTURNAL: I also looked at some of your hobbies. Are you excited about any games that are coming out this year?
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS: I really want to play Anthem. I’ve heard it’s a really fun game, and I’m really into Destiny. Patty was playing – the demo came out and he said he really liked it, so that’s one I’m really really excited for. I’m kind of a little slow with – like I never really know the things that are coming out – it’s always when they’re out and I hear people talking about it that I’m like “ooh I’ll have to try that game.” So Assassin’s Creed is the other one that I’m waiting to play right now – Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – is the next one on my list that I’m pretty excited about. But I’m very heavily into Destiny at the moment, so that kind of occupies most of my free time.
THE KNOCKTURNAL: Can you tell us what your favorite – so far that you’ve found – what your favorite scene has been from this season?
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS: Ooh, well…This one episode that we had had a bunch of really strong moments, but I think one of my favorites was when Haley goes into Voigt’s office and asks him for help on how to help Ruzek. So in an episode that aired, I think it was about a month ago or so, Ruzek takes the fall for Antonio after an incident happens and she, without even realizing it, has stronger feelings for Ruzek than she anticipated, and she goes into Voigt’s office, kind of without knowing what she’s asking for. She doesn’t really know what she can do. It’s such a moment of vulnerability going into his office, and we see Hailey so strong all the time, that I really enjoyed showing that she had no control over anything and just went in and was asking for help and how to handle the situation. I really like that scene, and I really like that moment in her.