‘Chicago P.D.’ Stars Jason Beghe and Marina Squerciati on How Voight and Burgess Impact Their Real Lives
“Chicago P.D.” is considered the darkest of NBC’s three Chicago-based dramas, with its gritty, fictional account of the police and detectives working to keep the city’s streets safe. And the characters stick with the actors who play them even when they’re not on set.
“I think of Hank Voight as a person in my life,” Jason Beghe, who plays the Intelligence department boss on the show, said during NBC’s recent #OneChicago press day. “I have a relationship with this guy. And it’s a very close relationship.”
Beghe plays the head of CPD’s intelligence unit. Voight walks a fine line between right and wrong and doesn’t always do right. The actor says there’s a give and take with the character he’s been playing since 2014.
“And so, when I create a character like this, it’s just like any close relationship, there’s a give and a take. He influences me and I influence him. So they’re kind of knit together in a way,” he said. “Every season before I start, I think you know, ‘Do I want to bring a little more Jason into Voight, which I did this season, or do I need to bring a little more Voight into Jason?’”
“He’s always with me,” the actor continued, though noting the relationship isn’t symbiotic. “If Voight was in a bad mood, I don’t think I’d come home in a bad mood. It’s not like that. But the essence of the guy … it’s kind of like a quarter in my pocket that I’m always feeling from time to time during the day. He’s there. I think about him in the offseason. He’s an interesting part of my life.”
For Marina Squerciati, who plays Kim Burgess, she found her character to be more of an influence in the early days of the show.
“I don’t bring that sort of weight home. The way Jason said it is beautiful. And I totally agree. I would say I think more about the relationships that I have with characters, like when I’m thinking or walking down the street, I’m thinking more about … what’s going on with relationships, kind of like a little kid like, ‘Oh, I wonder what …’ and putting myself in there and thinking about the different webs I’ve woven in the show,” she said. “Maybe Season 1 or 2, I sort of took her home … but now, we’ve lived these characters so long that I feel like at the end of the day, I am able to sort of take that emotional arc and leave it on the set.”
NBC’s Chicago shows – “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire,” and “Chicago P.D.,” return Wednesday night with all new episodes, kicking off at 8 p.m. ET/PT.