‘Chicago Justice’: Monica Barbaro talks taking on new character after ‘UnREAL’ gig

The Chicago Justice series premiere is finally airing on Wednesday as a part of a crossover event between Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, and one of the things that we’re the most excited to do here is start to unravel some of our coverage on the show from One Chicago Day all the way back in the fall. We spoke to a number of the cast and producers, and got a good sense as to what the series and the characters will be like. Also, the set looks incredibly authentic in-person!

One of the main characters on the series is Assistant State’s Attorney Anna Valdez, played by former UnREAL actress Monica Barbaro. You’ve already gotten a chance to see the character across the franchise, but the spotlight is about to be on her much more than ever before as she works alongside Philip Winchester, Joelle Carter, Jon Seda, and many other members of the cast.

While on the set, Barbaro told us that she’s thrilled to be playing a different sort of character for this series, one that viewers should be able to get behind far more than Yael, the UnREAL “villain” who, ironically, was really just out to expose the show-within-a-show “Everlasting” for some of its injustices:

“I did all of the live-tweeting [for UnREAL] and people were like ‘oh my god, I cannot stand Yael’ (laughs). I really hope people are rooting for Anna. I mean, that show was really fun because I got to play someone who had another agenda … This has just been a phenomenal opportunity to play a very intelligent woman who speaks her mind, who won’t be pushed around, who will speak up to Mark Jeffries (Carl Weathers) and Peter Stone (Philip Winchester) under serious circumstances. Sometimes, she does makes mistakes.”

Winchester followed up Barbaro’s comment by proclaiming that these mistakes and successes are “why [she’s] on the team. She’s smart. She’s the type of person who points out stuff we miss.”

Top to bottom, it looks like there’ll be a lot to look forward to this season, and plenty of interesting back-and-forth between the characters as they do their best to ensure that justice, appropriately, is served.

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