Chicago PD interview: Marina Squerciati details sister’s crisis, powerful episode

On Wednesday night’s new episode of Chicago PD entitled “Last Minute Resistance,” you’re going to see one of the most powerful Kim Burgess stories of the series. Following her sister Nicole’s arrival on the show last week, there will be a dramatic turn as Burgess finds her alone at a subway after not returning home the night before. Not only that, but she discovers soon after that she was assaulted. Much of the story will be about Burgess working with Intelligence to determine what happened, and to help protect women in the future from the people responsible.

In leading up to this episode, we spoke (in an exclusive interview) with Marina Squerciati about some of her reactions to filming this episode and also her experiences being a part of it. Be sure to come back on Wednesday night for the second part of the interview, as we discuss some of the aftermath to everything that transpired in the episode.

CarterMatt – Was it a nice change to be able to have somebody like the Nicole character on the show since she really knows Burgess and has been through so much with her beyond just her time with Intelligence?

Marina Squerciati – It was great! It was great to shake things up. It’s season 4, and anything that you can do change up the rhythm is exciting. It was also exciting to work with Jules [Willcox], and the fact that we got along so well made it work like gangbusters.

What’s your reaction when you get an episode this emotional and powerful — even if it’s difficult on Burgess the character, do you enjoy it as Marina the actor?

I feel like everyone feels bad for Burgess, saying things like ‘can’t she get a break’ and wanting her to go off to Bora Bora for a couple of weeks. But no, as an actor it’s awesome. I love this Burgess. She’s so dark and so focused on getting the people who attacked her sister. It’s unlike the Burgess you’ve seen before, so to go that dark with a character who’s been to date so light, it’s special.

When you get scripts like this that are heavier, is there anything that you change in terms of how you prepare for it or your routine in any way?

100%. I have a different thing that I prepare for certain episodes. Like the Justice spin-off where I shot the unarmed black youth, I had a playlist that I would listen to over and over. The playlist was like three songs, and after the episode I could never listen to these songs again.

For this episode, I tried to suppress everything that makes Burgess who she is. It was kind of like a pushdown before every take.

You get to do a little bit of undercover work in the episode. When you get something like that in the script, do you get specific directives from the writers as to how they want that character to be? How much input do you have?

I called the writer for the episode and told him what I was thinking, and I asked if it was kind of on point with what he was thinking for the character and what he created. We brought them together. You want to make sure you’re not off-track, but generally the instincts for this character you’ve birthed for the past four years are pretty on-point.

So is undercover work something that you’d love to do for several episodes at time? Think what [Ruzek] had earlier this season, but we actually get to see it.

Yes. Take any actor on the show and they’ll say ‘I want to be undercover.’ It’d be so fun.

In terms of a renewal, how are you guys feeling? The ratings are good, so I have to assume that you’re feeling pretty good. I just know that at this time last year it was renewed already.

The ratings are good, but everyone wants to know if they’re coming back next year. To be honest, everyone wants to know they have a job. It’s been a really great ride and I don’t expect anything bad to happen, but I’d like the comfort of knowing that we were picked up for season 5!

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