#OneChicagoDay interview with actress who recently worked in Western New York
Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni
Through the better part of four seasons of "Chicago P.D.," Kim Burgess was "the nice one" - the sympathetic, reasonable officer working alongside the no-nonsense Sgt. Hank Voight and his rag-tag band of punch-first, look-the-other-way, all-for-the-greater-good intelligence unit policemen.
But toward the end of season four, Burgess (Marina Squerciati) blew up. Following an assault of her sister, she tracked down the offender, took a date-rape drug to get into his room, and then proceeded to beat the Christmas out of him.
Such myriad emotions - and a thorough pummeling - led Burgess to take a leave of absence.
Squerciati, as it turns out, went on maternity leave and "went out with a bang."
Burgess (far right) is ready pounce, as shown in season four alongside Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush). (NBC photo by Matt Dinerstein)
When Burgess returned to action in season five, she was quickly faced with a life-and-death situation when a fellow officer and friend was embroiled in scandal and linked to terrorism. As Burgess worked to clear officer Frank Toma's name, he wound up taking his life - right in from of Kim.
In last week's episode, audiences met Burgess' beau: a fed named Matt Miller (Zach Appelman). As the story unfolded, Burgess went to Miller seeking information on a shooter. This triggered a meeting between the two of them, an angry Voight (Jason Beghe), and another fed named Brian Macklin. In no time, the intelligence unit was at loggerheads with the federal agency, and Burgess was caught in the middle.
Seeking to nab the offender, Voight asked Burgess to pick sides.
"I need to know: Are you with us, or them?" he asked.
"I'm with you," she replied. "Just ... you tell me what you need me to do, and I'll do it."
"Right answer," he said.
From left: Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess and Jason Beghe as Hank Voight. (NBC photo by Matt Dinerstein)
Voight asked Burgess to trick Miller into coughing up the offender. In order to gain Miller's trust, Kim set up a story wherein she pretended to flip on Hank.
Her lie was so convincing that prickly Det. Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas) quipped, "Burgess is a pro."
Troubled, she confided in her former boyfriend, Det. Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger). Burgess said, "This case is falling apart, and it's my fault. ... It's my fault. So, now I have to ... I have to sellout my relationship with Matt."
She later told Ruzek, "I lied to his face, Adam. I played him like a fool and, for good measure, blew up the biggest case of his career. I screwed him."
At the end of the episode, Burgess tried to make amends with Matt, but, instead, got a door in the face.
From left: Patrick John Flueger as Adam Ruzek and Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess. (NBC photo by Matt Dinerstein)
Speaking to BTS at the recent #OneChicago press day, Squerciati said, "I was just talking to somebody who asked me if I would be as nice as Kim on the streets if I was a cop. And I was like, 'I hope so!'
"I just feel like, in general at any job, it kind of wears you down a bit. Even in like sales. I remember I worked sales in high school, and it's hard to be nice to everyone everyday. And so, when you are encountering someone in any job and they are kind, it's like such a nice and refreshing thing. And I appreciate that.
"So, I hope I've retained some of that - some of that sort of kindness and loveliness. But I definitely think some of it has worn away - some of it - as it naturally wears away at any job."
It's been a rough dozen episodes for Burgess, but Squerciati said she relishes the opportunity to play a female character who can be both gentle and kind, and exacting and cunning.
"I like the opportunity that often I'm given humor, as well; I feel like that's not tapped into on this show so much - and I'm really funny," she deadpanned. "I think it's just great to be able to flex your muscles and like have an episode where you have to protect your sister and delve into like that sort of primal instinct of your family and protecting them. And then have another one where you're like, 'OK, now I challenge my boss.' It's just like so great.
"There's no two episodes that have been the same. So, it's just constantly keeping me on edge - which, in season five, is so nice."
In her time away from "Chicago P.D.," Squerciati was cast as Stella Friedman in "Marshall." She filmed her scenes in Buffalo.
"I was in Thailand when I got the film, and I was supposed to meet my friend in Myanmar, which is formerly Burma. And so, I finished my trip in Thailand, flew to Buffalo for a week to film, and then flew back to Myanmar," she said. "So that was something. I loved Buffalo. There was a great juice place that I don't remember the name of that we all (visited). When we just saw the premiere last week, we're like, 'I miss Buffalo! And the juice place was so amazing.'
"It was fun. I had never been. My mom came. You have a beautiful new waterfront that was so fun. I was there by myself. To be able to walk along, it's just a really beautiful space and a lot to do. And there was like a fair going on at the time.
"I didn't get to Niagara Falls. I didn't have enough time. But I had a really wonderful time."