Zap2it: What was your training like in preparing to play police officer Kim Burgess on ‘Chicago P.D.’?
Marina Squerciati: I’d never held or touched or seen a gun, really … and that was something to learn, that sort of power and that responsibility that you have when you hold it and you carry it every day.
When I put on the uniform, it just transforms everything from the way I walk to the way I just approach a scene, so that sort of helps. It is a real costume. Coming from theater, that allows me entree into that role wherever I am. That’s sort of an easy “light switch” for me, I guess.
Zap2it: It seems like Burgess has gone through a lot during her tenure on the show. Do also you see it that way?
Marina Squerciati: Oh, yes. I’ve been shot. I’ve been engaged. I’m breaking up. There’s nothing that hasn’t been thrown at Burgess. I think that’s exactly right. All of us have this sort of inner turmoil and outer turmoil, and every day, we have to face our jobs. It’s that human element that Dick [executive producer Dick Wolf] brings to his shows that makes these heroes real as well.
They’re facing very real challenges as well as very unreal things that we would never experience, like running into a fire or running after someone who’s shooting a gun at you, so I think that makes it sort of just very human.
Zap2it: How is it to be out filming on location during a Chicago winter?
Marina Squerciati: I will say that it does require me as an actor to sort of double down on that day’s scene because … just every synapse freezes. Every artistic notion freezes, and you’re just kind of going on instinct. I like to know those lines just a little bit better, so I can focus a little less on the cold.