In a two-night crossover event airing this week, NBC’s Chicago Fire (Tuesday, 10/9c) and Chicago P.D. (Wednesday, 10/9c) teams are called to action when the city is rocked by a bombing at a hospital. The “heart-wrenching and beautiful” script has echos of the tragic events that took place in Oklahoma City in 1995, says P.D. star Sophia Bush, whose steely Detective Lindsay is thrown off her game.
But it’s Severide who will lean on Lindsay when he goes through an emotional test of his own, reveals the actress below.
TVLINE | You signed up for one show, and you got two jobs.
[Laughs] I did. I actually got three jobs. I played Detective Lindsay on SVU as well. I got more bang for my buck than I expected.
TVLINE | Are you completely exhausted? I imagine it’s a lot for your workload.
I’m really tired. [Laughs] But it’s a good kind of tired.
TVLINE | In the past, you’ve done teen soaps/relationship dramas and comedies. Did you have a desire to play a cop?
I always had a desire to be doing work in the action/adventure space. Whether that was doing a really high-octane show like this that involves a lot of stunts and training or, I’ve said time and time again, when they’re ready for a female Batman, I’m in! That’s actually not even a joke. It’s really the truth, but it goes into the humor that exists on our set and with all our coordinators. The cops that we work with, they’re the real-life Batman. These guys are plain-clothed superheroes that are out, busting their asses every day to keep the rest of us safe, and we don’t know most of what they’re doing.
TVLINE | What’s bringing the two shows together for the big crossover?
The idea was looking at, historically, things that happened that shocked people and that have been difficult for us to handle in our country – [such as] domestic terrorism. Rewind the timeline and look at something like Oklahoma City. All of us, in our generation, we were so personally touched by the events in New York [on Sept. 11, 2001]. What does that mean? And why does that happen? We always expect things to happen in war, far away, and then when they happen in your backyard, what does that mean? Our bosses said, “We want to talk about this. And we really want to honor the first responders” because a lot of us now know these people. They said, “When you see the set, it’s going to remind you of Oklahoma City.” I got the chills, head to toe, and thought, “OK, this is a major thing that we’re talking about here.” They did a heart-wrenching and beautiful job with the script. It’s tough, it’s beautiful and it’s really something.
TVLINE | Lindsay is such a strong, stoic character. Does this event shake her up a little bit?
Absolutely. There’s no way [to see] devastation on a level like that and not be thrown off your game a little bit. One of the things that I love about Lindsay is her Spidey sense. She’s got this sixth sense about her because she grew up in such a rough neighborhood and had a rough life. She’s very attuned to small changes in people’s behavior around her, and it informs the way she does her job. But when you’re getting inundated by so much energy and so much trauma and so much anxiety, it can shut down your ability to sense things in the way that you are used to, and Lindsay goes through that in this episode.
TVLINE | Are any of the main characters in danger?
There are some people in danger. I don’t know what details I can give you about it. The writers did not pull any punches on this episode, I can tell you that.
TVLINE | Is there anyone new from Fire that Lindsay gets to interact with this time?
I get to have a pretty nice interaction with Mills, which is exciting because Charlie Barnett is one of my favorite humans. I have a little time with Mills and Cruz. It’s cool. Those guys are our family. To be going through all of this with them and to be doing our jobs even though they’re very different, side by side, it can be an emotional experience because I’ve become so close to everyone on that show.
TVLINE | I was hoping for some Lindsay/Shay scenes. Is that something we might see before the end of the season?
I really hope so — if for no other reason than I just have the world’s biggest crush on Lauren German. Any time I get to spend time with her, I’m stoked.
TVLINE | We have to talk about Severide and Lindsay. What was your reaction when you found out that you were going to have this romantic storyline that spans two shows?
I was excited to do it, because I don’t think it’s been done before. I just thought, “What an interesting idea and concept.” Character-wise, it’s really fitting. You hear from everyone on social media that Lindsay’s the female Severide, which I had joked about with our bosses. When they pitched the idea, I was like, “This is perfect, because he’s never met a woman like her.” They can go toe-to-toe. I think the fans are really responding well to it.
TVLINE | Executive producer Matt Olmstead told me that Lindsay’s going to play a big part in Severide’s life in the finale.
Yeah, he goes through something that’s a big test for him emotionally. He winds up leaning on Lindsay, which I think is pretty indicative of the connection that they share. They’re both very tough and very detached. They have these interactions, and then they bail, and then they come back, and then they bail. There’s no pressure to it. You really get a little view into the way that they care in the finale, and there’s some connecting that happens in the crossover as well.
TVLINE | There were hints of something between Lindsay and Jay at the beginning of Chicago P.D. Is there still potential for them?
We put the kibosh on that. We see them both start exploring other options because the option of one another is not going to fly. But I don’t think that means they care about each other any less.