8:30am PT by Kate Stanhope
'Chicago P.D.' Star Talks Lindsay and Halstead's Big Move and Voight Fallout: "Everybody's on Edge"
Chicago P.D. wrapped its third season on a dark note last May when Erin (Sophia Bush) tearfully drove away from Voight (Jason Beghe) just before a single gunshot went off. Reeling from the murder of his son earlier in the same episode, Voight was hell-bent on getting answers, and possibly revenge, to ease his loss and was left cowering over his son's killer when Erin drove away. But for all his law-bending tactics in the final hour, Voight went out of his way to protect his team, purposefully sending them across town on a bad tip. But will the team be able to protect Voight in the same way? And how will Lindsay's shaken emotional state affect her working and romantic relationship with Halstead?
Series star Jesse Lee Soffer spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about Lindsay and Halstead's "closer" bond in season four, the newest member of the Chicago P.D. and the state of the Intelligence Unit: "Everybody's on edge."
What can you say about where the show picks up after the events of the finale?
Voight, in the last season, he lost his son. And that was hard for all of us, not only to play as actors but we lost Josh [Segarra], a really good actor and a good buddy who came to town every once in awhile, but a good story to have his storyline end in that way. For Voight, he went after the guy on his own. Did Voight kill him? Did he not? We don't know. So the rest of the unit is trying to pick up the pieces and keep their necks above water. Are we going to go down with him for this? Is he going to go down for this? Lindsay's trying to take care of Voight, that's her father figure, and Halstead's trying to make sure that Lindsay doesn’t go down with Voight if that's what ends up happening.
How soon does the premiere pick up after the events of the finale?
A couple of weeks have gone by, no leads yet on this case from the rest of the police force and then stuff starts to fall apart a little bit.
Antonio was approached at the end of last season about possibly taking over for Voight. Is there going to be a shift in the higher ups at Intelligence when the show returns?
I think that’s something that we'll always play with. We don't know because Voight's always going to be on unstable ground and his career… there's a lot of blemishes. So we'll see how that plays out, especially in this scenario, but for right now, I think the focus is on whether or not he's going to go to jail for this.
How does that uncertainty affect the rest of the unit?
Everybody's a little uncomfortable. Everybody's on edge. Everybody's waiting to see what happens. Everyone's treading very cautiously, very lightly and Lindsay's obviously having a really hard time. I would say the first couple episodes are riddled with anxiety.
How does that affect Halstead and Lindsay's relationship?
What's interesting is I think now, because they've gotten closer and the relationship's been going on for awhile, Lindsay is really going to rely on Jay and really lean on him this season more than others especially with what's just happened with Voight. So we'll see them get closer.
There's been talk of them moving in together this season. What is the latest on that?
I don’t know if we're definitely going to see it but Jay is apartment hunting. I think he wants to ask her to move in so they might start to… they might do a Friends episode and it’s a multicam now. (Laughs.)
Halstead and Lindsay were previously on and off. Why have they been able to make it work this time around and make it last? Will that continue?
I think Lindsay and Halstead are going to be a little more solid for a bit. They're going to enjoy being together without Voight breathing down their necks and we're going to settle down a little and see what that looks like. … It's season four, if you're going to give it a go, maybe give it a go, see what living together looks like. It will be fun for the fans.
There was some outcry from fans about the screen time, or lack there of, devoted to Lindsay and Halstead's relationship for part of last season. How does this season compare to last in that regard? Will fans be more satisfied this season?
The fans might be getting a little bit more of what they want.
Halstead and Voight have always had an interesting dynamic. What can you say about that going forward given Voight's actions?
I think that dynamic will always be there. Jay is much more comfortable now. The show has been going on for four years. Jay has been in the unit for four years. So now he's confident in standing up to Voight and going: 'You have your ways, I have my ways. I'm not always going to agree with you, you're not going to agree with me, but hopefully we'll get this done together.' He's very self-assured when it comes to speaking his mind about whether or not he thinks Voight is on the wrong side of the line or not.
Is there one thing you think has changed the most about your character since the beginning or in your approach to the character?
Jay's always been a confident cop. I think he's more confident in the unit like in standing up to Voight, speaking his mind, knowing that he's right in his convictions and how he approaches his job. That's been fun to play in these first couple of episodes so far.
Burgess has a new partner on the show played by Li Jun Li, whom you've worked with before. How has it been welcoming someone new to the team?
Its so cool that she's on the show. Of all the actors it could have been, it's someone that Sophia, myself and Patrick Flueger all worked together with on a pilot, Hatfields and McCoys, for NBC years ago and she's a great addition. She's got a great energy, she's a really good actor and I think her and Burgess will have some fun chemistry together.
Have you had any scenes with her?
Not yet. Soon enough though, I hope.
What can you say about the cases this season?
I think it will be interesting, especially with what's going on as far as policing goes in the media and police policy in the country. We have some opportunities there to tell some interesting stories and to get into body cams and I'm sure that Dick doing ripped from the headlines is going to get into that so it will be really interesting for us.
Looking to the coming season, are there certain things you would like to explore more or storylines you'd like to see?
I've always loved when Jay's backstory comes up, when we talk about his time overseas and stuff like that and how he's dealt with that and whether or not he's fully dealt with it emotionally. When we get to play out those storylines, that's always fun for me as an actor.
Now that you're a few seasons into the show, what kind of talks do you have with the producers about what's coming up for your character for the entire season? How much do they let you in on?
They let us know some ideas of what they might try this, they might try that, they've having some fun thinking about this or that, but you never know. A script might get scrapped last minute and it might be a whole new storyline so you can't really hold onto anything too tightly and its fun too, you're in the middle of an episode and you get the next script and you don’t know what's coming. It's exciting for me to read it as I would imagine a viewer watching that episode for the first time.
Jesse Spencer mentioned that his character appears in an early episode of Chicago P.D. this season. What can you say about his appearance?
I think it's one of his first actual crossovers onto P.D. It's a really simple, easy transition for a fireman to be on an arson case and to be an expert witness so it's cool when that happens and the first day I worked with him there was great. It was really easy, like we'd been working together all along.
What's the latest you've heard about upcoming crossovers?
As far as I know, they're trying to put together a four-way crossover once Justice gets going and who knows? They could be so confident in themselves that they could do a five-way, we'll see, that would be crazy if we did an SVU crossover with everybody else. They've always made it work story-wise in a way that’s organic which baffles me so that would be really impressive and it would be fun.
Chicago Justice star Philip Winchester is set to appear in the Chicago P.D. season premiere. Will we see those characters pop up again anymore before Justice launches midseason?
Justice doesn’t start for a bit but I'm sure that we'll be introducing the rest of them slowly but surely. As we have cases that end up in court, we'll be seeing more and more of the attorneys and prosecutors on our show. … I've said this all day, but I can't wait to work with Carl Weathers. That would be a real treat.
Chicago P.D. returns Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m. on NBC.