As passionate about the environment as she is about her adopted hometown of the Windy City, Chicago P.D. star Sophia Bush raises her voice to build a better world.
Pasadena native Sophia Bush first wove herself into America’s pop culture lexicon in the early aughts as Brooke Davis on cult TV drama One Tree Hill, going on to play the ever-popular cheerleader-turned-fashion designer for nearly a decade. Now, Bush is garnering acclaim as Detective Erin Lindsay on NBC breakout hit Chicago P.D., which was recently renewed for a third season. The analytical, no-nonsense character is not unlike Bush, a vocal advocate of causes ranging from the environment to education. In a spirited conversation with friend and Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay, Bush opened up about the changing face of TV storytelling, her favorite Chicago foodie haunts, and how she’s working every day to manifest a brighter future.
Mariska Hargitay: Honey, how are you?
Sophia Bush: I just got home and I feel like I’ve won the lottery.
MH: “Home” home, like LA home?
MH: Good for you!
SB: It’s three degrees in Chicago, and it’s 80 degrees [at] home—
MH: Oh God, insanity. So, sweet Sophia, let’s start at the beginning: Tell me when you first knew that you wanted to become an actor.
SB: It was honestly an accident. My junior high and high school had a series of arts requirements, and I put off my theater requirement until the last semester. I knew it would interfere with all my extracurricular activities. The second semester of my eighth-grade year, they said, “You have to take a theater class,” and I protested because I was on the volleyball team, and they said, “It doesn’t matter. You could have done this last semester, but you waited and now you have to do it.” We did a production of Our Town—
SB: Something just clicked, and I realized that my passion for English and my love of literature could be put into action. It rocked my world and I just thought, I get this.
MH: I have a similar story. I was an athlete. I met somebody and he was like, “You should go on auditions,” and I was like, “Nope, I’ve got a volleyball game; I’ve got a cross-country game.” It wasn’t until I did a play that I went, Hey, wait a minute. I like this. Doing sports as a young girl really teaches us how to strive for something. In so many ways, too, it makes you a better actor.
SB: Absolutely, because you have some understanding of the need to persevere. I get this question all the time about our schedules—people say, “What happens when you’re sick?”
MH: And you say, “Nobody cares.” [Laughs]
SB: If you’re sick, you come to work with a bucket and you deal with it.
MH: Speaking of work, tell me what you think it is about Chicago P.D. that the audiences connect to.
SB: First of all, we’re so lucky to be part of this larger wheelhouse that you’ve influenced and that Dick [Wolf] has been growing for so many years. Television has grown as an industry. When I was a little kid, there were only a handful of channels, and now there’s a thousand to choose from. That has widened avenues that we have for storytelling, because we’re not looking at shows the way we used to. I grew up watching reruns of Dragnet on Nick at Nite. There was a crime and then they solved it, and that was that. Now we’ve been given permission on the show to allow our heroes to be flawed. Are they bending the rules to service the law? Are they breaking the law? Do we root for them? Are we afraid of them? Nobody’s always playing perfect.
MH: What’s your favorite thing about playing Detective Lindsay?
SB: She’s not one of those bleeding hearts that sees the world and wants to fix it. She wants to fix the world because she was taken advantage of as a child, because she was recruited to work in a gang environment, because she was a drug addict, because she’s been at the lowest point and seen what one person who cares about you can do for you, and now she wants to give that to other people.
MH: And what initially drew you to it?
SB: I’d been on location doing [One Tree Hill] for nine years, and then I worked a season on a show in LA and was so excited to be home. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do next, but I always wanted to work for Dick, and I always wanted to work with you. I get this call, and my agent said, “Dick Wolf is doing this show, and they really want to see you for the lead female, and it shoots in Chicago,” and I’m like, “No way. Chicago’s so cold, it’s so far away, I don’t know anybody there…. I’m not going.”
MH: [Laughs] But Dick Wolf has a pretty good record.
SB: I know. And they were like, “But Sophia, it’s literally two of the three criteria for a job you’ve ever wanted. You could just read it.” And I said, “All right.” I was protesting, but not much, because in the back of my head I was so excited.
MH: Of course.
SB: And I read it, and I just got her. I thought she was interesting, and different, and I just thought it was so cool.
Read more of the interview behind the tag!! Don’t miss it!
Here are three episode stills of Sophia in 2×19 The Three G’s!
Television > Chicago PD > Season 2 > Episode Stills > 2×19 The Three G’s
On this Wednesday’s Chicago P.D. (NBC, 10/9c), the arrival of Halstead’s playboy/doctor brother Will (played by Shameless‘ Nick Gehlfuss) makes quite the impression on… Lindsay!
In the following exclusive video, Will tries to suss out which member of Intelligence has captured Jay’s heart: Erin, Nadia — they’re both hot, he notes — or “that desk sergeant from downstairs.” (We like your sense of humor, Will.)
His question is quickly answered when Jay introduces him to his colleague/ex, who is surprised to meet someone from his family.
“Jay, just because I don’t want to lose my job doesn’t mean I don’t care about you,” Lindsay tells him.
“THE THREE GS”
04/08/2015 (10:00PM – 11:00PM) (Wednesday) : THE SEARCH IS ON FOR ONE OF CHICAGO’S MOST WANTED FUGITIVES AFTER SEVERAL DEAD TEENAGE GIRLS ARE FOUND IN A CHINATOWN FACTORY. When the father of one of the dead girls explains that he paid Dennis Lee (guest star Kelvin Han Yee) to have her brought to America, this hits home with Olinsky (Elias Koteas). Lee is one of the Chicago’s most wanted fugitives and escaped Olinsky once before. Intelligence isn’t about to let Lee dupe them again and Olinsky’s past files prove valuable in finding Lee’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, Sean Roman (Brian Geraghty) has an altercation with a fellow officer which lands him in a bit of trouble. At the same time Platt (Amy Morton) helps prepare Nadia (guest star Stella Maeve) to take her polygraph test after passing the CPD written exam. Also starring Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Sophia Bush, Jesse Lee Soffer, Patrick Flueger, Marina Squerciati and LaRoyce Hawkins. Samuel Hunt, Alina Taber and Melissa Carlson guest star.
“GET BACK TO EVEN”
04/01/2015 (10:00PM – 11:00PM) (Wednesday) : VOIGHT HAS SUSPICIOUS TIES WITH A MISSING TEENAGER INVOLVED IN A DRUG ROBBERY GONE WRONG. Intelligence responds to a drug robbery gone wrong and in their investigation it’s revealed that the first person Voight (Jason Beghe) ever gave his card to is linked to a double murder. Voight will fight to keep her family safe. At the same time, we learn the real reason why Halstead’s (Jesse Lee Soffer) brother Will (guest star Nick Gehlfuss) came to Chicago. Meanwhile Desk Sgt. Platt (Amy Morton) takes care of a young girl at district. Also starring Jon Seda, Sophia Bush, Patrick Flueger, Elias Koteas, Marina Squerciati, LaRoyce Hawkins and Brian Geraghty. Stella Maeve and Samuel Hunt guest star.
Television > Chicago PD > Season 2 > Episode Stills > 2×18 Get Back To Even
And here is the Good Housekeeping photoshoot by Thayer Allyson Gowdy! Really beautiful, if you ask me!
Studio Photoshoots > 2015 > Thayer Allyson Gowdy – Good Housekeeping Magazine
To train for her role as Erin Lindsay, a tough-as-nails detective on NBC’s Chicago P.D., actress Sophia Bush, 32, relied on the expertise of local law enforcement (the real-life Chicago SWAT team) to get the details of her character right. Off-camera, she’s a social-media maven with a flair for cooking and a fresh approach to fashion.
I’m much more put together on a day off than when I go in to work. I love how fashion allows you to express your mood, whether you’re wearing a high-waisted leather culotte, a cropped sweater and pumps, or a vintage dress from the 1940s.
Food! My family is mostly Italian, so if I could survive on bread, pasta, and olive oil for the rest of my life, I would. Brunch is my specialty; I’ll make really amazing thick-cut French toast, a giant frittata — and mimosas!
I’m an excellent packer. My friends always ask me to come over and help if they’re going on vacation or a work trip. I have very good spatial perception. I can fit twice as much in a suitcase as anyone else.
Instagram or Twitter?
Both! Instagram makes it easy to find out what people you truly care about are saying. On the flip side, I love that Twitter is always updating — it’s a great way to keep up with current events. [You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.]
Perfect Sunday morning:
Being home in Los Angeles, sleeping in, and then taking my three dogs on a hike or going to a farmers’ market.
This story originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Good Housekeeping.com.
Source: Good Housekeeping Magazine
As promised, here is the photoshoot of Destination Magazine!
Studio Photoshoots > 2015 > Destination Magazine