One Chicago Day 2016: An intense Jason Beghe on CHICAGO PD

Jason Beghe joined us for a Q&A session as a part of NBC’s celebration for OneChicagoDay2016 and spent some time talking all things Voight.  Does he have someone to lean on now that Jason is gone?  How does he reconcile the fact that Voight is a murderer, telling others not to cross the line like him?  Is he as intense as Voight?  A really great chat with him, the full video for which I’ve included above! 

Here are some highlights from our long chat:

On the longevity of the show and this character: “I didn’t really think about it. I remember we did the pilot, Jon was nervous it was going to get picked up. I never was. I knew that I wasn’t done. I was still creating this. I just assumed that I was going to be able to continue. I had things to do with this guy.  And that’s how I looked at it. Whether that was true or insanity, it proved to be correct.  I’ve got a lot to learn from Voight and he from [me].  I’m still chasing him.”

On Voight’s role in the death of Jason’s killer: “Here’s the thing to understand about Voight – what I hope people can take away from the show. We all contradict ourselves, and we all disappoint ourselves, and we all violate our own integrity, our own moral code. What’s interesting about this show to me, and what it’s about – Voight started as this ‘bad guy’ on CHICAGO FIRE. I never looked at him as a bad guy.  I don’t believe in bad guys. I don’t believe in good guys. I believe in guys.  And that’s what’s interesting.  People are people.  And so I would submit to you if you don’t like that that it might say something about you, not him!”

On the family aspect: “Look at what kind of father Voight is.  There is no doubt he loves, but how is it expressed?  I don’t think a father can help but love a child.  I’m so kind of PollyAnna about things.  I think all we do is love, and it just gets aberrated because of the stories, and maybe somebody is expressing it as a serial killer, but he’s just trying to say here I am.  That’s all we’re doing. It comes out in this way that it’s just unacceptable, but it’s just him.  Maybe we understand it, maybe we don’t. That’s just what I choose to believe.”

On losing Jon Seda to CHICAGO JUSTICE: “For Jason, it’s an enormous loss.  Jon Seda, and this is not PR, and I’ve said this before, I would rather do a scene with Jon Seda than any actor I’ve worked with or hoped to work with.  He’s not only a great actor, but he’s just a true gentleman.  A lot of people will behave like a gentleman.  This guy is a gentleman. He’s just a beautiful person and a fantastic actor, to work with.  But I think it’s great for Jon.  I think it’s good for JUSTICE.  What’s good for JUSTICE is good for all of the shows.  It’s a loss for us, but we’re going to have to cope….there’s not a lot I wouldn’t do just for the opportunity to have a scene with him.”

On an SVU crossover this season: “I have not heard anything official, but it’s a lot of fun for both of us, for Jason and Mariska, too.”

On making it through the season and knowing his character: “It’s a marathon.  Sometimes you have to speed up and then it takes an episode or two to catch your breath. Usually, towards the end of the season, there are times. I consider myself professional. I know my lines. I’m prepared.  There are times at the end where even though I know my lines, I can’t remember them. I always trust that here’s going to be enough emotional juice to affect some kind of impression in the scene.  There have been moments in the last episode of a 23, 24 episode season where it’s like, I got nothing, because even that’s enough because I’ll play that. That happens to all of us….They [the writers] started to create it and luckily they respect me enough that I helped them when we were in the embryonic stages of creating it, and now the writers try to write for me.  It’s a dialogue; it’s not a monologue.  It’s not a dictatorship either way.”

On his real life intensity: “I really try to listen. I try to be present. I’m passionate.  I guess so!  I wouldn’t hurt a fly.  I think I’ve been in one fight my whole live. I’m not violent.”

On whether Voight can lean on anyone: “There’s varying degrees, and different kind of hats that people wear in his life. Olinsky, Lindsay, Antonio, Atwater, Platt, they all have a certain role in his life, but I think that his real most intimate relationship, and this is a little sad, is with the people of Chicago. I would suspect, if we’re going to get psychological, that degree of intimacy with an individual is not that comfortable with.”