Chicago PD’s Marina Squerciati talks Burgess’s shocking episode

CHICAGO P.D. -- "I Was Here" Episode 713 -- Pictured: Marina Squerciati as Officer Kim Burgess -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "I Was Here" Episode 713 -- Pictured: Marina Squerciati as Officer Kim Burgess -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC) /

Chicago PD star Marina Squerciati speaks about Kim Burgess’s big news in tonight’s Chicago PD episode, and what comes next. SPOILER ALERT!

Tonight’s Chicago PD may have been Kim Burgess’s biggest episode ever—so what does Marina Squerciati have to say about it?

SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains spoilers for the entirety of tonight’s Chicago PD season 7 episode, “I Was Here.” Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen the whole episode.

In “I Was Here,” Burgess thought she’d be having a relatively mundane day as a 911 dispatcher. It turned out to be a day that changed her life, as she chased down a human trafficker and wound up suffering a terrible loss.

We spoke to Marina Squerciati this week to discuss playing Burgess outside of Intelligence, how she felt about that last scene, and what it means for Burzek’s future.

More from One Chicago Center

One Chicago Center: How challenging was it for you to portray Burgess in the first half of this episode, not being as actively involved in the investigation?

Marina Squerciati: The only way to sort of make the turn work, was that if she had totally accepted her position [in 911 dispatch]. If she was clawing to get back into intelligence, then it would look like she was itching to get in trouble.

And I felt like while she definitely missed being in the action, as a pregnant lady when you’re put on maternity leave—even in my show I was—you know you’re doing the best thing possible for your kid. I felt like [Burgess was saying] okay, I’ve accepted it. It’s not exactly what I want to do, but I accept it. So that she kind of is forced to make a decision, instead of itching to make the decision.

OCC: The episode goes from zero to 60 in that sense because it culminates in the bloodiest fight scene you’ve ever done on Chicago PD. How difficult was that to film?

MS: It was brutal. Painful. It was beautifully choreographed. We actually rehearsed it, which we never really do. I came in on a Saturday and we rehearsed it. They had built the set; the exterior was an actual motel, the interior was on stage.

We rehearsed it for several hours on Saturday and then they actually changed the position and the size of the sink, which in this kind of crazy dangerous dance means a lot, so on the day of we went a little slower in the beginning until we could figure out how to do it safely. And then we went at it.

During most of the whole fight scene, there was a stunt double in the tub holding her breath because we couldn’t have the actress do that. And then when we went to the part when I crawl up to her, we did a Texas switch, it’s called, and put the young girl in the tub.

Watch One Chicago on fuboTV: Watch over 67 live sports and entertainment channels with a 7-day FREE trial!

OCC: You’ve been front and center in two powerful episodes about violence against women, in this and “Last Minute Resistance.” What does it mean to you that Chicago PD is not only telling these stories, but you’re leading them?

MS: It feels lovely. I really get honored and excited when I get a wonderful episode to lead. I feel like they trust me and they are showing [that]. And also, our writers are so wonderful that it’s just a joy to say their words.

It’s really fun to be able to be in a show that puts everyone at the forefront at some point. Even our new character Rojas has gotten several episodes to herself. What a great place to work in, where you can be in the forefront and in the background in the same season.

OCC: Those two episodes are similar thematically in that Burgess goes above and beyond and truly makes it personal, even though in this case she’s helping a stranger.

MS: It shows a side of Kim that makes her different than the other characters. While she’s been hardened by being in intelligence, she still has this incredibly soft side that is sort of unable to have young women be in danger. And it’s her Achilles heel.

It gets her into danger. It’s what ultimately causes a miscarriage. It’s what ultimately almost gets her killed in “Last Minute Resistance.” veryone on this show has a sort of chink in their armor and that happens to be mine.

OCC: What was your reaction to that final scene when we find out about Burgess’s miscarriage? Not only from an acting standpoint, but you’re also a mother as well.

MS: What was interesting [was that] someone asked me after the scene. They were like, you don’t want to cry? I’m like, no. It never occurred to me to cry. I just felt numb. I am a new mother, and I went to that horrible place. I just felt numb.

I thought it was a really interesting way to play it because I feel like we’ve seen the scene where Burgess cries in Ruzek’s arms. This was really more an internal battle of her emotions and less to do with Ruzek. Which I think ultimately will be upsetting for Ruzek, that he kind of gets blocked out of so much of Burgess’s pain about this.

OCC: Where does Kim Burgess go in the rest of Chicago PD season 7?

MS: I would say that she doubles down on work and sort of take her emotions out of it, in a way we haven’t seen. She’s just very focused. In order to sort of deal with this immense pain, she’s shutting off her emotions, just focusing on the work and not letting anything get to her.

Everyone asks me about this Ruzek trajectory and I don’t know where it’s going. It’s going to be very rocky. But I do hope that ultimately they end up together.

Next. Kim Burgess's best Chicago PD moments. dark

For the latest Chicago PD season 7 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago PD category at One Chicago Center.