Sophia Bush played privileged and rebellious high-school cheerleading captain-turned fashion designer Brooke Davis on One Tree Hill for almost a decade. But while it may take time for some fans to wrap their heads around her new role as a street-smart cop, her Chicago P.D. alter ego isn’t all that much of a stretch.
“I have a concealed weapons permit in 32 states and sleep with a loaded gun under my bed,” she told reporters earlier this month. “This feels much more close to sort of my soul than anything else ever has before.”
Buh-bye Brooke Davis, indeed. On Chicago P.D. (Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC), Bush is hundreds of miles away from her old Tree Hill stomping grounds both literally and figuratively as Det. Erin Lindsay, a former confidential informant for Sgt. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) from the wrong side of the law who has since risen quickly in the ranks up to the Intelligence Unit. “That’s where all her street smarts come in,” Bush said of her character’s sketchy past. “It does inform a lot of her work though because the thing that I’ve learned from spending so much time with these undercover officers is that your intuition has to be so on point to be good at your job. … Lindsay comes from the street so she already knows how all these people work.”
It’s that same intuition that led Bush to the project after her long run on One Tree Hill and, more recently, the short-lived sitcom Partners. “I felt it in my bones,” she said. “I got four pages [of the script] and I was like, ‘I know who this person is. I didn’t have to think about it. I just knew she who she was.’ I thought if I can be so deeply connected to something in four pages, I have to read this script, I have to do this show.”
That connection has already come in handy for Bush, especially it comes to figuring out Lindsay’s mysterious life before her turn as a C.I. “[The writers] had told me a few things, and then I sort of came to them a few weeks later and was like, ‘Listen, in my brain these are all the things that have happened to her and this is the experience that has sort of shaped her. I just want to know if I’m making sh– up that is so out of left field,” Bush recalled. She wasn’t. “[Series writer Tim Walsh] was like, ‘Literally, 90 percent of what you have said to me is sh– we have written for you. This is not normal.'”
More of Lindsay’s history will be uncovered as time goes on. “It won’t happen quickly,” Bush said. “It will happen in layers, and there’s some great stuff with Lindsay and Halstead in Episode 6. She gives him the most backstory that she’s given to anyone and it still just kind of scratches the surface. It just talks about her life from when she met Voight. She still doesn’t give him anything about who she was or where she was before that.”