Jason Beghe is an American actor with a great personality, with a broad career in film and television. He has participated in iconic films such as Thelma & Louis, starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis; GIJane with Demi Moore and most recently on ‘CSI: NY’, ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘Castle’. Now, he has established himself playing Sergeant Hank Voight, chief of the special intelligence command in the series’Chicago PD‘, which this Monday the 25th premieres its eighth season (10:40 pm) through Universal TV. We spoke with the interpreter through Zoom from his home in Los Angeles, where he is serving confinement due to the pandemic.
What is the hardest thing for you when building a character like Sergeant Hank Voight?
I have to prepare each script and work with several people, including my assistant with whom I have a listening and responding relationship. I love my character even though we have disagreements sometimes. He is a brilliant guy and I think he has made me a better man. I hope to make you a good man too. We have grown together.
In season 8, her character is tasked with changing the way the intelligence unit does its job at the request of the deputy chief. How intense is the sergeant’s struggle going to be between maintaining his strategy to subdue criminals and accepting the new directive?
These are tough times. I think that in the first episode we already have that clear in our heads and the relationship that these two characters are going to have. And the journey continues …
Does this adjustment in the script and the request of the deputy chief to change the police work in the unit have to do with all the questions that were made to the US police for mistreatment and that generated protests such as Black Lives Matter?
Absolutely yes, I’d say it’s a new coat of paint that we add to the palette because of what’s going on. And it is something to which we welcome. Our job is to put our hearts into what people see. And that is important now. And not doing it would be like making a cake without refrigerating it.
It is also announced that the unit will have to deal with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. How does your character face this situation?
We don’t really deal much in the series as characters with things related to Covid, but there are certain things that we do that are different. But taking it as far as all characters wearing masks, we don’t know how people take it. It is a balance. But off-camera, the entire crew, actors and production, we are super vigilant. The pandemic has generated a great change in how we do and work, but it is not something that we make explicit in the series.
And how does Jason Beghe deal with lockdown in the pandemic?
I’ve really tried to get the most out of it. At first I found it very uncomfortable, but I thought: “wonderful!”, Because I am an actor and the feelings that invaded me were a kind of metaphor. Every time people say, “I feel bad,” I feel like … it’s an uncomfortable feeling and it’s my feeling too. But I don’t think I’m just creating feelings of pain and suffering, so I took this confinement as an opportunity to spend more time with myself, to get to know, love and accept, change more things and adjust, so I also took it as a measure to improve. Apparently I’m nicer, prettier than I used to be. (Laughs)
As an actor, how much do you think the pandemic has affected the film, theater and television industry?
Well, theaters are in the red. But when you say the word “damage”, that word has a certain sense of permanence and I hope it is not permanent. The movies are kind of off and the way they are being released is no longer in theaters, but in a different way, but we hope that everything is temporary.
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