Chicago PD’s Tracy Spiridakos breaks down differences between Upton’s underwater scenes, plus what viewers likely missed

Spoilers ahead for episode 13 of Chicago PD Season 9, titled “Still Water”.

Chicago PD is officially back after several weeks off for the Olympics, and the show didn’t shy away from delivering a one-episode doozy with the return. Upton’s efforts to settle into a routine after all the struggle in the first half of Season 9 was ruined in “Still Water” when his jog was interrupted by a car crashing into the Chicago River. The result was Hailey making a February jump into very cold water, and it was just one of two dangerous dives before the hour was up. Actress Tracy Spiridakos opened up about the underwater footage and shared something viewers wouldn’t have been able to see from home.

I spoke with Tracy Spiridakos about “Still Water,” which featured stunts like no other that Chicago PD has already delivered, and the show used practical effects to pull it off. Upton going in the water in February was a very bold move given the cold weather, and the actress shared her reaction to the discovery and how she prepared with stunt double Kelli Scarangello:

I read it for the first time, and it was in January that we finally got in, and I was like, ‘We have to go to the river in January. Oh my God.’ And then I realized, ‘Kelli has to go in the river in January’, it’s my stuntman that I love. She is incredible! Yeah, my first response was “Oh my god, Kelli and I are going to freeze” and then I was like, “Oh wait, Kelli is going to freeze”. Oh my God.’ And I went straight to her and told her what was going on.

As a behind-the-scenes look at “Still Water” confirmed, the scene of Upton entering the Chicago River wasn’t just TV magic making a reservoir look like a body of water. Kelli Scarangello really jumped in the river in January, and there was even ice on the river that the DP the team had to use barges to push back. As viewers have now seen, the scene that showed Scarangello jumping into the river was pretty awesome, and Tracy Spiridakos joined her double in a tank to prepare for Upton’s underwater close-ups. The actress continued:

Getting ready was just trying to get comfortable underwater, that was the most important thing. There’s a dive shop here called Underwater Safaris, and they let me go there, and Kelli, and they had one of their instructors walk us through some dive stuff, just comfortable d to be with a tank and to breathe underwater and then to have your mask come on and back on just so you can feel comfortable underwater because a lot of it, especially the tank , we were underwater for two days, just playing under there. So that was the most important thing, it’s just to be comfortable, to open your eyes underwater, to be comfortable not to inhale, you know, breathe through the nose. I had a mask with which I practiced walking so that it remained sucked on my face so as not to breathe through my nose, because I took in a lot of water at the beginning. [laughs] So that was part of the process.

Understanding diving and wearing a mask not only to film underwater, but also to play underwater, was a daunting task. Upton went through an emotional journey underwater while deciding to save the man (who turned out to be one of the worst types of criminals to appear on the show) and had to leave the woman to drown when the help was not coming fast enough. Where is chicago fireIs Squad 3 on time when you need it?

Upton was back in the water at the end of the episode, when she jumped into a pool to save the villain’s life. Although saving him when she could have let him drown was a sign that she had truly moved away from the Voight-inspired darkness of the end of season 8 and even the beginning of season 9, it meant that she had to jump fully clothed into the water. start all over again, with a winter coat.

When I asked Tracy Spiridakos how to film in the reservoir for the river sequence versus filming in the pool, she explained the process as well as what viewers undoubtedly missed:

They were super different. I think the pool part happened first and that was that we were just figuring out the technical part. I had a wetsuit because this pool was a little colder than the other pools. Forget the river because that’s a whole other category. But I had a wetsuit and then a winter coat, which – everyone was so wonderful. I just mean, with the crew there. Everyone went out of their way to help in any way they could. So even with my winter jacket, one of the costumers removed – seam by seam – the padding of the jacket so that I didn’t have too much weight when I was underwater, which I find very incredible and kind.

While it certainly looked like Upton had jumped into the pool in her normal Chicago winter gear — although she probably ran out of winter coats after this episode, unless they dried well — viewers could not see that the costume team had removed padding to facilitate filming. for Tracy Spiridakos. It was easy to miss watching the intense scene, but certainly kind of the customers! That didn’t mean the whole pool sequence was easy to pull off, though, as it continued:

But I’m still trying to figure it out – the suit makes you float and the clothes make you sink. And then you have to get to the bottom, so get the weights. We have weights just to reach the bottom of the pool. And so there were just a few technical things that I think with the pool part were challenges, and it was a daylight-dependent scene. So we were losing the light, which is also a fun challenge. Whereas the tank was a bit more isolated. And we could just play there. We knew what we were doing. We were overwhelmed the whole time and had two days to get all the gear so it was a bit more relaxed.

Who would have guessed that filming the harrowing sequence of the river rescue in the reservoir would be more relaxed than the faster-paced scene of Upton and the villain in the pool? Luckily, Upton only had one person who needed rescuing the second time around, and Halstead – who might be inclined to try stuffing his clothes with flotation devices if his wife keeps jumping fully clothed into jumpers. bodies of water – arrived in time to help him. get the man out. All things considered, it was an action-packed episode, and Tracy Spiridakos wondered if she wanted to do it again:

I had so much fun. I had such an amazing experience on this script, I would absolutely love to do it again. The tank was two days of being in the water. And at the end of the second day, I was like, ‘What else can we do? What else?’ I mean, I was exhausted. We all were, but I didn’t want it to end. We were having such a good time. So I would 100% do it again.

It could be bad news for Upton and the Intelligence Unit if cases involving daring underwater rescues continue to occur, but Tracy Spiridakos is in! Even though there were no crossover appearances of chicago fire‘s Severide or other members of Squad 3 who are usually the heroes of One Chicago doing the water rescues, it would be fun if Spiridakos could one day put his underwater experience to good use again with the Fire crew.

For now, fans can look forward to new episodes of Chicago PD Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, after chicago fire at 9 p.m. and Chicago Mediterranean at 8 p.m. Be sure to check with CinemaBlend for more on Tracy Spiridakos, and check out our 2022 TV Schedule for more viewing options.

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