‘Chicago PD’: One Star Auditioned for ‘Chicago Fire’ Instead

by Megan Molseed

Sure, the One Chicago franchise exists within the same universe. And crossover episodes are pretty common between the shows Chicago PD, Chicago Med, and Chicago Fire. But, what would the One Chicago be like if one of our favorite Chicago PD actors had landed the role he initially went for on Chicago Fire, instead?

When LaRoyce Hawkins was looking at becoming a member of the One Chicago franchise, there was one character on Fire that initially stood out to the actor. However, fate would soon step in, leading the Harvey, Illinois native to begin his time at the One Chicago on Chicago PD starring as Officer Kevin Atwater.

During a 2015 interview with Chicago Magazine, LaRoyce Hawkins discussed his initial bid for a role on Chicago Fire. According to Hawkins, he was unable to join the cast of Chicago Fire after writers changed the character for which he was trying out. This change switched the race of the character; making Hawkins an ill-fit for the role.

‘Chicago PD’ Uses Real-Life As An Inspiration

However, the tryout wasn’t a pointless effort for the actor. The One Chicago showrunners soon found the perfect spot for Hawkins on Chicago PD. And, it seems, Hawkins became a major inspiration for the further development of his Kevin Atwater character.

“When the writers and producers found out I was from Harvey, they were like, ‘Let’s make Atwater from Harvey,'” LaRoyce Hawkins once told the Chicago Tribune about Atwater’s Chicago PD background. Of course, Hawkins was happy to bring this experience to his character.

“I was like, ‘Aw, that’s dope,'” the Chicago PD star relates.

“Even the small things make a difference to me, like having a Thornton [high school] Wildcat coffee mug on Atwater’s desk because it helps me bring an organic kind of element to the role,” Hawkins continues of the background he provided for Kevin Atwater.

Atwater Faces Some Major Dilemas

This season, Kevin Atwater is facing a major dilemma. This comes as the character is falling for a woman; someone who previously had no idea he was a police officer by trade. LaRoyce Hawkins’s Kevin Atwater kept this information from the love interest. Primarily because he knows that he has a deep distrust for law enforcement officials. This is a tricky situation for Atwater, for sure. However, Hawkins has said that he thinks this will eventually lead to the Chicago PD officer finding a balance between his work life; and his own personal life.

“I think he’s found a balance between being able to give the energy that every case needs in order to solve cases,” LaRoyce Hawkins says of his Chicago PD character in a recent interview with Parade Magazine.

“But also the balance of the energy that it also takes to save lives,” Hawkins continues.

“I think, for Atwater, he’s doing his best to find that quotient,” the actor adds. “Saving lives is a priority for him.”