‘Chicago PD’ Star Marina Squerciati Nearly Missed Her Chance at Auditioning

by Samantha Whidden

While she has been on Chicago PD since the hit series first premiered in 2014, Marina Squerciati recently revealed that a health crisis almost kept her from auditioning for her famous role. 

During a recent appearance with Sean Hayes and Dr. Priyanka Wali on the HypochondriActor podcast, the Chicago PD star recalled how she was preparing for the role when she came incredibly sick with a high fever. The then Northwestern student actually ended up with pneumonia in both lungs and was thought to actually have meningitis. The doctors wanted to rule out meningitis and the process didn’t do as planned.

“Basically, I had an intern doing the biggest misnomer in the medical community,” the Chicago PD castmate explained. “Which is ‘spinal tap.’ It’s a battering ram in your spin. Let me tell you, he went in there trying to extra that fluid three or four times. It was a nightmare…”

The Chicago PD actress then shared that at one point, doctors ended up asking the intern if they needed the medical professionals to step in. “I felt bad for this guy,” she admitted. “I don’t know what the policies are in the medical community, but I didn’t want him to get fired. So I was like, ‘It’s fine. Just let him finish the job.’ I’m a guilt sponge, so that really preyed on those guilt sponge sensibilities.”

However, one of the doctors told her all the things that could wrong if the procedure is done incorrectly. “They’re really bad,” the Chicago PD actress explained. “You can be paralyzed, you [can] get an infection in your spin, and you can get a headache. And I remember joking, saying, ‘I’ll take the headache!’ Famous last words. Because I actually, at that point, really never had a headache.” 

Marina Squerciati Endures Grueling Battle With Pneumonia Before ‘Chicago PD’ Audition 

Meanwhile, Marina Squerciati stated that while she was preparing to leave the hospital after her pneumonia battle, she ended up passing out from the pain. She was determined to get to that Chicago PD audition though. 

“They pick the top four female and four male actors to take them to New York, audition for agents, and basically sort of set you up on this platform,” she explained. “And [the audition was that day that I was released from the hospital. My mom had flown in because they were so scared about my condition, and I was like, I cannot miss [this]. I cannot. So my mom got this hospital tray and we went.” 

While she continued to be determined, Squerciati said there was one issue that was constantly stacking up on her. Her recovery. “I couldn’t get my head up. I didn’t truly pass out from the pain, but it was almost unbearable. So we got this tray and she put my head on this tray, and we went. She’s holding my head on a tray. And may I just say that we couldn’t… walk because of the bouncing. So my mom and I were like sashaying. I was not going to miss this audition.”