‘Chicago PD’: Jason Beghe Speaks on How He’s Changed His Views on Police Officers After Playing One on TV

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)

Jason Beghe has been playing Seargnt Hank Voight on Chicago PD since the series premiere in 2014. And after seven years of researching and living the onscreen life of a police officer, he has a new perspective on the profession.

Beghe’s character is a tough, hardened officer who, typically, has a harsh approach to the job. And being in character for so long has made him look at the criminal justice profession in an entirely different way. Before living a fictional life as a police officer in one of the roughest precincts in the nation, he had failed to look past the uniform. Beghe never considered those police officers had a life on the other side of the badge.

With the upcoming One Chicago crossover event on the very near horizon—next Wednesday, September 22nd—Beghe sat down with The Pitsburg Post Gazette to talk about Chicago PD. And Patricia Sheridan asked him if walking the onscreen beat has given him any insight on law enforcers.

“Many,” he answered. “The most overriding thing would be that I probably used to think of cops as cops. I now am fully and consciously aware that they are each human beings, with full, unique lives and that law enforcement is the job they do. So now whenever I see a cop, I see a person who is a cop, not just a cop.”

Jason Beghe Reveals What Would Make Him Quit Playing Seargent Voight on Chicago PD

Not only does Jason Beghe play the part of a Chicago detective well, he also enjoys doing it. And if he didn’t, he’d walk away from the series.

Voight is going into his ninth season with NBC’s One Chicago franchise. His time on the series has given him a different take on law enforcement professions, and he likes playing the rough officer who straddles the line of good cop bad cop. But if there ever comes a day where he finds the gig tiresome, he’ll hand over his badge.

In an interview, NBC asked Beghe if he ever loses interest on Chicago PD. Or, does he find ways to keep his character fresh.

Yeah, I’ve never gotten bored,” he said. “If I did, I probably would either quit or get fired. Just like my [character]. I hope I don’t get bored, [as] Jason, either.” Beghe told NBC that Voight is an interesting and complex person, so that alone keeps the job fresh.

“That character, he’s growing and changing all the time. It’s not like you get the character, just like it’s not like you’ve gotten yourself, and you’re done. You know, it’s a work in progress and same with him. And I think in my relationship with Voight is like a relationship. I learned from him; he learned from me. Then, you play the scene and see what happens. It’s exciting. It’s exciting.”