We Love TV!
This is just an unofficial fan page, we have no connection
to any shows or networks.
Please click here to vote for our site!
Interview with Jennifer Beals of "The Chicago Code"
on FOX Mondays 9/8c.
FBC PUBLICITY: Chicago Code Call with Jennifer Beals
February 3, 2011/10:00 a.m. PST
Josh Governale – FBC Publicity
Jennifer Beals – Teresa Colvin, The Chicago Code
Moderator Welcome to The Chicago Code call with Jennifer Beals. At this
time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct
the question and answer session. In the interest of time, we do ask that
you limit yourself to one question. As a reminder, today’s conference
call is being recorded, and will be available for replay.
I would now like to turn our conference over to Mr. Josh Governale.
J. Governale Good morning and afternoon, everyone. Thank you very much
for participating in The Chicago Code conference call with series star,
Jennifer Beals, who joins us from a very snowy Chicago. As a reminder,
The Chicago Code premiers the night after the Super Bowl, Monday,
February 7th, at 9/8 Central on Fox.
Without further delay, let’s proceed and please welcome Jennifer Beals.
J. Beals Hello there. My apologies, I was stuck in the—I wasn’t stuck in
the snow; there was a lady in front of me stuck in the snow, who left
her car there. When she came back to it, I asked her if I could help her
or if there was anything she was in need of, and she said she was
waiting for a man to come help her push her out of the snow. I said,
“Sweetheart, if you are waiting for a man to help you, you might be
waiting for a long time. Let’s see if we can figure this out.” So
finally, we got her out of the snow, and here I am, so my apologies.
Moderator That will come from Danielle Turchiano with the L.A. Examiner.
D. Turchiano We’ve seen so far a really great dichotomy in Teresa’s
strengths but also her vulnerability at times, and so far, it’s always
been on the job. So I’m wondering, this season, do we ever get to see
her out of her uniform so to speak, like in her personal life?
J. Beals There is an episode where it deals with her family, and so you
do see her personal life in that episode. You do get little glimpses of
it every now and again, but really, this is a person who has dedicated
everything to their job for better or for worse. Towards the end of the
season, you start to see the toll that that takes on her personally.
D. Turchiano Is that something that you enjoy as an actor, like tapping
into the challenge of bringing it all into the office so to speak?
J. Beals Yes. At times, it gets grueling. There are times I just wish
they had a scene with me drunk and at a bar—that would be great—or
karaoke or something. It gets grueling, and it made me realize that for
her it’s got to be grueling.
D. Turchiano A really quick follow-up, how about any stunts. Do you get
to do any stunt work this season?
J. Beals Mostly just smashing people in the face with my elbow, but no
kicking in doors. I’m not on the street that often.
Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Amy Amatangelo with The Boston
A. Amatangelo I wanted to ask you what was it about this part that made
you want to return to series television.
J. Beals I found it so interesting to play somebody who was walking into
uncharted territory, in a way. She’s really creating the template for
this job, being the first female superintendent. I just thought it would
be very interesting to take that walk into what kind of a leader does
she become in that position, and how do you balance your personal life
with the demands of that kind of job.
I thought the relationship to Jarek was also interesting. It’s a very
interesting line that we walk between intimacy and respect and being
able to tell the truth to one another and goading one another and making
each other laugh. I just thought that could potentially be interesting.
Of course, for me, working with Shawn Ryan was a real lure because I
really admire his writing and I admire the way that he works with his
team of writers as well.
A. Amatangelo Could you just talk a little bit about what you think The
L Word did for your career? Did it change the way that you thought about
TV or different roles that became available to you? What do you think it
J. Beals Well, it’s interesting. Thank you for asking that question. It
certainly prepared me for this role. Playing Bette Porter, somebody who
was so driven and single minded sometimes and very strong and righteous
at times, certainly helped prepare me for this role. Definitely, Teresa
is much more physically confident than Bette is, and, as far as I can
tell so far, is deeply heterosexual.
But being part of The L Word made me realize how much more television
can be that what I had experienced in my lifetime in terms of being able
to be of service to people. I had so many fans come up to me who were
really deeply appreciative of the show and what it had meant for them
and their own sense of identity and their own sense of inclusion in our
society and in our culture.
Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Curt Wagner with
C. Wagner I was wondering how important it was for you that this was set
in Chicago, and if that sort of helped you in your decision to do it,
and how’s it been being able to be the guide for your costars while you—
J. Beals I said to my manager when pilot season came up last year, I
said, “You basically have two cities; you have Vancouver and Chicago,”
because those are the places that I can imagine spending long periods of
time with my family. So when this series came up, I was very excited. I
was very excited because of Shawn and the part and because I got to go
back to my hometown, because I love the city. I think it’s so beautiful,
and the people are so great.
I don’t know how much I introduced people to the— What I did do is when
everybody first arrived, as far as the cast goes, I gave them all a copy
of the “Chicago” poem, the Sandburg poem, because I really do think that
poem “Chicago” paints a pretty accurate portrait of the city. There’s so
many things that we’ve added now in terms of the beauty of the
skyscrapers and downtown, but there’s this aspect to the city that
really is like a brazen fighter. You know? Unafraid.
C. Wagner Did you find yourself helping Shawn out, or the writers, with
any of the Chicago specific things?
J. Beals A couple things where I pointed out that certain words, the
ones that they were referring to, were not accurate. There were just
small things in the script, but people had really done their homework in
terms of the writing. I did tell Delroy at one point that a Chicago jury
is perhaps different from a New York jury. So there were certain things
that were very different, but, frankly, because they all go out more
than I do, they were telling me about restaurants and places to go.
Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Jenny Egan with TV
and Satellite Week.
J. Egan Can you tell me a bit about the kind of research you were able
to do into the police in Chicago and how they work?
J. Beals We were able to do ride-alongs with a homicide detective. So you
could go all out all night in a car in a Kevlar vest. You sign a piece
of paper, and you’re able to see all kinds of things. You get to see
what they deal with day in and day out, how to set up a crime scene. We
got to go to the shooting range. I was able to talk to some people who
had more administrative positions to try to understand what that part of
my job would be like. There are lots of things on the Internet. The
Superintendent of Chicago has a blog that he has for everybody; that’s
accessible to everybody. I started boxing … to get more into the
physicality of it, the sort of aggressive kind of yang thing that can go
J. Egan Should we be scared of you now that you can shoot guns and box?
J. Beals I don’t know. I don’t know if anybody should be scared of me.
J. Egan What did you see when you did your nights riding along?
J. Beals Well I saw lots of things. On the more comic side was a woman
who refused to put her shirt on in a fried chicken restaurant. She just
kept taking her shirt off. She clearly had not been taking her meds, and
she thought I was Obama’s sister and that I should somehow save her.
On the more tragic side was … being the first to respond to a man who
had been shot, who was about to bleed to unconsciousness on somebody’s
front stoop, and watching how— The ambulances weren’t the first to
arrive. It was really the fire department. I mean, the police were the
first to arrive, but the ambulances didn’t get there for, gosh, I don’t
know, like 20 minutes or something. Had this person been relying simply
on the ambulances, they probably would’ve died, but the fire department
came and helped him medically.
At that time, I was able to see how the police department sets up a
crime scene, being able to follow the trail of blood to figure out where
he would’ve been shot, where the shooter would’ve been, and looking for
the evidence of shell casings, which I helped the detectives find.
J. Egan That must have been quite shocking.
J. Beals Well, no—I mean, it’s funny, the first ride along was much more
shocking. Then as time goes by and you spend time playing the part and
you spend more time getting information, it’s not so shocking. I grew up
on the south side of Chicago. It was not the first time that I’ve seen
bullet holes in cars. It’s not the first time that I’ve seen shell
casings, and it’s, frankly, not the first time I’ve seen anybody shot.
What was shocking really was that there was a group gathered around this
man before he got taken away in the ambulance who were all very upset
that he had been shot. It was really clear that there were people there
who knew who shot him and that it was a gang related incident, but that
nobody would come forward with any information. That was shocking.
What’s shocking is to see six-year-old children jump roping in the
street at 2:00 a.m.—that’s shocking—a block away from drug dealers. Just
to see that the gap in the circle is education, in my mind, primarily
for young women, because it’s the young women that are raising the kids
and that’s where the circle, I think, perpetuates itself. To me, that’s
more shocking than seeing somebody shot.
Moderator We will go to the line of Rick Seeton with TheDeadbolt.com.
R. Seeton Since Teresa’s such a strong character, in what ways does she
test your own strength in new ways?
J. Beals The notion again—I think somebody asked the question earlier of
having to devote everything to this job, having to live that within the
part. I think testing my own strength of having to suppress what are
stereotypically more feminine kinds of values, or female values, like
nurturing and inclusion and all these things. Because I think really
early on in her leadership, as much as she’d like to be inclusive, as
much as she’d like to share information, she doesn’t, because it would
be perceived as weak and could perhaps put her in a position of
weakness, because that is not the nature of the system that she is now a
part of. That was trying sometimes to maintain some kind of balance
between more masculine values and feminine values. That was really
Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Jim Halterman with
J. Halterman Can you talk about specifically the role of a woman in the
role that your character’s playing? Did you talk to other women who were
in roles of power in Chicago or just in the police force in general?
J. Beals I did talk to other women. Obviously, it’s a very interesting
position to be a woman who’s in charge of a department or several
bureaus who are primarily men and even to ascend to the point where
she’s even been nominated for the position because certainly she doesn’t
get—I don’t think anybody intended for her to initially have this
position. There were two other men, older men, who had the position
before her and through their own misfortune, she ended up actually
becoming superintendent. I really believe that she was probably the
token candidate and then is believed to be potentially a puppet for some
of the aldermen. They are surprised by the fact that she’s not a puppet,
or not the kind of puppet that they would want certainly.
Having said that, her ascension, I think, comes through expertise. She’s
been in I think lots of different of departments within the Chicago
Police Department. She’s started out as an officer, as a beat cop, was
in tactical, was in homicide. She knows a lot of different departments,
which is a feasible idea. So I think that she does have a great deal of
respect among her fellow officers, but you would be naïve to think that
to be able to ascend to that kind of level isn’t without a cost. She’s
got to be a bit of a bad … to run that gamete, and I think it’s cost her
her personal life. Everything is about this job, and I think it’s—if
we’re fortunate enough to be picked up, you’ll see even more how
problematic that is.
Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Daedrian McNaughton with Premier
D. McNaughton Superintendent of the police is a very important position
for a woman. Do you feel you were up to the challenges of the role and
were there any reservations when you first received the script?
J. Beals If I didn’t feel I was up to the challenges of the role, I
certainly wouldn’t have taken it because I wouldn’t want to disappoint
myself or anybody else. I knew that I had a great writing team, and I
knew that with John Folino, Detective Folino, as our technical advisor
that I would have a lot of help in terms of preparing for the role.
So even though in the beginning of shooting I was really sometimes at a
loss of what to do— Because to try to comprehend the role is pretty
extraordinary. There is so much that the superintendent does, and to be
the first female superintendent is a lot to take on your plate. So there
were so many things that I had questions about that nobody could answer
for me, because there had never been a female superintendent in Chicago.
So I, like Teresa, was kind of making things up as I went along trying
to find my way.
That’s the first part of the question. What was the second part of the
D. McNaughton I wanted to know if you had any reservations when—
J. Beals Oh, gosh, no. No reservations at all. I just thought it was a
great part, and I think Shawn is an amazing writer and leader. So I had
about it at all.
Moderator Next we’ll go to the line of Emma Ford with Sky Magazine.
E. Ford What I wanted to ask, because this is brand new for U.K.
audiences, is what is special about The Chicago Code? Why should we
watch this as a new cop show?
J. Beals At least in North America, and I’m sure it’s true in the U.K.
as well, that people get a sense that something is really wrong in
government and in our culture. There is a corruption not only in
politics, but there is a corruption of spirit as well, I think, when
people are so quick to be violent with one another.
I think everybody would like to be able to find a solution to make
things better, and I think we have, all of us, inside of us, this desire
to reform, and I think we get frustrated because we don’t know how to
change things, even if it comes to our own behavior. Sometimes you get
frustrated because you don’t know how to stop that thing that you know
is either hurtful to yourself or hurtful to someone else.
Here you have a cop show that is not just about the action that is on
the street. It certainly has that element, and it’s got a lot of cop
drama kind of stuff that’s going out on the street, but you also have
this whole other element where a female police superintendent is taking
on corruption not only on the street, but in the halls of power and
within her own department. So the paradigm of power is kind of turned on
its head a bit by having a female superintendent. So there you’ve
already started to change the order of things as we experience it in our
day-to-day life, but you’re able to watch as this person is trying to
make things right, at great cost to herself, but she’s trying to make
So you get to go into those halls of power where people are making those
backroom deals that you know, as an audience, are happening. They’re
happening everywhere. No matter what city you live in, those deals are
happening, and you know that there’s corruption in politics, and you
know that there’s corruption within anybody’s police force. You know
that there’s personal corruption, private corruption that’s sometimes
illustrated in relationships with people.
The show works on lots of different levels. It works on personal
relationships. It works on action and more drama on the street, and then
it works on the corruption that goes on within politics. So you have
lots of different levels, so you can experience the show on lots of
E. Ford Would you say that it’s got everything then? It’s got the
politics. It’s got the action. It’s got kind of the gritty street as
well as what happens behind the scenes and kind of the powerful—
J. Beals Yes, but it also—really importantly, it has relationships. To
be in the police department, regardless of really what your job is in
the police department, is very difficult, and to be someone who’s out on
the street, to be a homicide detective, is very difficult. I cannot
stress the kinds of things that you would see and experience day in and
day out, and how wearing that is to the soul, how difficult that is. To
witness then, on top of everything, the corruption that goes on in City
Hall day in and day out that contributes to the suffering of your fellow
officers and contributes to the suffering of the people of the city is
So you have to ask yourself, why does somebody stay in a job? What do
they have going on personally that makes them stay in a job? The show
addresses those questions. It addresses that personal angle of why is
somebody still doing that? My gosh, that’s so hard, that’s so painful.
Why is that person still in that job and what does that mean to them to
have witnessed this thing during that day? It’s not as if the show
portrays every police officer as just being this kind of soldier who’s
so tough, who can see shootings all day long and they’re impervious to
it. No, it takes a toll. It takes a personal toll. So there’s a personal
element to the show that I think is important to underline as well.
I swear, if I could say that in one sentence, I would really be happy.
Sorry about that.
Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Kristyn Clarke with
K. Clarke I read that Chicago Code will bring in various directors over
the course of the season. What is that like for you as an actress? Does
it kind of bring a fresh taste to the series each time a new pair of
eyes are on it?
J. Beals Yes. It’s fun. We had lots of great directors on The L Word as
well. It’s fun. You get to experience your character sometimes in a new
way. You get a fresh pair of eyes on the city and on the relationships
within the show. So it’s a lot of fun.
Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Lisa Steinberg with Starry
L. Steinberg I was wondering what it was like getting to work with the
cast. Did you find that the chemistry between you all gelled instantly
or did you all take a bit of time to fit together?
J. Beals I think it was pretty quick. Everybody has a pretty good sense
of humor. So everybody gelled pretty quickly. In the beginning of the
pilot, Jason and I got along really well, and we talked about work all
the time. It was great. We had a great relationship, but we didn’t
really spend time outside of work together or anything. Then I had to
take a flight from L.A. to New York and it just so happened that he was
sitting next to me for the duration of the flight, and it was really
like the first time that we sat and talked personally. It was great. We
get along well.
People are very silly on set quite often. I think not unlike the Chicago
Police Department where there’s a certain gala of humor to get through
the day. I think that’s also true of many sets. I think a lot of
directors were surprised at how it seemed more like maybe a comedic
musical on set than a drama. But, yes, everybody got along well
instantly pretty much.
Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Brittany Frederick with Digital
B. Frederick One of the things that struck me about this show is,
obviously with Shawn Ryan’s name behind it and with the history of The
Shield, this show is obviously going to get to compared to The Shield.
It’s in the ad campaign, and I was wondering with such high
expectations, what’s that like for you guys that you’re kind of being
promoted in the shadow of that previous series?
J. Beals I really—for me anyway, I can speak for myself—I really
separate myself from the advertising department other than doing
interviews. To me, however they want to promote it is fine. Just as long
as people tune in and listen to the stories and watch the stories, it
doesn’t bother me at all. I think there was a thing about The L Word
being compared to Sex and the City as well—same sex, different city, or
something like that, and that was fine too.
Moderator We’ll go to the line of Suzanne Lanoue with the TV MegaSite.
S. Lanoue Is it safe to say that you’re a feminist? If so, then have you
always been one or did something happen as you were growing up and
J. Beals I grew up with brothers so I just assumed that I should have
the same rights and access to things like baseball bats and field time
and all that sort of thing. No, not really. Maybe it was the amount of
time my mom read Greek myths to me, I don’t know. The whole literature
about the goddess that somehow permeated and there’s an element of power
there. I don’t know. I actually don’t know the answer to that question.
Moderator We’ll go to the line of Heather Donmoyer with TheVoiceofTV.com.
H. Donmoyer With all of the outdoor shots that you guys do on the show,
do you end up doing a lot of ADR with that? What’s your schedule like as
far as that goes?
J. Beals I haven’t done a lot of ADR, not so far, and we’ve being doing
ADR for stuff that’s inside too, frankly. Actually, I’m just thinking
back to my last ADR session. There was quite a few scenes that were
outside that needed to be looped, and that’s fine. I’m one of those
weird actors that really enjoys looping. I get a kick out of it. I think
sometimes you can make a scene better if you really pay attention.
Moderator Our next question will come from the line of Lena Lamoray with
L. Lamoray I’m a big fan of your work and Shawn Ryan’s work. What can
you tell us about the premier and what we can expect from Teresa?
J. Beals You can expect the person who’s very new to the job, who has a
very clear vision of what they want to do and what they want to do for
other people and how they want to transform their department and the
city. But not necessarily being clear as to how exactly to do it, but
having so much bravado that she keeps moving forward. She just keeps
Moderator Our final question will come from the line of Condance
Pressley with WSB Radio Atlanta.
C. Pressley Could you talk a bit about the conflict between your
character and Alderman Giddons and what is it like working with Delroy
J. Beals I love working with Delroy Lindo. I get schooled every single
day when I work with Delroy Lindo. It’s so much fun. He is so specific
in his work and so dedicated to his work. He just made me laugh.
He was a great advisory, because he’s also really smart about the way he
went about playing the character. Because as much wickedness as his
character is purveying, he also is doing good things as well. So it’s
not perfectly—his evil is not perfectly delineated and clear. It’s
murky, which is often the way that it is.
So it was terrific to work with Delroy. I cried our last day of shooting
together. Like a little kid, I cried, because I wished we had more
scenes together, but maybe next season if we get picked up.
Moderator We have no further questions. Do you have any follow-up Josh
J. Governale I would just like to say thanks to everyone for
participating, and then a reminder that The Chicago Code premiers
Monday, February 7th, at 9 o’clock on Fox. Thank you, Jennifer, for your
J. Beals I just wanted to say thank you so much for your interest. I
know that there are a lot of things to cover in the world, and just
appreciate your interest in the show. We had a terrific time making it.
I’m really proud of the show and proud of my city.
of "The Chicago Code"!
Back to the Main Articles
Back to the Main Primetime TV Page
We need more episode guide recap writers, article
writers, MS FrontPage and Web Expression users, graphics designers, and more, so
please email us
if you can help out! More volunteers always
Page updated 9/6/12