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NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Sophia Bush talks Chicago P.D., pro-LGBT activism
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2016-09-20

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Actress Sophia Bush continues on Chicago P.D. for another season, but she doesn't leave her activist roots behind.

Known for the CW series One Tree Hill, in which she played Brooke Davis, she moved on to film roles like John Tucker Must Die and The Hitcher.

The spinoff from Chicago Fire has her playing Erin Lindsey, a detective. Chicago P.D. follows the Chicago Police Department fighting crime in the Windy City.

Bush sat down at the NoMI Garden Park Hyatt to discuss the show and the LGBT community.

Windy City Times: Hi, Sophia. Monica Raymund, from [the TV show] Chicago Fire, was the grand marshal for the Pride parade this year. We need to get you involved next time. You are a big activist for the gay community.

Sophia Bush: Absolutely. I was so sad to not be here for Pride this year. I did get to celebrate Pride in New York, though.

WCT: How was it?

SB: Fantastic. It was so special. There was an extra heartbeat to it being so soon after Orlando. Everyone took to the streets to express that this community will not be silenced or intimidated.

I walked into the Stonewall Inn and started sobbing. I had a very intense emotional response. This sweet woman who was there with her wife just hugged me and told me it would be alright. [Bush blinks back tears.]

WCT: You are getting emotional just thinking about it.

SB: Yeah, I do. It was a special day. The parade was incredible. We were in the West Village and I watched a young couple bring their stroller down with twins in rainbow onesies. Watching a straight couple that had kids at age two will know how important this is. I was standing between a fabulous drag queen wearing rainbow Mardi Gras and a cop, sharing stories.

I told the policeman that I was grateful for the NYPD for being vigilant and watching everyone's backs. He stated, "We are happy to be here. This is the best of our city. I also appreciate you playing a police officer." That made me really happy.

It was an incredible mix of human beings who believe in other human beings.

WCT: Do you like Chicago P.D. crossing over with the other Chicago shows?

SB: It is so fun and we are so lucky. It is such an incredible group of people. It is scary as an actor any time you take on a new show, because you don't know what people will be like. I think I am lucky because the majority of people I have worked with have been wonderful.

Even if it is a subcultural thought, we are expected to think entertainers will be difficult nightmares. That is not my experience. I have worked with a few. Of the hundreds of people I have worked with in the industry most of them have been divine. When you sign a contract for many years you hope you get the good ones!

I got here and not only was everyone on my show great, but everyone on the other show is great, and everyone on the other other show is great, plus the new show's cast is great. It is like we have been struck by lightning four times. It is not a thing that you would expect to happen. It keeps happening. It is a testament to the attitude and pace that all of the actors have on set. It is also a testament of the casting directors to know who good people are and who will work.

WCT: How was your Democratic National Committee experience?

SB: We know the president and first lady as larger-than-life global figures who are inspiring and have been in the arena. The president described how Hillary has spent years working in the field. It was powerful.

I spent time talking to Mary Steenburgen there, who played my mom on a pilot that didn't go anywhere. We have stayed friends. She spoke of being friends with Hillary back in her 20s. She wanted to help children get to the hospital so Hillary proposed they raise money to buy a helicopter to get sick people to the hospital, and she did it. This is a woman barely out of college and was changing the way her state was doing things. Hillary has carried that spirit for so long.

It was special for me to see the president speak on what that dedication means to all Americans on a national stage. I was able to turn to one of my friends and have the same conversation in a private moment. The entire convention was inspirational and beautiful.

WCT: How do you get outside projects done working on Chicago P.D. all the time?

SB: I have lots of lists that never get crossed off. At the end of the day, working on the world and pursuing passion for people is my number one priority. Nothing else matters if that isn't the focus, for me personally.

Sure, I don't get enough sleep and I don't see my family enough but this is the great passion of my life.

The fourth season of Chicago P.D. premieres Wed., Sept. 21, on NBC.


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