Wonder Woman Wednesday: Marina Squerciati

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#momcrush Monday

By Lindsay Pinchuk, BCB Founder + CEO

As an avid watcher of all of Dick Wolf’s shows, especially the “Chicago” shows–Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med and Chicago Justice–I was thrilled when expectant mom, Marina Squerciati, who plays Detective Kim Burgess on Chicago PD, agreed to an interview with Bump Club and Beyond.

Squerciati, who announced that she had a baby on board with an adorable Instagram post, is due later this spring.  Marina grew up in New York, but graduated from Northwestern University, so she was no stranger to Chicago when the role of Officer Burgess brought her to the Windy City.  By day, this mom-to-be is punching criminals, uncovering Chicago’s biggest crime rings, and allowing her stunt double to actually chase the bad guys (during her pregnancy).  By night, she is just like any of our BCB moms and moms-to-be-doing everything she can to prepare for the biggest role in her life—MOM.

After talking to Squerciati for just under forty-five minutes it was evident that this mom-to-be is just as badass and KIND in real life, as her alter-ego on TV.  Another prediction?  She’s going to be an amazing mom.

Keep reading to see why she’s this week’s #WonderWomanWednesday.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!  What are you most looking forward to in one of your biggest roles yet—being a mom?

It’s kind of cheesy but I am really looking forward, when the baby is a little older, to going down the worm hole of something that interests my child.  Like if they are interested in Jupiter or dinosaurs— to learn everything I can on that topic and then share it together.  For some reason, that to me is such an amazing thing.  It’s kind of nerdy, but exploring a world with someone who knows nothing about the topic, and you’re learning too, it’s really exciting to me.

What about early on, before you can do those things with your baby?

I just took a class. I like to call it “how to keep your baby alive” but I think it’s called “Understanding Your Newborn.” There were so many things that I didn’t know, it’s more that I have no idea what to expect.  I would like to meet the baby and see what the baby’s personality is like.  Is the baby going to be as stubborn and crazy as me? (Laughter.)

What are you most nervous about in becoming a mom? 

I don’t want to use the term ‘laid back’ because that sounds like I am not involved.  But the mom I want to be will let my kid explore and not be scared at every turn. I want them to learn from their mistakes. BUT at the same time, I see certain things, like the windows in my high rise and I panic. I want to find a really good balance between being safe and also letting my child learn from their mistakes.

The TV show you work for is VERY physical. You’re running, shooting, and being shot at.  We’ve definitely noticed the big coats and lots of folders this season, but how has your pregnancy effected your job and role on the show?

The writers have been very kind.  I’m not in a ton of running scenes.  I have a stunt double. There’s a BIG episode coming up where my character goes through something MAJOR!  I had a stunt double and body double, but I wanted to do my own stunts when it was safe.  It was very interesting to try to hide a large baby bump. In one scene Sophia (Bush) and I go CLUBBING.

I’m not going to lie, as a woman who is ambitious I want to be able to do everything and accomplish everything.  But I also need to take care of this baby.  It’s a hard balance. There is a scene where I am punching a guy, so I punched a punching bag. But then there’s scene where I am running down the stairs and it’s a body double. It takes a balance in doing what you can do, and pulling back where you can. BUT I gotta say…you’re A LOT more tired!

Your character Officer Kim Burgess has definitely dealt with women’s issues in the workplace—her road to being a detective in intelligence was not easy and once she got there she was given a hard time by her colleague, Al Olinsky.  I just LOVED the moment when Burgess stuck up for herself to Al.   How do you feel about this story line, and as someone who is about to become a mom how do you think that these lessons will one day translate for your child?

What’s interesting about Burgess is that she wanted something for so long and then her ambitions changed, and she was ok with that. I feel like when you have a goal, if it changes, per our culture you’ve almost failed.  I’m hard on myself.  But with a child, it’s important to teach that its ok to be softer on yourself, or if your ambitions change, you are not a failure.

My mom is so good at telling me to be easier on myself. If my kid is anything like me, that will be important to share.  To be kind to yourself.  That is something I need to work on every day.   I am trying now—it’s really hard for me, because I am such a I am a busy ambitious person, but I am trying now to sit and be calm, because I don’t have the energy I had before I was pregnant. Its ok to be a little still.

What is your favorite thing about being on Chicago PD?

It’s wonderful to be with a group of actors that love their job and love to have fun. It’s really fun. Some episodes are a little more procedural in terms of character development, but every once in a while, you get to stretch your wings as an actor.  In the upcoming BIG episode, I really got to shine.   I’m an actor, it’s my passion and I love it.

From the minute the phone rang it felt like I was chatting with an old friend and I am so thankful for the conversation and time Marina gave me during our interview.    On behalf of the BCB Team we want to wish her the best of luck as she prepares for the birth of her baby.

Marina was so lovely to talk to—and shared so many awesome tidbits, we’ll be following up with more from her as next week’s #MomCrushMonday. Stay tuned for some of her baby gear picks, tips for working moms, and the hilarious story behind her Instagram birth announcement. –Lindsay