On the Record with THE CHICAGO CODE Star Jennifer Beals (Feat. Shawn Ryan)

From the Windy City to the freezing one. Last Wednesday, Jennifer Beals braved the seemingly never-ending Toronto cold for a dizzying array of television appearances, radio spots and face-to-face sit downs to promote her new series THE CHICAGO CODE (airing Monday night at 9PM on FOX and Global TV in Canada). Among the throng of media lucky enough to be given 10 minutes with the actress was your very own TV Addict, who caught up with her in a spacious suite at the luxurious Metropolitan SoHo Hotel where we grilled her on what it’s like facing off with Alderman Gibbons (Delroy Lindo), the fascinating dynamic between Teresa and Jarek, as well as what the future holds for the show.

Tonight’s episode is a fairly pivotal one when it comes to your character’s dealings with Alderman Gibbons. Do you think Teresa is going to be able to bring the Alderman down without compromising her own morals?
Jennifer Beals: Well I think there’s always the temptation to take the shorter path, but I think she’s able to hold off on that for quite some time. I think she knew really early on that it’s not black and white, that said, I don’t think she’s ever been on the receiving end as someone as experienced in covert operations as Alderman Gibbons. They’re both complex characters, you know, Gibbons does a lot of good things but the horrible things he does are really reprehensible and I think that Teresa does a lot of good things but I think this kind of white shadow masks other things that are going on inside her that are difficult to live with at times.

Because so little about their past is known, one of our favorite aspects of the show is the relationship between Teresa and Jarek. Is there any chance fans might get a flashback episode that serves to illustrate what the two were like as partners back in the day?
Not this season, you don’t get a flashback, but you get pieces of the relationship. What I really love about the relationship is that these two people so obviously respect one another, really have one another’s backs and they’re a love between them that is really unspecified, it’s interesting to watch because it’s a mature love based on experiencing life on the street.

[Editor’s Note: The day after our interview with Jennifer Beals, we had the opportunity to take part in a conference call with creator Shawn Ryan. Here’s what he had to say on the subject]

Shawn Ryan: We don’t actually flashback in any way in that regard, at least not during the first season, but we do have some interaction between them where you learn more about what their partnership was like, and you learn that Jarek was the one who ended it and that Teresa still bristles a bit at that.  So, we do delve into some back-story, but not through visual flashbacks.  It is a fun partnership between the two of them and a fun relationship.

One of the hallmarks of many of FOX’s hit shows (see: BONES and HOUSE) is the will-they-or-won’t-they. Is that something we’re going to see start to develop between Teresa and Jarek?
I don’t know, you’ll have to watch the show. I think their relationship is real complicated. It’s not MOONLIGHTING, with all due respect to that dynamic, it’s really complex. I know that I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I haven’t seen anything like it because the love is really profound, but it’s unspoken and fascinating to see it play out.

Perhaps the biggest concern for us TV Addicts is how a series ends. Since you’ve already finished shooting the 13 episode first season, we’re wondering if you can share if the season wraps up in a way that would be satisfying as either a season, or series finale?
I’m not going to tell you! I can’t prepare you emotionally and cannot take responsibility for your feelings! you need to ask Shawn [Creator Shawn Ryan] that question. I feel like I do not have the authority to answer that.

Shawn Ryan: While I don’t want to give away too much as to how we end this current season I would say that we went with the ending that we creatively felt best with. If it turns out to the series finale — our characters don’t fall through some sort of wormhole and land in another world in some huge cliffhanger fashion — having said that, obviously we hope we’ll be going on beyond that first season.

And finally, one of the things that’s been touched about is the death of Jarek’s brother. Will that story play a pivotal role throughout the rest of the seasons?

Absolutely, it really plays out throughout the season and is very important.

THE CHICAGO CODE airs Monday nights at 9PM on FOX (Global TV in Canada)