Sophia Bush Opens Up About Why She Left ‘Chicago P.D.’: ‘I Was in So Much Pain’
Sophia Bush shocked Chicago P.D. fans when she left the show in May 2017, and while she has previously only hinted at the reasons for her departure, she’s now revealing more details about what led to her decision.
“I internalized and sort of inhabited that role of ‘pull the tug boat,’ to the point where, just because I’m unhappy or I’m being mistreated or I’m being abused at work, I’m not gonna f**k up this job for all these people,” Bush told Dax Shepard on the latest episode of his Armchair Expert podcast. “What about the camera guy whose two daughters I love and this is how he pays their rent? It becomes such a big thing. When your bosses tell you that if you raise a ruckus, you’ll cost everyone their job, you believe them.”
Eventually, Bush said, she had to prioritize her own well-being. She told Shepard that her body was “falling apart, because I was really, really unhappy.”
Bush, who starred as Detective Erin Lindsay on Chicago P.D. for four seasons, had previously described her time on set as a “miserable” experience. Speaking with Shepard, she detailed some of the specifics, saying that working in Chicago’s extreme winter weather was difficult and led to people getting sick all the time. When the issue was raised, she said, the writers in Los Angeles would tell them that the “snow looks so cool on camera.”
When Shepard brought up her time on One Tree Hill, which made headlines last year when several female cast and crew members accused creator Mark Schwahn of sexual misconduct, Bush said the two experiences were different. “One was like, a guy who we’re like, ‘Oh God, he’s back.’ And one was a consistent onslaught barrage of abusive behavior,” she told Shepard. “You start to lose your way when someone assaults you in a room full of people and everyone literally looks away, looks at the floor, looks at the ceiling. And you’re the one woman in the room and every man who’s twice your size doesn’t do something. You go, ‘That wasn’t worth defending? I’m not worth defending?'”
Bush also said that her bosses on Chicago P.D. told her she wouldn’t be able to get out of her contract, but after the issues were raised with NBC president Jennifer Salke — from whom Bush said they were initially hidden — Salke understood and let her end her contract after season 4.
“Nearing my tenure there, I was probably difficult to be around because I was in so much pain and I felt so ignored,” Bush said. “I [felt] like I was standing butt naked, bruised, and bleeding in the middle of Times Square, screaming at the top of my lungs and not a single person stopped to ask if they could help me.”
Bush is set to make her return to TV sometime in 2019 as the star and producer of the upcoming CBS spy drama Surveillance.
Brit + Co has reached out to NBC.
(photo via Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for HFA)