Sophia Bush On The Real Chicago

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ffdPhoto: Courtesy of StarTrax.
Between copious magazine covers and a strong television and film presence, Sophia Bush is made of girl-crush material. But, gorgeous appearance and thriving career aside, this California girl has some serious Midwestern charm.

Despite working crazy long hours on the set of Chicago PD, the bubbly blonde volunteered her time at the Barefoot Wine Soles of the Year event last Saturday. This year, the initiative partnered with Chicago's Trio Animal Foundation (TAF), which helps raise funds to help folks pay for the medical bills of homeless pets in dire need of some TLC. We caught up with Bush in between playtime with the little fur balls, to see what she had to say about training for her role, staying fit, and what she thinks about the real Windy City.

Tell us about your character as detective Erin Lindsay on Chicago PD!
"Erin is a badass. She is so much fun to play because she’s complex. She came from a very rough past and was basically rescued by Sergeant Voight. So, she feels like she owes her life to him, to the unit. And, she is willing to put herself out there if it means that she might be able to save someone like her. She wants to pay it forward. Her past made her tough but also incredibly grateful."

Do you have any similarities to Lindsay?
"I can relate to her because I believe so deeply in social justice. And, she has dedicated her life to bettering her city. That passion to help people is what ties us together."

How do you get into character? "We began preparing for the show with a full week of boot camp with the Chicago PD. We spent time with intelligence officers, who are working under cover, to learn about their lives and the stresses of the job. We spent time doing tactical training with the SWAT team, as well as drive training. It was a serious process and also so inspiring. Most of us have no idea how hard these men and women work so that we can sleep soundly at night. I am in awe of them."

How are you handling the unpredictable temps in the Windy City since you're a California girl?
"Coats! Layers! Lots of new tech Under Armor and Ice Breaker gear. The nice guys at the Moosejaw store here helped me research coats and spent about an hour helping me figure out how to stay warm. But, when we are filming the show outside in this weather, we’re always cold!"

How would you describe your style off camera?
"I love fashion because it can change to suit your mood. I’m very drawn to classic silhouettes, menswear-inspired pieces, and anything that feels a little French. I’m also inspired by Brit girl style. Those ladies have it down! So, I’m always playing and experimenting."

Do you have any favorite shopping spots in town?
"I love, love, love Dose Market on Sundays at the Chop Shop. I can’t wait until it’s back on!

Have you learned any beauty tricks along the way?
"I think the best beauty trick is to take good care of your skin. Wash your face at night, wear sunscreen, and hydrate. I’m a big fan of the Clarisonic face brush, the nourishing minerals in Ahava products, and Dr. Perricone’s skin-care line as well."

How do you stay in such great shape?
"We film about 16 hours a day, so I don’t have any time to work out right now. For me, it’s more about feeling healthy, so I try to make it to a yoga class on the odd day that we have a late set call or stretch between setups as work. A little downward dog never hurt anybody!"

What did you do to prepare for the numerous magazine covers you've been on?
"Usually preparation becomes panic for me. People always talk about how they’ll eat strictly vegetarian, no sodium, and drink tons of water the week before a shoot or an awards show. And, then there’s me. Stress eating cheeseburgers. I should work on that."

We like eaters in the Windy City! Do you have any go-to restaurants?
"So many. I have been on a restaurant tour of this city! I am in love with Avec, The Girl and the Goat, and Mott St."

What's your favorite Chicago 'hood?
"I’m still exploring! There is so much to see here. I am so grateful to be working here and getting to know the city."