Jennifer Beals has never had any problem reinventing herself.
After mainstreaming leggings with her iconic turn in “Flashdance” and starring in Showtime’s revolutionary lesbian soap “The L Word,” she’s now tackling a noble superintendent fighting an uphill battle against corruption on FOX’s “The Chicago Code.”
Speaking with reporters on the eve of the series’ Feb. 7 premiere, Beals says that while her new TV gig is a big change, there are similarities between her new character, Teresa Colvin, and her “L Word” predecessor.
“Playing Bette Porter, somebody who was so driven and single minded sometimes and very strong and righteous at times, certainly helped prepare me for this role,” says Beals. “Definitely, Teresa is much more physically confident than Bette is, and, as far as I can tell so far, is deeply heterosexual.”
“Being part of ‘The L Word’ made me realize how much more television can be that what I had experienced in my lifetime in terms of being able to be of service to people.”
In training for her new role, Beals went on a series of ride-alongs with Chicago homicide detectives — the show was originally titled “Ride-Along” — and though she was never in the same high risk scenarios as her character, she did emerge with some golden anecdotes.
“I saw lots of things,” she says. “On the more comic side was a woman who refused to put her shirt on in a fried chicken restaurant. She just kept taking her shirt off. She clearly had not been taking her meds, and she thought I was Obama’s sister and that I should somehow save her.”
Alas, she did not. But Teresa Colvin could probably convince her to dress fairly quickly. Here’s a look at one her particularity character-defining scenes in the premiere: