Sharp eyed fans of the NBC TV show “Chicago P.D.” may see a familiar face on Wednesday night’s episode: Romeoville police officer Gary Augustine. Augustine, an 18-year veteran who is currently assigned to the Community Oriented Policing unit, applied to be an extra through a casting agent and ended up getting a call. He took part in four scenes, including one that they did 21 times. “They put me with the main character, Hank Voight,” explains Augustine. “Atwater, another character, is arresting someone behind me and I’m talking to Voight in the foreground. You won’t hear my dialogue though. I don’t have a Screen Actor’s Guild card, so I’m not allowed to speak on TV. I don’t know how many of my scenes will make it, you don’t know what’s cut and what’s not, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that the one where I’m with Voight will be in the show.”
Augustine called the eight and a half hour shooting day a great learning experience and said the authenticity of the show is pretty close to real. The technical advisor on the set is a Chicago police officer of nearly 20 years and makes sure that everything from radio dialogue and tactics to how actors hold a weapon is legitimate. “The magic of TV is incredible, but it’s such a long process. You have no idea the days of work that go into each episode and the hours and hours behind a seven second scene. It was just incredible to see how they do that.”
The episode, titled “Allegiance,” will air at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2nd. If you miss the show, it seems like you may get another chance to see Augustine on screen. “I’ve been called for other episodes, but due to scheduling, I haven’t been able to make it. I’m on stand-by all the time. They keep in touch with me, check my availability, and try to get me in as many episodes and scenes as they can.”
This was Augustine’s first time as an extra, but hopefully not his last. “I’m hoping to continue doing this. I’ve got the blessing from Chief Turvey. My friends always tease me about being the next Dennis Farina. He was a retired Chicago cop who got his start being an extra. Then somebody noticed him and he ended up doing a commercial. Next thing you know, he’s a supporting actor with John Travolta in several movies!” If he does become the next officer-turned-actor, we’ll always be able to say he got his start right here in Romeoville.