‘Chicago P.D.’: Benjamin Levy Aguilar on Who’s Guiding Torres Following Halstead Leaving

Benjamin Levy Aguilar in 'Chicago P.D.'
Lori Allen/NBC

Chicago P.D. gets personal for Intelligence’s newest member, rookie Officer Dante Torres (Benjamin Levy Aguilar), in the October 12 episode.

In “Donde Vives,” a shocking murder pulls Torres into his own neighborhood. As Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) and Officer Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) help him navigate the case and manage tricky personal dynamics with wary neighbors, Torres realizes his life may be forever changed.

Aguilar previews the episode and how Torres handles his lives clashing, plus how is he doing following Detective Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) leaving, since he’s the one who brought him in?

Torres is still learning the ropes of Intelligence and here he is faced with this case that makes him juggle the job and his neighborhood. How’s he handling that?

Benjamin Levy Aguilar: He’s kind of very instinctual with the decisions he makes. So I think that when this happens, he just knows he has to be a part of it, and he’s not necessarily thinking of how it’s gonna go. He’s just willing to dive deep in. So I think that’s as far as he thinks in those moments. It’s just like a 100 percent leap of faith and trust that he’s gonna do the best he can to handle everything because it’s like he’s called for it. A lot of his belief in himself and in the world is to be a vessel for change in his neighborhood and his family to break cycles and to protect the people he loves. So he just knows he has to go all in.

Set up the case. How personal is it for him?

[The victim] Provi was like a second mother to him, and the people involved in it are childhood friends that he saved and protected. It’s a family. It’s as close to a family as it can be. These people take a bullet for him, and he takes a bullet for them. So as personal as that is, that’s how personal it is.

Benjamin Levy Aguilar, Jesse Lee Soffer in 'Chicago P.D.'

Lori Allen/NBC

And this is coming as the guy who brought him in just left. You would expect that he would’ve been relying on Jay to be teaching him things, so how is Torres handling the fact that Jay is gone?

Yeah, I don’t think that well, he just doesn’t show it that much. And things move so fast because there’s different cases that that need complete focus and complete all in type of behavior that I think he keeps those moments private to him. Hopefully we get to see some of those private moments of how he’s actually feeling with Halstead, but I know that there is definitely a pain and a void and that he would’ve loved to have had Halstead in this moment. I’m sure he would’ve had questions and ideas and things to share with one person he trusts so much, and unfortunately he’s not there anymore. But thankfully Atwater is there to show up and be like, “Bro, I got you. I know what you’re feeling because I’ve been through it.” He’s had the same growing pains that Torres has had in dealing with neighborhood cases and personal issues because they come from a similar background in a way. So Atwater was probably the best thing that could have happened to him since Halstead left. But there’s definitely a void there.

So is Atwater the one that he’s gonna be learning from the most now or will he be picking up things from each member of the unit?

Definitely each member of the unit. There’s so much that he’s picking up from Voight, a lot, and different people. I would say screen time-wise, we’ve seen more of Voight and Atwater, maybe more Atwater than anyone else, but I think that there’s definitely a lot to learn from everybody. It’s not necessarily just a mentor thing with Atwater. I think that was more of a Halstead thing and there’s definitely guidance that Atwater is giving him and a mentor relationship, but there is also a different dynamic, which is beautiful too.

Benjamin Levy Aguilar, LaRoyce Hawkins in 'Chicago P.D.'

Lori Allen/NBC

What does Torres think of Voight? Because Voight is not your typical boss.

I feel like Voight and Torres are really similar in a lot of ways. And I think that’s why Voight took him in. Because at the end of the day, even though Halstead took him in, Voight has to have the final decision. I think Voight knows exactly who Torres is, and I think Torres knows exactly who Voight is. And I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops because it is definitely very similar in the way that I perceive it right now.

How is the team as a unit dealing with the fact that Jay is gone? And as a result of them having to deal with that, does Torres feel more pressure to maybe be more focused on the cases?

I think there’s definitely a pressure that he naturally takes on, not that they’re putting it on him, but he as a person, as a man feels that responsibility. He’s used to carrying a cross, so there’s definitely a responsibility there and a pressure that he feels, not that they’re putting it on him. I think there’s grief in the team and there’s a void. It’s just, like I said, it moves so fast that you just have to kind of be like, “we’ll grieve when we can,” because things move on.

The 200th episode of the show is coming up. What do you know about it? Anything?

I actually know nothing about it, but I’ve heard of it. I’m like, whoa, like 200 episodes. I wonder how that’s gonna be or who’s it gonna focus on. I’m just excited that I’m a part of this even though I’m so new to it, that I get to be a part of the 200th episode. It’s gonna be cool, but I actually have no idea.

Chicago P.D., Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC