‘Chicago P.D.’ actor LaRoyce Hawkins shares his secrets with LSU masterclass

'Chicago P.D.' actor LaRoyce Hawkins shares his secrets with LSU masterclass
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Don’t just accept the negatives, welcome them.

That’s the message veteran actor LaRoyce Hawkins brought to a dozen master of fine arts acting students at LSU recently. The three-hour afternoon master class was part talk, part acting.

“Beyond imagination, beyond making specific choices, my theme was just the art of embracing imperfections,” the “Chicago P.D.” star explained. “Naturally, I think as human beings and acting artists or storytellers, the details we get in our characters, whether strong suits or our flaws, have to be embraced. And not just embraced because we agreed with the decisions, but because those are the decisions that we have and we can only live from where we are.”

After the extended discussion, it was the students’ turn.

Hawkins had asked in advance that they all prepare their own pieces to share with the group.

“I got a chance to kind of, you know, just watch them work and that was great,” Hawkins said. “It was a good time.”

He said one of the final topics he introduced to the students was the power of secrets, using his own “Chicago P.D.” character of 10 seasons, Kevin Atwater, as an example.

“I think over time, I’ve been sitting with the character enough to really, like part of my process is really writing like the character, reading like the character,” the 35-year-old actor said. “I’ve been blessed to be able to over-imagine everything this character goes through. I have a background in comedy and poetry, so I keep the character fresh by either writing jokes or poems as the character … to give him something to live through and goals to achieve outside of the cases he has to solve and the lives he has to save.”

Asked if the writers allow him a bit of leeway to incorporate this added character insight on camera, Hawkins responded with a hesitant “sometimes.”

“Most of my leeway lives in my own imagination. I don’t always get to share through the text or through the episodes, but it definitely helps on the side,” he said. “Then, the information that the writers offer me, I consider that as well, and I just combine it all, and we create something pretty dynamic.”

Hawkins’ acting background includes drama as well as comedy, and he often utilizes them simultaneously.

“I think comedy comes off a little more natural, but I’m not sure if I can point to a favorite,” he said. “…The way that I approach every scene, I’m always looking for the humor and I’m always looking for the love and so I feel like I’m always doing both. For me, it kind of comes from the same place whether I’m doing comedy or drama. The timing is just a little bit different, but it’s coming from the same place.”

Hawkins, a native of Harvey, Illinois, (making filming in nearby Chicago a plus), captured his first major movie role in “The Express: The Ernie Davis Story,” playing Davis’ teammate, Art Baker. He’s also been featured on HBO’s “Ballers,” TBS’ “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” MTV’s “Underemployed,” ABC’s “Detroit 1-8-7,” and (HBO) Max’s “South Side.”

The NBC crime drama series “Chicago P.D.” is entering its 11th season. Occasionally, viewers will catch Hawkins and others in the ensemble cast on crossover episodes of the other outlets in the franchise, “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Med.”

Filming for the new season typically begins shortly after the Fourth of July, Hawkins said, but not this year because of the Writers Guild of America strike and newly-declared SAG-AFTRA strike. 

“From my personal research, we have a big hill to climb before we can find an agreement,” he said. “I’m faithful and optimistic that it will only be a couple more months, if that, that we’re off.

“Naturally, after the writers strike, it’s going to take the writers a while to start warming up their rooms again and starting to conceptualize stories again, so we might need like a three-week buffer.”


About Mary Weyand 11096 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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