'Chicago P.D.': Benjamin Levy Aguilar on Torres' Intense Undercover Op (Exclusive)

Officer Dante Torres' undercover operation on 'Chicago P.D.' won't be an easy one, as Aguilar tells PopCulture.com.

Spoilers ahead for Chicago P.D. Season 11, Episode 4 ("Escape").

Officer Dante Torres returned in Wednesday's episode of Chicago P.D. and found himself going undercover. After being absent in the first three episodes of Season 11 due to taking care of his mother, the Intelligence Unit's newest member came back from furlough. After responding to a high-speed chase, Atwater and Torres found brinks of heroin in the car, with the driver being linked to Rafael Perez, the head of a known drug trafficking operation. So, Torres volunteered to go undercover.

After Torres discovered that Perez's wife, Gloria, was much more involved in the operation than he thought, he revealed himself to be a cop to try to flip her. The two shared some intense moments throughout the episode as Gloria pushed him to open up about his past, but they shared an intimate one at the end. The case remained over by the episode's end after things went south, and there is much more in store. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Aguilar discussed the nature of the undercover operation and what fans could expect as the storyline continues.

PopCulture: Now that Torres is finally back, he's been thrust into an undercover op. What was it like filming something so intense while just getting back to work?

Benjamin Levy Aguilar: It was so thrilling. It was so exciting. I had done so much different work on myself, and I've evolved as a human being. It's been a year since we last shot, so I feel like a completely different person. And I was actually in India meditating before I came back, in this silent retreat thing, but I've been doing meditation for a year now, so I feel so much more focused and calm, and I hope that translates. But I felt like I was in a video game, but I was just letting the ride take me this time instead of learning as I went through it last season. I felt like I was still like, "OK, this is how this works, and this is all the intricacies of network television or just being a series regular, or this is the tone of the show or the character." Now, I was just feeling like I was just going on a ride, and it was so exciting. I absolutely loved it.

PC: This isn't the first time that Torres has gone undercover. What sets this operation apart from the other ones?

Aguilar: The fact that this operation is a long-term undercover. It's his first time going long-term undercover, and Voight at first hesitates because he doesn't know if he's ready for it. That's a big responsibility, but that's what Torres is good at. Then things happen, and he gets caught up in things, but he is really good at making people trust him and, understanding worlds and being very perceptive in those moments.

PC: Do you think that's why he was so persistent on doing the operation?

Aguilar: Yeah. I think there's this need for him to prove to himself that he can be the best that he can be and make things right, and it makes him jump into opportunities without really thinking of the consequences. He is the one that takes the lead first, and then he sees how he survives through it, and he has so much trust in himself because of his past life experiences that he can just throw himself into something and then come out all right, and I think there's no difference with this situation. He does the same thing, but he gets caught up. That's what makes him such an exciting character.

chicago-pd-yara-martinez-benjamin-levy-aguilar-nbc.jpg
(Photo: Lori Allen/NBC)

PC: Is there anything else that you can tease about the undercover operation and the lengths that Torres will go for it?

Aguilar: Well, I haven't read any episode about this storyline, but I can say that this one is coming back, and it's not over yet, and I don't know how he's going to get out of this, but there's a lot more to see with Gloria and this whole case that we haven't closed.

PC: We've seen the impacts that undercover operations can have on the characters, as does any case. Do you think it will have some lasting impact on him as well?

Aguilar: Yeah, I think so. Absolutely. I think that the more he's living these cases and replaying his past and new trauma comes in, the more there is to deal with at a day-to-day basis. I wonder how that's going to affect him. He thought he was free from this anger that used to control him and this side of him that he didn't really have much say in, and he thought he was done with that, and then in this episode, he realizes, "Oh, that's still there. It's still deeply rooted in me," so I think that's scary for him. It must be scary to think that you're this person and then, in a way, maybe black out and you do something that's completely out of character that you think is you, that must be so terrifying if that would happen to you, and then you come back and you're like, "How did that happen and is it going to happen again, and how often is it going to happen and what triggers that to happen?" That creates more anxiety in itself and more trauma. There's definitely a lot of stress that he's probably going through.

PC: Going off of that, what were you most excited to explore with him during the storyline and the continuing storyline?

Aguilar: I think I was excited to see how he would react to specific situations, the actions that he would actually take. I was interested to see if he had evolved in some ways, and he definitely has understood how to navigate things and how to compartmentalize parts of himself, but that seems to be the struggle in this episode.

New episodes of Chicago P.D. air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET as part of NBC's 2024 spring schedule and are available to stream on Peacock the following day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.