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Benjamin Levy Aguilar Reveals He Improvised This Intense Torres Scene
"In that moment, when I did it the first take, it just came at me because you can't fake that," the actor tells NBC Insider.
With Season 10, Episode 4's "Dónde Vives," Chicago P.D. fans finally got to know a little bit more about rookie cop, Dante Torres (Benjamin Levy Aguilar).
The episode revolved around the murder of Torres' neighbor. He led the case and tried to juggle his job as a cop and dedication to his community. But by the end, the pressure clearly got to him, as he brutally beat a local gang member while off-duty.
"He wanted to protect his mother at all costs, and he tried every single way to do it and things weren't working out," Aguilar tells NBC Insider. "So in that moment, he just decided to be the most animalistic version of himself, the most survival mode version of himself, and take matters into his own hands, and demand respect."
The actor continued, "I think that's what makes him a very interesting and very dangerous character, because he's dangerous for the wrong people. He will stand up, whether it is as a police officer or as a person or as a man, to fight for what he believes in or to protect the people he loves. So I think that moment is the broadest version of Torres."
Aguilar also revealed that he improvised the final fight scene. The 29-year-old has over 13 years of experience in martial arts and has trained in Krav Maga since he was 14. Even before he started acting, the star worked in security at the Israeli Embassy and at the presidential elections in his native Guatemala. Basically, Aguilar has all the real-life skills needed to help bring Torres to life.
"I didn't plan it," he said. "In that moment, when I did it the first take, it just came at me because you can't fake that. And I say it humbly, but it's been so much training for me that that just literally comes so instinctual to me that it was one of the most natural things I've ever done...It has definitely helped me. It helps me tap into aggression and tap into a lot of things that have come easy to me as an actor because of the intensity of my training and the emotion that is required to practice such a type of self defense."
So, what's next for him this season? The actor reveals that while he doesn't know for sure if series writers are bringing Torres' love interest Mia back, there's hope for a future between the two. And for the fans who loved the Torres-Atwater partnership, Aguilar says we'll see the duo team up again this season.
As for another Torres-centered episode? "There's gonna be an episode coming up that is more Torres-based, but the truth is, I don't know anything about it," he says. "I'm just hoping that we continue that story or find different layers. There's so much to talk about, there's so much to dive into. His life is so rich. His childhood is so rich. His background, his future, his past, his present is so rich that there are so many different ways to tell the story. I really don't know what's coming, but I have no doubt that it'll be something gritty and something deep."