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The Transformation Of Sophia Bush From Childhood To Chicago P.D.

As Detective Erin Lindsay on "Chicago P.D." for a total of 84 episodes from 2014 to 2017, Sophia Bush earned a place in the hearts of the show's fans as one of the series' best-loved characters (via IMDb). But as long-time viewers of Dick Wolf's "One Chicago" universe of shows may already know, Bush's character actually made her debut in the 2013 "Chicago Fire" episode "Rhymes with Shout." A street-wise but compassionate presence on "Chicago P.D.," Erin Lindsay made her mark as a resourceful, hard-nosed cop with a softer side when it came to empathizing with victims.

In addition to her multi-season appearances on "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Fire," Bush also turned up in major "One Chicago" crossover events with "Chicago Med" and the short-lived spin-off, "Chicago Justice," as well as paying a visit to Dick Wolf's other hit procedural, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." All that being said, fans of Bush's detective Lindsay may not realize the actor has a long and varied pre-CPD career in a wide range of other television and film productions, from A-list feature films to lesser-known TV series. And that makes this an ideal opportunity to clue Bush's fans in on her showbiz life with this look at her transformation from childhood to starring in "Chicago P.D."

Before acting, she wanted to be a doctor

Born in 1982, Sophia Bush grew up in Pasadena, California, and was apparently socially conscious at a very early age (per FHM). In fact, as detailed in an interview with Buzzfeed, her family was keenly aware they had a small dynamo on their hands. "My mom jokes that I was Joan of Arc in a diaper," Bush said, adding, "I was running around, defending the defenseless, since I came out of the womb." As for acting, that seemed to be the farthest thing from her young mind — until she caught the theatre bug when she auditioned for a high school play. "I wanted to be a doctor since I was a small child," she revealed, but went on to say that when she revealed her acting ambitions to her mom and dad: "...that was an interesting conversation to have with my parents."

Abandoning her one-time goal of entering the medical profession, Bush decided to explore her entertainment industry options, even as she continued to attend the small, private Westridge School for Girls (via The LA Times). Per the same Buzzfeed interview, Bush reports that she quickly found a talent agent willing to help find her work. But while she was keen on acting, she stipulated that she would only audition for productions that filmed over the summer or during school breaks. "I remember my agent saying it felt like I was treating my career like an extracurricular activity — and I was," she said. "School came first."

She made her film debut in Van Wilder: Party Liaison

In 2000, Sophia Bush graduated from high school, and that same year reigned as the Rose Queen for the 2000 Tournament of Roses (via The LA Times). She would make her feature film debut in 2002, cast, unsurprisingly, as a college student alongside Ryan Reynolds and Tara Reid in "Van Wilder: Party Liaison" (per IMDb). Enrolling in the University of Southern California majoring in Journalism, she remained in school for three years, but eventually left without graduating (per Insider).

Bush's acting career continued to ramp up during the following few years, as she played Carrie Orr in the TV movie "Point of Origin" in 2002 and landed the role of Fate Mackenzie in the popular series "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" in 2003. The same year would see her cast in the role of Beth in the film "Learning Curves" with Rodney Scott and Lindsay Frost. Also in 2003, Bush took another important step up in her industry career when she landed the recurring role of Ridley Lange in the edgy TV series about the darker side of plastic surgery, "Nip/Tuck."

She starred on One Tree Hill, but lost her Terminator role

As noted by Insider, while still attending classes at USC in 2003, Bush would finally get the acting offer she couldn't refuse: the juicy part of the flirtatious cheerleader Brooke Davis in the long-running WB hit series "One Tree Hill." Bush went on to star on the show for over 180 episodes, from its second episode titled "The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most," to its ninth season and the concluding installment of the series in 2012.

The year 2003 would also find Bush cast to star alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Nick Stahl in the sci-fi thriller "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines." But after starting work on the film, director Jonathan Mostow decided the young actor was in fact too young-looking to play the part, which was subsequently given to Claire Danes (per Dark Horizons). However, while continuing to fill Brooke's cheerleader uniform on "One Tree Hill," Bush starred in "The Hitcher" with Sean Bean, and went on to land major roles in "The Narrows" and "Table for Three." During this same period, she also played Chloe in the feature film "Chalet Girl," portrayed Carla Facciolo in the short "Mob Wives" in 2011, and reprised that role in "Mob Wives 2: The Christening" in 2012.

She was a fan favorite in three One Chicago series

As her profile continued to rise within the industry, Sophia Bush found herself cast in increasingly substantial roles, especially in the world of episodic television. In 2012, she earned a recurring slot as Ali Landow in the TV series "Partners." Then, in 2013, she made her entry into the franchise empire of producer Dick Wolf with her initial appearance on the firefighting and rescue action-drama "Chicago Fire." Portraying tough-but-fair detective Erin Lindsay, Bush would interact with the firefighters and paramedics of Firehouse 51 for a total of 11 episodes between 2013 and 2017, and would visit Gaffney Chicago Medical Center on "Chicago Med" for six installments from 2015 to 2017 (via IMDb).

But it was Bush's arrival at the intelligence unit of the Windy City's 21st District police department in 2014 that would finally cement her place as the detective who rose from life as a street kid to one of the force's most respected officers. And while she eventually left "Chicago P.D." in 2017 as a result of alleged inappropriate behavior by her co-star Jason Beghe, Bush's Erin Lindsay is a name Chi-hard fans will never forget.

So, from Joan of Arc in diapers, to teenage cheerleading routines on "One Tree Hill" and a long list of other high-profile feature film and TV appearances, Sophia Bush has undergone a truly remarkable transformation from childhood to stardom on "Chicago P.D."