Washington boy featured on NBC’s ‘Chicago P.D.’

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Posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:58 am

It’s not every day you get a chance to meet with your favorite celebrity, but sometimes the stars align and you find yourself in precisely the right place at precisely the right time. For one Washington boy, a fortuitous run-in with his favorite actor turned his life in a completely unexpected direction.

Nine-year-old Caden Montgomery-Hoffman loves all of the NBC shows about Chicago, including “Chicago Med”, “Chicago Fire” and especially “Chicago P.D.”.In March of this year, Caden, along with his mom and grandma, went to Chicago for a Blackhawks hockey game and stayed the night in the city. Before heading back the next day, the trio tried to catch a glimpse of where “Chicago P.D.” was being recorded. They found the spot, off-sight from the program’s regular recording venue, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.

However, they were a little too late.

“We got to where they were filming off-sight and they were actually wrapping up for the day, and he was so disappointed because we had just missed them by minutes,” said Caden’s mom, Laura Hoffman.

But someone who was working on the set told them some of the actors were heading back to the studio and they might be able to catch them there. So, the three went back to Cinespace.  They walked around for a bit and snapped a few pictures, but the studio was quiet, the weather was cold and they needed to get back home. Laura said they were in the car ready to leave when she decided to give it another try.

“I was like, ‘you know what? Let’s just go back one more time’. So, we drove around the block, parked, went up, stood there for a bit and then a van pulls up and his favorite actor gets out.”

That actor was Jason Beghe, who plays Sergeant Hank Voight.

Laura asked Beghe if she could get a picture of him with her son and he agreed.  But that’s not all.  Beghe asked Caden if he’d like to come in and watch him record a scene.  It was an offer Caden couldn’t refuse. Laura said everyone in the studio was welcoming, and after the recording Beghe even invited them to lunch, where they got another surprise.

“He was telling Caden that the next morning they were filming a scene and they needed a mom and a little boy and he asked Caden if he wanted to do it,” Laura said.

Although they would’ve loved to stay, they needed to get back to Washington, so Laura had to turn down that opportunity.  However, Caden had already been bitten by the acting bug and couldn’t stop talking about wanting to be on the program. 

“The way Jason interacted with him I think made a big influence on him,” Laura said.  “He was so nice, he made sure Caden had everything while he was there.  He didn’t have to do that. He didn’t have to bring Caden in.”

One of the people who worked on the set of“Chicago P.D.” gave Laura some advice on getting Caden a permit that would allow him to start doing acting work. By April, Caden had that work permit and later had professional pictures taken by Steve Craft Photography in Washington. After that, it seems Caden hit the ground running.  By the end of June, he returned to Chicago to film a ‘back to school’ commercial for K-Mart.

Laura kept an eye on various casting agencies through Facebook for other opportunities for her son.  As luck would have it, “Chicago P.D.”again needed a few kids for an upcoming episode.  Laura contacted the show with Caden’s information and he was accepted. On September 8, he spent a full day on the Chicago set, recording the show’s fifth episode of season five which is set to air on October 25. Caden, who attends third grade at Central Grade School, obviously missed class that day, but he didn’t really get out of school. “The cool thing is, by law, they are required to have school while they are there,” Laura said.  “There’s a teacher there, and they have to bring their homework from their school.”

Caden has a few other jobs lined up and Laura said she’s happy for him, but she still wants him to be a kid.  So far, Caden is taking it all in stride. “It just happened...I woke up one day and I was on ‘Chicago P.D.’,” Caden said of his big break.

Caden said he hopes someday to have a job on a television show where he’s the main character. His mom said she’s currently looking for an agency to take him on.

“It’s not really hard,” Caden said of his recent gigs. “Just try your best and hope that you can do it.  You should never stop trying.”

To watch Caden in action, tune into Chicago P.D. on Wednesday, October 25 at 9 p.m. on NBC. 

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