The stars of the hit NBC show about firefighters in Chicago discuss everything from their time on the show to what it’s like playing a firefighter in Chicago.
We’ve seen dozens of police and medical procedurals over the years, but not many firefighting procedurals. It took an industry legend like Dick Wolf, creator of Law and Order, to take the leap and bring one to the small screen. That effort took form in what millions now know as Chicago Fire, one of the most successful shows on NBC. It follows a number of firefighters as they put out fires on the job and at home.
We got a chance to speak with stars of the show Taylor Kinney, Kara Killmer, and Miranda Mayo about the show, working in Chicago, and if they had any ties to firefighters in their personal lives. If you’ve seen the fall season finale for the show, then you’re going to love to see what Miranda Mayo has to say about her character and her story on the show. You’d also be surprised to learn that a few of the firefighters on the show who play tough Chicago natives are actually from small towns on the West. It goes to show you how great these actors are. The surprising apart about the interviews were how similar they were to their characters, so if any of Taylor Kinney’s fans were wondering, yes, he is that cool in person too. Check out our interviews with them below.
Kara Killmer and Miranda Mayo
How much of your own personalities do you find yourself embedding in your characters?
Miranda: I think that’s part of the game, in television to be able to play a character that you can play for a really long time and grow with and evolve, but a lot of that comes from knowing yourself and being able to implement certain parts of yourself. I think it would be exhausting playing something that’s a departure from myself for 6 years.
Kara: It’s really a credit to the writers for taking the time and watching how things play out and they really know how to write these characters well and how to write our relationships well and so you start to see some things are like oh, that’s familiar. Even for me in this story line right now, I very much relate to Sylvie in relating to being from a small town. I’m from a town in Texas and they just got a Starbucks.
Any firefighters in the family?
Miranda: Not in my immediate family, but in high school there was a family that kind of took me in, we’re still kind of best friends to this day. Her dad was a lieutenant and he drove the engine. I’m from Fresno, California. Also a small town.
I bet he’s tickled by the fact that you’re playing a firefighter.
Miranda: Oh my god, he’s just like the sweetest. He’s so excited. He always would call me the adopted daughter and would say ” I’m so glad one of you is in the fire department” and I’m like Steve, I’m just pretending and he’s like “It’s fine! It counts”.
What have you enjoyed the most about your journey with Dick Wolf in this world that he’s created for this talented cast to explore.
Taylor: Well, the opportunity itself, of course, first and foremost, but the group of people that I get to work with and being in Chicago. I can’t think of a city that I’d rather be in. Getting to see the sports teams, the restaurants, seeing the city grow and to see what it’s done to be a part of something that started when it was kind of minimal. They had Kelsey Grammer that was doing a show that ended, Jason Clarke was doing Chicago Code that had gotten canceled I think, a couple films had came through, but besides that I don’t think there was an entertainment front that came through and now the stage is here. Actually, in Lagunitas, here, in season 1, this was all empty and we used to do promos, we used to do shoots here and to see this come in and this evolve and the stages over there, we have sets for like Empire here, ABC had a show, Fox had a show, and we had three, four shows on our list last year, with Justice that didn’t go, but, when it was all up and running, it was like an amusement park. To be a part of that, and the opportunity to capitalize on it, that’s been huge.
What’s something unique about playing a firefighter in Chicago versus any other city in America?
Taylor: Well, I’m going to have a really biased opinion because I’ve only done it here. I think the city itself. It’s the second largest city in the states so you have these huge high rises among the suburbs. So you get a call, you could be going to either one. You could be stuck, I think we have something coming up. You really don’t know the dynamic, with the lake, with the water. I don’t know if it’s too different from most major cities but it’s different from Middle America. The training for the squad is unique for most other cities, because they’re trained in water rescue and a few other, you know rappelling and a few other things that might not take place in other cities.