The ninth season of Chicago Fire: Firehouse 51 started at TVA a few weeks ago. Taylor Kinney, Lieutenant Kelly Severide’s interpreter, used his visit to the Monte Carlo Television Festival to give him some confidential information Weekly TV.
You were there from the start Chicago fire. Do you feel even closer to the firefighters you pay homage to on the show?
I think as time goes on you will become even more grateful for the incredible work that firefighters and first responders can do. I’ve never had to put myself in danger to save a life. However, when standing in front of a simulated fire and unable to see anything within 1m because of the smoke, I can only admire their bravery.
It’s a very physical role. Would you be willing to embody a firefighter for a long time?
I could play Kelly Severide for 10 more years if need be! I’ve been looking for a role in a series like this for a long time. In an adventure like this, I wanted to be there from the start and play one of the main characters. It really is a dream job for me. I will never be thankful enough for Dick Wolf (the creator of Chicago fire) for giving me such a chance.
Before arrival Chicago fireyou weren’t always successful…
It’s true. I wanted to work with Dick Wolf so badly that I auditioned for the lead role Law and Order: Sex Crimes, but I was not accepted. I also did a pilot with Don Johnson in which he portrayed the owner of a hair salon in Los Angeles, a series that didn’t go on. So when I played in the pilot of Chicago firein March 2012 and we got the promise that we could do a full season, that was an important step in my career.
What memories do you have of filming this pilot?
It was very hot for a March, which is pretty rare in Chicago. I was like a kid in a candy store: I was super excited because I was going to shoot my first action scene there Chicago fire. It was a roof rescue. It took us three or four days to shoot this sequence, but we had a lot of fun, Jesse Spencer and I! After I shot the pilot, I walked down Michigan Avenue (one of Chicago’s main thoroughfares) with a strange feeling that I would be here for a long time…
After all those years in Kelly Severide’s uniform, can you easily pull yourself away from the character when you get home?
I store this character 10 out of 12 months for 10 years. That’s why a lot of people on the street call me Kelly. Playing a role for so long can be confusing, but most importantly, the audience doesn’t make that much distinction between character and actor anymore. On my side this is not the case. Don’t worry, I won’t show up during a mission thinking I’m a real firefighter! (laughs) When I come home I am myself. When I relax with my family I am not Severide.
Has your character taught you things about yourself?
I think Kelly has made enough mistakes in her life that I avoid making the same ones. He also experienced many love torments through the seasons. When I see it, I tell myself I’m pretty lucky after all! (laughs)
You are a motorsport enthusiast. Did you use your stay in Monaco to race the Formula 1 circuit through the city?
I had already been to Monaco and the first thing I had done was take the famous tunnel. It was magical, much more than going to the casino! (laughs) This time I tried to see if Charles Leclerc was around (the Ferrari driver resides in Monaco), but he was in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. Otherwise he might have lent me his Ferrari, who knows!
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