Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

    ‘Chicago Fire’ boss talks Taylor Kinney’s return, Kara Killmer’s final season and what’s new

    [This story contains spoilers from the second episode of Chicago Fire season 12, “Call Me McHolland.”]

    In the eyes of Chicago fire For showrunner Andrea Newman, multiple seasons of any show that brings what she considers an ongoing routine of everyday action heroes will bring about change. And that’s exactly what viewers saw Wednesday night, as old guard firefighters Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) and Randy “Mouch” McHolland (Christian Stolte) battled Father Time’s blows in two separate dilemmas that would potentially end their careers.

    Faithful viewers of NBC’s long-running drama were left wondering about Mouch’s fate after season 11, and whether the veteran had survived shrapnel from a sniper’s bullet in the cliffhanger finale. It wasn’t until last week’s season 12 premiere that it was revealed that Mouch survived his ordeal. But, as this week’s second episode showed, Mouch is still struggling with the effects of his injury and has taken it upon himself to change the way he lives and treats his body to prove that he can still compete with the top.

    And then there’s Herrmann, who risked his own life to save Fire Station 51 from a package bomb in last week’s episode. The explosion knocks Herrmann unconscious, but he recovers. But this week’s episode revealed that he suffered severe hearing loss as a result of the incident. Fellow firefighter and friend Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri) notices Herrmann’s hearing loss, but the firefighter denies it (or is afraid of what the revelation of such an injury could cost him in his beloved career).

    Newman, who took over showrunner duties full-time for season 12 following co-creator Derek Haas’ departure from the one chicago franchise, recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter via Zoom to discuss Mouch and Herrmann’s story arcs, as well as give viewers insight into the characters’ comings and goings within season 12 of NBC and Dick Wolf’s long-running series, from the return of Taylor Kinney to the imminent departure of Kara Killmer and other news to come. .


    How does it feel to drive what some might call a mega horsepower car as the sole showrunner of a show? Chicago fire?

    Well, I’ll say that because it’s such a big show that you don’t do it alone anyway. This is a great action show; It’s a great character show. It has so many things; That’s why we work very closely with production. We have this amazing producer, Demetra. [Diamantopoulos]and director Reza [Tabrizi], and we are in constant contact. It always felt like a real team effort on this show. But is fun! It’s fun to be a female showrunner on a big action show with some kick-ass female characters. That’s exciting to me! We have Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo), Brett (Kara Killmer), and Violet Mikami (Hanako Greensmith), all of whom have great, difficult stories this year, and I love that.

    But you know, Derek. [Haas] I built this program and I still talk to him or text him every day. He’s still a part of this show, so it seems like he never left.

    Is it safe to say that you’ll shift to speeds you haven’t ventured yet now that you have full control?

    Still using that metaphor, I think what that really means for a show like this is just going deeper into the characters, finding new character dynamics that we haven’t seen before. Mouch with episode two is a good example. He’s been here from the beginning, but now we’re seeing other sides of him and digging a little deeper, and I love being able to do that. Season 12 of our show is a great gift. You’ve seen these arcs of these characters, but you’re finding new dimensions all the time. And that’s what I’m excited to do this year: new couples, people we may not have seen work together or be together before. Exploring all those character dynamics a little more.

    Christian Stolte as Randy McHolland and David Eigenberg as Christopher Herrmann in “Call Me McHolland.”

    Adrian S. Burrows Sr/NBC

    Speaking of Mouch and episode two, it seemed like his character and firefighter Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) were going through different but similar crises. They were both in a battle for their professional lives against Father Time (Mouch tells the team he wants to be remembered for having “left everything on the table” while recovering from a serious injury. And Herrmann is trying to hide his severe hearing loss. . from Firehouse 51 after saving the crew from a box with a bomb). Will this idea of ​​fighting Father Time be explored throughout the season?

    I can’t tell you how much I love that question. I love it because it’s such an important part of being an action hero. This is what these firefighters do! And what do these lifeguards do? It is a very physical job. So what happens when you fight Father Time over the course of the process? The guy who is our technical consultant, Steve Chikerotis, who is deputy district chief, is retired and probably in Mouch and Hermann’s range. And I’ve seen that guy with his bare hands, when a tech truck stopped to explore, defend himself against two pit bulls attacking a passerby. It was a scary thing; This guy sticks his fucking bare hands in and rips these pit bulls off! He is as tough as he comes, even at his retired age. He’s awesome and scary, and you wouldn’t want to fight that guy no matter your age.

    But having said that, you are absolutely right. It’s something that’s always a struggle. And they raised the mandatory retirement this year to 65 years. So, you can be a firefighter at 65 and many of these men and women work hard to stay in shape and still be a part of it. But they also have to start thinking about the future; some of them are happy to start working at a desk at a certain time. They can function that way as Boden, the fire chief of Fire Station 51. [played by Eamonn Walker]. It’s a little complicated, but it can do desktop work. But there are also some people who are addicted to adrenaline; They will never want to hang it up and just move it to a desk.

    So, it’s going to be a fight all season long, with the old guard and the new guard. They’re seeing these young people come in and the questions are: Do I have limitations and if so, what are they? And will they hinder me at work? And what is safest for everyone? But you know, they’re still tough!

    Taylor Kinney return as Lieutenant Kelly Severide this season after Kinney took an extended break from the show. In the first episode, there was friction between him and his wife, Lt. Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo). Now, in episode two, there is friction between Severide and Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso). Cruz is thinking about leaving the 51st Fire Station and becoming a lieutenant somewhere else. Could this become a spin-off scheduled for Severide’s character?

    Severide’s challenge is to return to regain the confidence he lost when he got caught up in those arson cases. And Kidd definitely sees arson cases as a drug for Severide, the same way he sees arson as a drug. It’s something that he gets caught up in, and there’s so much good stuff in there because his father had an arson attack and she had a very strained relationship with his father. So is he falling into some kind of scary routine? A rhythm of then you become your father no matter what you do? He has to figure out how to keep it all together, make sure he regains the trust he lost with Cruz and Kidd. And he wants to keep the arson in his life. Arson is a very compelling area. As a writer, it’s really compelling and I know Severide, as a character, loves it. Yes, you will have to find a balance there.

    Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd with Kara Killmer as Sylvie Brett in season 12.

    Adrian S. Burrows Sr/NBC

    How about Kara Killmer’s Sylvie Brett character? We know that she is preparing to marry Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer) and move to Oregon with her new adopted baby. Will this be Killmer’s last season?

    Sylvie Brett leaves us this season, but we have it for a while. In episode two, she starts planning this wedding. And what I will say about that is that not everything will go as planned. She will have to fight and it will be a challenge to get where she wants to go. On that front, there will be some twists and turns along the way.

    Will we see her fiancé Matt Casey (Spencer) again?


    What are some of the other storylines in store for viewers throughout the rest of the season?

    Obviously, change is one of the themes of this season and we are going to see new faces. You meet Gibson (Rome Flynn), our firefighter in episode two. I love him! He enters and will join the fire station. And then the question is: will he fit in at 51 years old? And who really is this guy? That’s the question we always ask ourselves when someone joins 51, because it takes a while to fit in there. So, we have a few layers to look at about Gibson and figure out if he has issues. Is it a good problem, is it a bad problem? We’ll be playing with that character for a while.

    And we have a lot to play with Violeta. [Hanako Greensmith]. she’s been through a lot [her boyfriend, Evan Hawkins, was killed in season 11 trying to rescue a civilian], and she has her partner around for just a little longer; So Violet had quite the journey this season with sort of stepping out of Sylvie’s shadow a little bit. She’s been through some tough times, her boyfriend, the head paramedic, was murdered right in front of her. So she’s going to struggle with that a little bit and take her moment to step out into the sun and overcome a lot of what she’s been through in the past.

    We have all our guys struggling with the change and the comings and goings; So, there’s a lot to play with this season. Lots of new character dynamics.

    You are in season 12 of Chicago fire. How does the show stay fresh after this long period of time?

    That’s a great question. I think that Fire What’s very unique, and it’s unique to me, having written for a long time before starting here, is that it’s possibly like three shows or more. Because we have the action, the character dynamics and the soap opera, and then we always have the comedy as part of the show as well. And I think it’s unique that an action show has entire comedy stories that could be episodes of their own. What we like to do is be as true to the life of a first responder as possible. Be as reflective of that world as possible. And this is how our first responders get through it in real life. At the end of the day, you have to find the light at the end of the tunnel and hope. And humor is a big part of that. The fact that there are so many balls in the air keeps it fresh.

    How long have you been with Chicago fire?

    Since the first day! I never in my life expected, in a job as a television scriptwriter, to have that kind of permanence. But every time we say that number 12, those of us who have been here a while think, “What? That is not possible!”

    What do you think keeps viewers tuning in and coming back, especially in the midst of the Peak TV era and with so many options on what to watch?

    I think you want to be surprised. You don’t want to feel like you’ve been there, done that, especially once you get past a certain season. And I think we work very hard to always surprise people. And part of that is the comings and goings of the cast. And people get angry and they don’t want to lose people, but the truth is that at the end of the day, you have to change things up a little bit and keep the roller coaster going. And also, having characters that people have fallen in love with and want to see. We always say that Team 51 always considers itself a family, and we always write keeping in mind that the audience is part of that family.

    new episodes of Chicago fire It airs Wednesdays at 9 pm on NBC.


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