Law & Order creator Dick Wolf has teamed up with the writing duo of Derek Haas and Michael Brandt (Wanted) for the new NBC series Chicago Fire, debuting Wednesday, October 10 at 10 PM ET with the Season 1 Premeire. Stars Jesse Spencer (Lt. Matthew Casey), Taylor Kinney (Lt. Kelly Severide), and executive producer Danielle Gelber recently held a conference call to discuss the new show. Taylor Kinney first spoke about the preparation he went through, and how that allows for his performance to evolve.
"We started with a single script and the pilot. We did ride-alongs with firefighters and some of the actresses got to ride with the paramedics. So it enabled us to evolve with the character. You come in with set ideas I think in any job and it evolves as you move. There are so many aspects to it. But you keep your eyes open, you spend time with fighters, paramedics, and you pick things up that you otherwise wouldn't. And you're able to bring that to the table to your character to make it that much more authentic."
While most shows don't usually shoot in the city within which they are set, Chicago Fire actually does shoots in the city of Chicago. Jesse Spencer spoke about the reception the production has received from the Windy City.
"I don't think we could have asked for a better reception. This is my first time living here but I love this city. And I think it's the perfect setting for our show. It feels like the people in the city are really supportive of the show. It just adds so much because the fire is another character in the show and Chicago is a whole another character in the show We're shooting in more dangerous sort of like hood areas and we're shooting in upper class areas. And we're shooting downtown. I think throughout the season we're going to give a really good taste of tons of different areas and a good feel for what Chicago is like."
Danielle Gelber elaborated that the city and state government have shown their support for the series as well.
"Mayor Emanuel and the State of Illinois were incredibly welcoming right from the start during the pilot and that has only increased during the production of the show. Chicago is such a visually singular city that we just feel really lucky to be able to sort of bring that into people's living rooms every week. That's very special for us."
Jesse Spencer also teased some developments for his character in the two episodes following the pilot.
"For Casey, his whole livelihood is being threatened by this guy. He has run into a situation where this guy's son has - in a drunk driving accident has caused this kid in the other car to be paralyzed. It builds and builds to the point where we see Casey for the first time, I think, really threatened and really having to fight back to basically protect a loved one so it becomes really primal. We'll see him lose his shit, which is kind of really exciting."
Danielle Gelber revealed that the show was designed as more of a character piece, going deeper into these firefighters lives as the show progresses.
"The show was really designed from the ground up as a character procedural so everybody's character is going to be delved into deeper and deeper over the life of the show. The longer we live with these characters - Derek and Michael who created it - are just mining more and more ways along with our showrunner Matt Olmstead, to really bring more dimension and facets of their past and their lives into the present day. It's pretty compelling."
Chicago Fire debuts Wednesday, October 10 at 10 PM ET on NBC.