It’s been a roller coaster of a season so far for Kelly Severide on Chicago Fire. But Taylor Kinney is upbeat when asked what’s next for his character.
“I would hope a vacation to Hawaii or something,” Kinney tells TVGuide.com with a laugh.
The tropical location would be a nice calm following the storm that has been Season 3. Severide lost his BFF Shay (Lauren German) in the season premiere and has been struggling to come to grips with her death ever since. First, he dealt with his grief through all-night benders. Then he dealt with it by marrying a young woman grappling with her own personal tragedy. But now, thankfully, Severide is doing something a little more productive: working with Dawson (Monica Raymund) to bring down the arsonist responsible for Shay’s death on Tuesday’s new episode (10/9c, NBC).
“It’s the two of us that unearth things because we have a personal agenda so we push through and get the ball rolling in our favor to find out what happened,” Kinney teases. “I feel like that story line, that’s going to be really, really good for the audience.”
The episode will cross over with Wednesday’s Chicago P.D. (10/9c, NBC) as the two teams work together to bring Shay’s killer (played by guest star Robert Knepper) to justice before he strikes again. “It just raised the bar for story and resolve,” Kinney says, “because at the end of the day, we want to find out who did it.”
Although the investigation has forced both Dawson and Severide to open old wounds, Kinney is confident his character’s darkest days are behind him. “He wants to find out who did this and what happened but as for spiraling back out of control, I think he’s past that,” he says. “He didn’t go about it the best way in dealing with it and coping but I think that’s life. People don’t always have it all figured out. You make mistakes and then you do your best and hopefully you have enough people around you that care about you to help you get back on your feet and back on track.”
Despite the inner turmoil, Severide has also learned an important lesson from losing someone so close to him. “I think that to live in the moment and be present and be grateful for what you have day-to-day, that’s been a big lesson. And I think that through her death and then coming to terms with it and coming out of it somewhat in a positive manner, that’s huge.”
Going into the season, Kinney said he didn’t have to prepare much for the emotional story line. “It’s a testament to Lauren. She’s a really good actor, and a really, really good friend so there was some personal heartstrings there,” he says. “She’s missed so it wasn’t like I had to do some sort of crazy thing to get in touch with going there or playing that.”
Ultimately, Kinney hopes that Severide’s despair has run true for viewers. “Not to say that everyone watching or everyone out there has an experience [that’s] similar but I think you can empathize with a loss,” he says. “Hopefully, it spoke to people.”
(Her character may be long gone, but German is still in touch with the group. “We’ll send her goofy pictures and she’ll call to say hello to the gang,” Kinney says. “Hopefully she gets a long weekend and she can come out and go kick around town with us.”)
Behind the scenes, Kinney has enjoyed Severide’s descent into darkness this season. “These characters started blossoming and now we’re at a place where we can go into a really dark area with a character and the audience isn’t going to say, ‘Oh, that’s just one color, that’s who he is,'” he says. “This is the longest I’ve ever played one character and it hasn’t gotten stale at all. It evolves, and you grow, and hopefully our viewers do with us.”
Viewers show no signs on letting up. Chicago Fire is going strong in the ratings and the show has a strong presence on social media. “It’s never lost on me that if people didn’t watch the show, I wouldn’t have a job so if anyone ever comes up and says, hey, hi, hello on an exchange or wants a picture, I’m more than happy [to do it],” Kinney says about fan interaction. “If they say they can’t stand my character or can’t stand me, so be it, but they’re watching the show.”
When asked about the future of the hit series, Kinney hopes he continues to play Kelly Severide for years to come.”That would be amazing. I remember filming the pilot and then the show getting picked up and I was walking down Michigan Avenue. The four years prior whether it was film or television, they were always arcs and then a film at most is a couple months and so I was always moving,” he recalls. “I don’t know what the emotion was. I wasn’t like scared, but I was like, ‘Holy sh–, I could be here for a long time.’ Which isn’t something that I was thinking was going to happen but it’s been great. I love Chicago. I couldn’t be in a better place save for the winter. … I’m a lucky guy.”
Chicago Fire airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.
Question: What happened to Severide’s wife on Chicago Fire? —Bessie
Ausiello: She’s fled the scene, although executive producer Matt Olmstead notes that the pair remain married despite having gone their separate ways. “In the long tradition of Severide and his choices, it’s one of those things where you leave it behind and don’t worry about it,” the EP explains. “But those can come back and bite you. Way down the road, if he ever did want to get married, he’d have to go back and get the divorce he never got from Brittany.” As for whether Serinda Swan will at some point pop back in, Olmstead says he’d love to bring back the actress, “but there’s no plans right now.”
Question: I love Chicago Fire‘s Dawson and Casey. Please tell me they are going to get back together. This is my birthday wish (which is in a few weeks). —Noel
Ausiello: Apologies for the sucky birthday present, but things aren’t looking good for those two crazy kids — mostly because Casey is going to have a little fling “with someone who may have a connection to a fellow firefighter, which he didn’t know about,” executive producer Matt Olmstead teases.
02/10/2015 (10:00PM – 11:00PM) (Tuesday) : CHICAGO’S FINEST ARE LEFT TO WORK IN TREACHEROUS CONDITIONS WHEN A SEVERE ICE STORM FORCES ITS RESIDENTS INTO A CITYWIDE LOCKDOWN — Mills (Charlie Barnett) and Brett (Kara Kilmer) race to recover a missing teenager and are left stranded in the unforgiving elements, while the rest of Firehouse 51 babysits an abandoned newborn. Meanwhile, Lt. Severide (Taylor Kinney) receives an interesting job proposal and Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) finds himself at odds with his father (guest star Richard Roundtree) over his treatment and the planning of a big party in his honor. Jesse Spencer, Monica Raymund, David Eigenberg, Yuri Sardarov, Joe Minoso and Christian Stolte star.
Following the critical and ratings success of November’s three-way crossover between Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Law & Order: SVU, the three NBC dramas will be joining forces again later this season, TVGuide.com has learned.
“It’s a real good one. Big swings, big stakes,” Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. showrunner Matt Olmstead tells TVGuide.com. “There’s nothing really cemented yet, but we’re definitely doing a big, big Chicago Fire-SVU-Chicago P.D. three-way crossover coming up around Episode 20.”
Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and SVU join forces for a “disturbing” three-part event
Olmstead revealed he flew to New York last week to meet with SVU showrunner Warren Leight about the plot details. “There’s a Ted Bundy-esque character who hunted in New York and hunted in Chicago, and it’s the pursuit of a character like that,” he teases.
Unlike the first three-way crossover, Olmstead says this one will have “more integrated storytelling” going back and forth between the two cities.
Chicago Fire airs Tuesdays at 10/9c, Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9/8c, and Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC. Are you excited for another three-way crossover?
Casey-and-Dawson fans are still reeling from the on-again-off-again couple’s latest break-up on Chicago Fire.But don’t cry for Casey. He’ll be doing just fine real soon.
When asked if love was in the air for Casey, Jesse Spencer tells TVGuide.com there will be “numerous” new romantic partners. One in particular will cause some tension back at Firehouse 51, and not just because he’s still working with his former fiancée. “There will be a person that he doesn’t realize has a connection to the firehouse, which kind of makes it a bit controversial,” he says. “Casey is a really good guy, but when a good guy steps out and does the wrong thing, he can really get himself into big trouble.”
Chicago Fire airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.
The doctor is in on Chicago Fire.
The NBC drama — which has already spawned spinoff Chicago P.D. — will play host to an “integrated episode” this season for a possible Chicago Med offshoot.
“We hope that we’re going to get good people [for the cast],” executive producer Dick Wolf said following a Television Critics Association winter press tour panel.
Wolf noted that the “embedded spinoff,” which will feature “an event that brings us inside Chicago Med,” won’t necessarily go to series.
In the end, “it’s 100 percent [NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt’s] decision, not mine,” he said. “We’d obviously love to do it, given the opportunity. But it’s above my paygrade.”
Before that hour, Fire and P.D. will stage another big crossover event on Feb. 3 centering around the arsonist (played by Arrow‘s Robert Knepper) who killed Shay and is now targeting Gabby.
“All I want to do is watch you burn,” the baddie taunts the firefighter in the trailer below.
Other highlights from the session:
* When a character’s leaving, such as with Shay’s death, “you want to maximize the effect,” Wolf said. “That’s why that methodology [for her exit] was chosen.”
* Lindsay’s arc on P.D. “with the task force went to the human notion [of] we’re always looking for the next thing,” Sophia Bush described. “How do I get better?” While her old unit is “very surgical and works like a family,” her new fed boss doesn’t care about CIs, leaving Lindsay to wonder, “Do I want what looks better on paper or was I happy in this place I was before?”
* On the topic of Severide’s wife (played by Graceland‘s Serinda Swan), Taylor Kinney replied with a laugh, “She was a wild woman. I don’t know where she is.”