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Exclusive Interview: Chicago Fire’s Monica Raymund And Charlie Barnett

Entertainment 24 Sep 2013   »   by TheWhatItDo


Chicago Fire kicks off its premiere this evening on NBC primetime television making its debut for a second season. This new season is filled with more first response emergencies and complicated love triangles between co-workers that would keep a viewer glued in and faithful even thru commercial breaks. Executive produced by Emmy Award winning executive producer Dick Wolf and created by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, these gentlemen bring real life FireHouse crisis drama to a level that’s intense and extreme. We were able to get a pulse on the new season by catching up with actors Monica Raymund and Charlie Barnett. Both graduated from The Juilliard School in New York and have known each other for a very long time. Raymund plays a first response paramedic while Barnett’s character is a young Firefighter trying to get hired into FireHouse 51.

TWID: Did you previously have any interest in first response? What are your thoughts about first responders now? How has it changed?

Monica Raymund: I had not considered myself going into first response before I started the show. I don’t have any family members who are paramedics. I do have family members who are doctors. And I have a couple of family members who have either served in the Army or served for a parole office. So that’s about as close as I got to it. But when I joined the show, I was actually very intrigued by the entire experience of first response and I kind of have this insane desire to potentially try to study to get an EMT certification at some point over the next six years. I would really love to find an opportunity to do that. And since I started this show, obviously — because I don’t have any experience in the first response family or community, it was a new way of seeing the world for me. I had an opportunity to do a lot of ride-alongs before we started filming, in the beginning of season one. They’re just the most courageous, most fun and empathetic people I’ve really ever met. It’s humbled me since we’ve started working on the show.

TWID: How did it feel not getting the job knowing few people get it their first time and he knows he has all these people in his corner? Or is it also partly because of his breakup with Gabby?

Charlie Barnett: I think it’s that and among other things as well. It was for me a lot of my father’s situation was brought to light and I don’t know it kind of affected the whole situation of leaving the firehouse having this image of my father being the hero and then kind of figuring out that he wasn’t as as heroic as I had always imagined. And the line had almost been altered in this kind of this three-prong of these hero firefighters. So, I think that fed into it as well among the fact that I wanted to escape being around Gabby and was being a little bit childish. I told Michael and Derek that I thought it was honestly a bitch move. But I also think its an amazing character trait to bring up in a person. I think he recognizes that. And you’ll see how it kind of affects him and how he moves forward from it. But there’s a lot that fed into it. It wasn’t just a, you know what, F this, I’m leaving because I didn’t get it.

TWID: What should we expect in season two?

Monica Raymund: We’re starting off with a bang. The first three episodes, we have I feel like we’re throwing everything at the audience. There are four or five storylines going on, a lot of conflicts, there’s an outside threat to the firehouse more than once. One is physical and one is mental. And it’s going to jump off from the teaser of the first episode.

TWID: What should we expect this season or can you clue us in?

Monica Raymund: My character likes to get around. She’s busy.

Charlie Barnett: She gets down.

Monica Raymund: A little bit of the Nielsen love come back in terms of how they navigate their new relationship in season two. I don’t think there’s a lot of opportunities to see how that happens. But I think that in the beginning of season two, we’ll see how they start to navigate where they left off in season one and whether or not they get together is sort of up to them to decide.

Charlie Barnett: Yeah, they have this love that’s kind of never-ending, you know what I mean They began as friends initially in the beginning of the season. So, they have more built up than them kind of cutting everything off at the end of this relationship. If the flame rekindles, I think you’ll just have to watch and see. But, definitely we brush up against each other a couple times. You know, we’re working together.

TWID: Mills and Boden, is Peter going to forgive him or is that relationship going to stay chilly for a while?

Charlie Barnett: Honestly I don’t how much I could say about it. I kind of want to leave it open so that you guys stay interested and excited. But I know that Boden and Mills have a complicated issue because it happened so far in the past and happened kind of outside of Mills’ own experience. He was a young boy when supposedly this relationship between my mother and him went on. This disagreement with him and my father ending up in possibly my father’s death. I like kind of even being in the dark on all of that, not really knowing what the truth is. We entered back into the house and you know bar none, it’s a house. We’re risking our lives out there. I think what’s great about that is all the emotional BS that kind of gets in the way starts to diminish. Because you find yourself in situations relying on those people, relying on the person that you didn’t trust maybe a second ago while you were standing around. Or relying on the person or needing the person that possibly wasn’t your best friend you know while you were sitting on the couch in the house. So that has I think a huge effect on Mills and Boden as well. It furthers their relationship. Where it ends up, I don’t know. I’m excited to see as much as you are. They still have a complicated situation. A lot of things haven’t been drawn out. They need to have kind of a face to face, but it will come.

TWID: Should anything happen that would prevent them from being friends?

Monica Raymund: Well I think that this rift that you’re hearing about that you’ll see in season two, it does drive them apart for a while. And it’s certainly is probably the biggest fight we’ve gotten in so far I would imagine. Probably not the only fight we’ve ever gotten in. But this one by far is going to have enough of an effect to affect our work and to affect our relationship in the house. But I think Shay and Gabi are soul mates in terms of friends. I don’t know it’s kind of like that college buddy you might have from 15 years ago and no matter what, if he calls and you need him, you’ll get on a plane and you’ll go and you’ll see him if he really needs you. It’s that. No there’s nothing that could happen that would keep us from ever loving each other or talking to each other. We’re always destined to be friends, we’ll always be in each other’s lives. I mean we’re family. So we could be really pissed at each other for as long as we want, but I don’t think we’ll ever stop loving each other.

Whether they are putting out fires or trying to figure out personal affairs of the heart and daily life, this show takes us into the lives of people who risk their lives for others. Chicago Fire airs every tuesday night on NBC. Be sure to check your local television stations on showtimes that way you don’t miss out. For more information on the show, please visit their Official Website.

Article Written By: Elizabeth Lavulo
Images And Video Provided By: NBC

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