Chicago Fire Stars Talk The Doozy Of A Cliffhanger And 'Beautiful Moments' Of Saying Goodbyes


Chicago Fire ended its ninth season back in the spring in true One Chicago fashion: with a huge cliffhanger leaving the lives of multiple characters in very real danger. After the death of another hero in a season premiere just a couple of years ago, it's hard not to worry about what will happen to Squad 3 when Season 10 opens to reveal their fates after the water rescue gone wrong. Fortunately, stars Taylor Kinney (Kelly Severide) and David Eigenberg (Christopher Herrmann) spoke with CinemaBlend about the cliffhanger and some goodbyes they've had to say over the years to tide fans over until next week's premiere.

Taylor Kinney's Severide was of course one of the four Firehouse 51 heroes whose life was in jeopardy at the end of the Season 9 finale, with the stakes especially high with poor Stella watching from shore so soon after they happily got engaged. Fans will have to wait until the premiere to find out exactly what happens to Severide and the rest of Squad 3, but when I asked what it was like to film the watery cliffhanger in the spring and then pick it up again for Season 10, Kinney shared:

It was a doozy. I mean, we spent a lot of time in the water. And not to give the magic away, but because some of these... I mean, that was always exciting when I was a kid and I'd watch movies and I would see things, then getting to do what I do. And seeing the behind-the-scenes and the little intricacies of how things work. We put so much time into little blips on the radar, so to speak, of what goes on, what the audience sees on the screen. So it's hat's off to everybody we worked with. We have an underwater camera operator, this guy Pete, who came out from L.A. to shoot all these scenes and we were in the water in Lake Michigan and in a pool, and we spent a lot of time underwater. So you can shoot for twelve hours a day and then it may translate to a minute and a half, maybe less than two minutes on the screen. But it looks amazing. And I couldn't be more proud to be a part of it. It's, you know, I'm living the dream.

Working on the cliffhanger may have been living the dream for Taylor Kinney, but it's probably safe to say that even the idea of Severide not making it up to the surface of Lake Michigan in time is a nightmare for fans heading into Season 10! According to Kinney, there was some TV magic going on in filming the water emergency cliffhanger, but it did still involve spending some time in Chicago's own Great Lake as well as a pool. And since Chicago doesn't exactly have the warmest winters in the world, Lake Michigan back in the spring had to be a cold place to take a dip.

When I asked Taylor Kinney if it was a bit warmer in Lake Michigan for the second half of filming to start Season 10, he confirmed that the lake gets "darn cold," but not the coldest that he's felt that body of water. Kinney and David Eigenberg shared that they've gone into Lake Michigan for the Polar Plunge charity event for Special Olympics, which means plunging into a Great Lake in February rather than April. They elaborated on what it's like as Chicago Fire actors when it comes to filming water scenes. Or, as Eigenberg amusingly explained, not filming water scenes. The actors said:

David Eigenberg: Yeah, it gets cold. The water is, you know, it can only go to 32 degrees, because you know what it is after that, right? Ice. It's ice. So, but these guys, these guys got cold.Taylor Kinney: Yeah, it's freezing.David Eigenberg: I said, 'I don't do any underwater stunts.' Like, they wanted me, but I knew they were going to kill me. So that's how you avoid dying on the show. You just say 'I'm not going to do that scene' and then they can't kill you.

Well, apparently, David Eigenberg has discovered the secret to not being killed off Chicago Fire! While he was clearly joking, he makes a valid point. If you don't film any death scenes, the show can't kill you off in the usual on-screen heartbreaking fashion that Fire characters have been known to lose their lives. When I asked if not doing underwater stunts means Herrmann won't be going out for Squad in Season 10, Eigenberg continued and turned the joke into a reflection on the goodbyes that have been said to the actors whose characters have been killed off:

Not this season. Maybe next. [laughs] You never know on this show! They're dropping. They drop, they kill, they disappear. But you know, it's always heartbreak when somebody does go, and I'm not gonna say anything about any[thing], but we've had nothing but beautiful moments of longing and sadness whenever someone has left the show. And I hope that I have that when I'm gone.

David Eigenberg definitely didn't say that any of those "beautiful moments of longing and sadness" in saying goodbye had to happen after filming the Season 10 premiere to resolve the Season 9 finale cliffhanger, so there's no need for fans to panic that Severide, Cruz, Capp, or Tony is going to go the way of Otis and die when One Chicago returns for the 2021-2022 TV season.

After all, as a member of the Chicago Fire cast who has been around from the very beginning, David Eigenberg has had to say goodbye to a lot of cast members whose characters met their fates. I'm not the only one who's still not over the death of Lauren German's Shay, right? Take a look at the latest preview for the aftermath of the watery rescue gone wrong:

Find out what happens on Chicago Fire after the Season 9 cliffhanger and whether anymore goodbyes had to be said with the Season 10 premiere on Wednesday, September 22 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, right in between the Season 7 premiere of Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET and the Season 9 premiere of Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET. P.D.'s Jesse Lee Soffer already previewed some of the intensity that's on the way to One Chicago's cop drama, and there can be no doubt that Med will deliver as well. Don't forget to check back with CinemaBlend for more One Chicago fun!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).