Will he stay or will he go?
It’s a tough start to Chicago Fire Season 4 for one Kelly Severide, who finds himself getting blamed for a lot that’s gone wrong in the fire house and... well, it may be enough to make him say goodbye forever.
While we’re pretty sure actor Taylor Kinney is sticking around with the show, Severide is going to have a tough time of it - and we can only hope that he doesn’t slip back into some of his acting out behavior from last season.
I sat down with Kinney yesterday in New York City to talk about what we’ll see, while also getting his thoughts on the new season of American Horror Story: Hotel, which happens to be starring his fiancé, Lady Gaga.
TV Fanatic: Severide seems to get punched in the gut right from the start. How hard is this going to hit him emotionally?
Taylor Kinney: Coming from last year with the loss of Shay, Lauren German, that was heavy and that was tough and there was a big downward spiral with that. Coming in with this season, there is a scene with Eamonn Walker, who plays the Chief, he says ‘you’re going to be stripped of your rank, you’re being demoted and this is why.’ I want to defend myself but I don’t get to. I get demoted because of the turnaround on squad. There’s just been this turnaround and I say ‘that’s not my fault. There’s this and this and this’ and it holds no weight. There is a defense that kicks in.
This new guy comes in, he’s not taking my role, my position, and he just stands in. He’s a Captain, he’s not a Lieutenant and it’s frustrating to take orders from someone other than Boden so that’s where the tension arises, where the frustration sets in. For years I’ve been used to doing a job where I don’t question split second decisions and now I don’t have the authority to give those directions and then I am questioned. It is a backseat role, it does create a lot of tension, we but heads and we’ll see what happens.
TVF: Patterson doesn’t seem to be a bad guy. He’s just coming in and doing his job.
TK: He’s a good guy, great actor but there is that tension that ‘hey, you’re coming in here and you have a job. I know what your job is and I don’t necessarily agree with how you do it and I certainly don’t want to be told what to do.’ On top of that, I still believe ‘Hey, I got wronged.’ So I have to go take management courses, I have to do training and classes…it’s just a bunch of hoops, politics that I don’t want to deal with.
TVF: Is there a part of Severide that does want to just walk away?
TK: Yeah, if an ultimatum came up it would be ‘I don’t know that I can work for this guy and I don’t know that I’m going to.’
TVF: Who is he leaning on the most during all of this?
TK: Certainly, I’m still roommates with Casey so I can talk to him but it’s just not in his nature to vent. Maybe Boden. Boden is a father figure and I can go to him with anything, I can talk to him about anything and he doesn’t agree with what’s going on and I can say ‘what’s going on here?’ Maybe that’s the one character I know I can trust with any question.
TVF: Things happen pretty quick for him as far as the demotion and taking the courses. Are you glad it’s not drawn out?
TK: Fresh material, new stuff, it’s great. I love it. Brian White comes on and Steven McQueen, he’s with us for season 4 and I worked with him years ago on Vampire Diaries. He’s a great person, a great kid. We have a bunch of these new storylines and I love it. Spread the love. There are great stories to be told. The city has been as great as ever. I’m excited. The crossovers that we do with PD and Med, that can be endless and I feel like we can tell stories for years.
TVF: With the crossovers, I know it’s complicated for the writers, how is it for you as an actor?
TK: Not very. In terms of the crossovers, you want to be in the know of maybe the last two or three episodes. We just started episode seven and if I go to do a guest spot on PD or someone does or you have a story that crosses over, you just want to be on the up and up on their story. It’s just more reading. It’s not taxing and I think it only adds to the show. If you’re a fan of Fire or a fan of PD and you have a favorite character you’re going to follow that character and that’s what has been the most fun.
And hats off to Dick Wolf for creating that. Mariska come over, Ice T came over. I would love to find an excuse for the firefighters of Chicago to go to New York. I don’t know how that happens!
TVF: We meet Steven’s character with some hazing but was there any on-set hazing since he was the new kid on the block?
TK: Oh, no. Probably the best thing about this job is our cast and our crew. There’s just good people. There are no egos, people aren’t rude to each other. Everyone is full aware how lucky we are. It’s just a good group of people so, if anything, it’s all best in jest with Steven in saying ‘welcome to the club.’ Nothing absurd and he’s a good kid and he’s fun. He’s a light dude. He’s up for anything.
TVF: What are your thoughts on American Horror Story?
TK: I loved it. I went to the premiere. Eamonn, Monica, we all helped my fiancé in her prep and getting ready and reading. It was such a blast. It’s great. We can share stuff that maybe we couldn’t before about work. I certainly don’t plan on ever being a pop star, I have no desire. But her doing something that I do, the lines of communication have opened to create new stuff. I saw it, I am proud of her. I think Ryan Murphy knocked it out of the park…I’m really proud of her and she loves it. I think everyone can tell she’s in a happy camper.
Chicago Fire Season 4 airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.