An Evening With The Casts Of 'Chicago Fire' And 'Chicago PD'

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 26, 2014 7:30PM

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After all the street closures around the city for filming, we get to see our neighborhoods and now familiar faces on TV every week in NBC’s Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. Both casts were out together, along with executive producer Dick Wolf, at the Museum of Broadcast Communications last week for a panel discussion complete with a red carpet.

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Photos by Michelle Meywes
The line was around the block early for the sold out event with fans hoping to nab a good seat and maybe get an early glimpse of the shows’ stars. We got a look behind the scenes at the red carpet beforehand and all the hoopla that goes with it. It’s everything you’d imagine, from flashbulbs to swooning teenage girls as the as the shows’ stars ditched their uniforms for suits, skirts and hair and make up.

Hosted by local NBC news anchor Allison Rosati, the panel conversation offered a fun look at the lives of the actors and offered some insight into the concepting of the shows. When deciding what city to set Fire in, Wolf said they chose Chicago because firefighters embody the "values of the heart of America. And that's what Chicago is." Rosati asked about filming in one of the toughest winters that Chicago has seen in some time, and local native LaRoyce Hawkins, who plays Officer Kevin Atwater on PD, was fired up about the unusually harsh season, describing it as being “disrespected” by the weather.

The lighter talk included pranks on set, sneaking into Hawks games, and accidentally pulling people over when forgetting to turn their squad car lights off between takes. And did you know that Fire’s Cruz (Joe Minoso) and Peter Mills (Charlie Barnett) are real-life roommates?!

In the end, all the cast members agreed that they have a new appreciation for real-life firefighters, paramedics and police officers, with long time local actor Christian Stolte who plays Fire’s Randy “Mouch” McHolland exclaiming that he had no idea how heavy the equipment was. In fact, those extras are legit, too. Jesse Lee Soffer, PD’s Detective Jay Halstead, told us, "Every time you see someone pulling something off a truck, it's an off duty firefighter. Same on our show."

Tonight, Chicago PD and another well known Dick Wolf show, Law & Order have crossover episodes as the crew from NY enlists Chicago’s help in tracking a serial killer. Wolf hinted that there would be more crossover events to come in the future, something that we’ve already seen a lot of between Fire and PD. Hey, when you’re pretty much the king of network television, it’s not too hard to make all your shows exist in the same universe. Here’s a look at the promo for tonight’s crossover special: