Published: Wednesday, 20 October 2021 17:21 | Written by Sammi Turano
Chicago Fire is about to air its 200th episode tonight! It is no surprise that the cast has shared a lot of memories together throughout the years and plan to make even more.
In a recent press roundtable, David Eigenberg, Christian Stolte, and Joe Minoso shared that they have a special, unbreakable bond both on and off screen. It is something that is beautiful to see and something that will last a lifetime.
“We mock ourselves and each other all the time.” Stolte shared with SciFi Vision. “Once in a while we're in the moment like that, where I think each of us realizes, 'Oh, we're pretty good at this,' and we kind of forget that, because we're used to just sort of taking ourselves in a casual fashion.”
“[There’s] never, that I've ever been in or heard of, a scene in the show where everybody isn’t all inclusive." Eigenberg added. “Everybody is on board to go.”
As for what to expect in the 200th episode, the trio could not give too much away, but they did promise that viewers would want to tune in!
“The conflict will come from outside, but the love will blossom from [with]in,” Eigenberg promised. Stolte said that fans should brace themselves to see exactly what that means!
Chicago Fire airs on Wednesdays on NBC. Check your local listings for showtimes and be sure to watch our portion of the interview and read the full transcript below.
Zoom Interview Chicago Fire David Eigenberg, Christian Stolte, and Joe Minoso
October 8, 2021
QUESTION: Joe, your character Cruz goes through a lot in the first three episodes. In the third episode, he seemed to be doing better, but will he still be traumatized? If you can tell us from what happened in the first episode?
JOE MINOSO: You know, I think we've definitely kind of gotten over that hump, at least for now. I think there are other hurdles that he's going to be facing over the course of the season, but I think we're going to be able to see Cruz back in action, the way he used to be.
QUESTION: David, Herman got a black mark on his record for helping Sylvie. Is this going to cause more trouble for him this season? If you can tell us?
DAVID EIGENBERG: As my cast mates and my friends in real life, Christian and Joe, might say, my mouth, David, and the mouth of Herman are correlating in the same column of inappropriateness and belligerence, so you never know when Herm is going to snap off. The difference between me and Herman is Herman is trying to do the right thing. David is doing…the thing. But you never know, and these days, we’re never cued into really what's going to occur later on. People always find that kind of amazing, or people that you meet on the street, go like, “You should have them [do this]...” We don’t know.
JOE MINOSO: They don't ask us what we're interested in, because let me tell you, if they asked us what we were interested in, our show would be very different. Very, very different. And to their [credit], I think it's a good idea that they're not asking us for ideas.
CHRISTIAN STOLTE: Joe’s not suggesting we would continue to get any viewers if it went our way.
JOE MINOSO: No, we would get canceled immediately.
… QUESTION: I have one quick question, that I think you guys kind of answered by the entire conversation, which is the show makes everyone feel sort of like a family. I was going to ask, do you feel like a family behind the scenes? I think the answer is clear by this conversation, but you can go ahead and give us a little more.
DAVID EIGENBERG: Yeah, there's a constant banter at our show, and not to be narcissistic, a lot of of it is to ridicule me, and whoever [can] pile on, they do…
JOE MINOSO: You have to understand. David goes in there asking to be ridiculed.
CHRISTIAN STOLTE: Yes.
JOE MINOSO: He thoroughly enjoys [it].
CHRISTIAN STOLTE: He’s not a victim of anything.
JOE MINOSO: He loves to be the butt of jokes.
CHRISTIAN STOLTE: He loves it. He loves it. He invites it; he insists on it.
DAVID EIGENBERG: Family branches [out]. That's the flower, the thing that family branches out of. A good sense of humor and somebody who’s easy to hit.
QUESTION: Episode 200 I've heard is a very, very big one for you guys. What can you [say] about what you're up to there?
CHRISTIAN STOLTE: Can anyone think of anything to say that doesn't spoil anything? If you have been a longtime viewer of the show, then you're probably going to watch it without my prompt, without me trying to sell you on it, but if you are a person who's been devoted to the show for a long time, brace yourself!
DAVID EIGENBERG: The conflict will come from outside, but the love will blossom from [with]in. That’s kind of at the core of I think what happens with a lot of these characters, even their flaws, is that they care and they have compassion, and that comes from first responders, the actual first responders that we work with, and their genuine concern for the human condition and taking care of people…We don't have any nemesis within the core group of all the actors, the eleven, twelve, thirteen actors, depending on what day it is that we have together; we don't have a nemesis amongst us. But the show is always branching out. It's just, you know, it’s tentacles of love. I love that metaphor. Tentacles of love, what could be better?
SCIFI VISION: Since we are on our 200th episode, I want you each to share your favorite memory about being on the show.
JOE MINOSO: Everything between action and cut, like, especially those first couple of years, just whatever nonsense was filling our time, while they were setting up some giant fire while we were sitting in a freezing truck, those will forever be the best memories for me of the show.
CHRISTIAN STOLTE: If you take the first few seasons, because it was all new to us, and we were all sort of marveling at the very idea that we could get paid to hang out with this cool group of people and suffer through some pretty rough conditions together, to the extent that you kind of lose your sense of humor on your own. Take any moment in the back of that truck where we're laughing until tears come out of our eyes, and that's my favorite moment. As far as the actual acting part, a lot of the cool rescues and stuff we did, those are hard won moments. They take a lot of hard work from a lot of people to make those things happen, and they are rewarding in their own way. But very recently, last week, we shot a scene that took place entirely in the bullpen, right outside Chief Boden's office, and it was hard to comprehend, but it was a fast paced, high stakes, fast-moving scene, and it was probably the most rewarding acting experience I've had in ten seasons. It was exciting.
JOE MINOSO: Well, and we've been exploring a lot more kind of long form filming; we've been doing a lot more kind of longer takes. I think I will forever remember my episode with David in that elevator; that was unlike anything we'd ever filmed. We were doing thirty pages a day, twenty-five, twenty-six-minute takes. And I think what Christian is kind of honing in on there is when we have the opportunity to play with each other for an extended period of time, and everyone's hyper focused on just making the scene work, it is rewarding in a wholly new way. It's ten years of doing, you know, one page at a time. When you get an opportunity to really let something kind of cook like that and let yourself feel through an entire couple of scenes, it's really rewarding as an actor.
CHRISTIAN STOLTE: Yeah, and to tag on to what Joe is saying, I think part of that, what is rewarding about it, is it kind of catches you almost off guard, because we don't tend to take ourselves very seriously. We mock ourselves and each other all the time. Once in a while we're in the moment like that, where I think each of us realizes, “Oh, we're pretty good at this,” and we kind of forget that, because we're used to just sort of taking ourselves in a casual fashion.
DAVID EIGENBERG: [There’s] never, that I've ever been in or heard of, a scene in the show where everybody isn’t all inclusive, working on trying to get this thing to its best, highest level of effectiveness or creativity or however you want to label it. Everybody is on board to go, “How can we do this to make it [the] best?” And there's never been a moment of somebody going like, “I'm not doing it like that,” type thing. And that's a unique [thing in] my experience, not that I've seen a lot of that, but I've seen it where people bash against the grain of trying - I think the show has been very selfless in like, “How can we help make this work?” Many times other actors go like, “Can I kind of throw you something that's going to aid you?” Or whatever. There's a conversation about being better as opposed to how can the individual be better, because we all want each other to be as good as as we can. We always want to aid each other, rising to the highest level. It's hard for me to explain, but it's just hard to articulate that kind of friendship and creativity because it’s never been detracted against, if that’s right.
CHRISTIAN STOLTE: And the new people come on the cast, they get it. They either get it, or they don't last very long, but the thing is, if you come on our show and think this is gonna be about you, you're gonna find out otherwise pretty quick.
DAVID EIGENBERG: We had one actor one time, who will remain nameless, and we were at a call day, and they said, “I'll read my lines from inside the vehicle,” and that immediately was like [shrugs]. They didn't get out, because we were standing on the street ready to go. And not to be negative, I don't mean to bring it down, but you fit or you don't, and we've been really successful with that with those numbers.