One Chicago Day 2016: Eamonn Walker talks CHICAGO FIRE

Last week, a group of writers converged on Lagunitas Brewery and the Chicago studios of CHICAGO FIRE, MED, PD, and new series JUSTICE, to celebrate One Chicago Day 2016. We got the chance to speak with the cast and crew from the shows, witness on set demonstrations like cracking open a chest with Colin Donnell, saving people who are on fire with Yuri Sardarov and Miranda Rae Mayo, and flipping a car with LaRoyce Hawkins.  Not to mention, we got fast tracked into judgeship with a photo-op with Carl Weathers.

We started our day with back to back Q&A sessions with the stars, and we talked to Eamonn Walker from CHICAGO FIRE about Boden, what he loves, and what comes next. Check out the video above for the full video (it’s worth watching for his animated personality alone) but here are some highlights –

On what he likes about Boden: “He’s loyal. He loves his family. He treats them as his family. He’s got two sons, Severide and Casey and a daughter, Casey.  He’s not a boss.  He’s not a chief.  In actual fact, they’re family members. If any one of them was to get hurt, you’d see pain written across his whole demeanor.”

On the Borelli of it all: “Boden always knew that Borelli was grieving.  Borelli didn’t know he was grieving.  So the few times when Borelli dismisses or is rude, or is not the best he can be, being a typical young person just being in their feelings in the moment. That’s when you see Boden the chief, like an adult, the parent.  I’m not going to lecture you, I’m just going to absorb all of that and move you to a place where you can move forward.  Boden tried to do that with Borelli time after time after time after time, until Borelli blew up and was completely insubordinate.  Even that movement, Boden didn’t let that blow up out of proportion.  He was like, you’re suspended, get out before it turns nasty and then it got taken out of his hands.  When anything goes out of the walls of your house, it’s not in your control anymore, and so he’s been told. He’s going back on truck, that’s where he wants to be. And he said he shouldn’t be back at work, he’s grieving and now I’m being admonished.  So Boden knew all of that.  Does that hurt when your brother turns around on Christmas Dinner and says some terrible thing to you about some slight he felt that you can’t even remember? It hurts.  It doesn’t stop you being, he’s still your brother.  Consequently when the thing happened to Borelli, nobody wanted Borelli to be hurt and lose and eye and be burnt.  Nobody wants that for another human being ever.  There’s a certain guilt that Boden is walking around with because he didn’t push hard enough against the system. And say I’m telling you – he’s not ready to be back at work.

Because everyone knew the truth of the situation. Borelli has had a loss and he is fighting all of these different emotions and not facing the one truth that has been glaring at him, which is, your bother decided to stay in a situation he was told to leave. Everybody heard it. Everybody saw it. Get out, get out now. One more minute, there is no more time. I’m not leaving.  The only thing that happens after that, Boden being who he is, could turn and go, okay, I’m going to come and get you or when you get out here, you’re in trouble.”

On Boden’s sense of humor: “Boden is walking around with the weight of people’s lives in their hands.  He’s got a very good sense of humor, but he’s also carrying the weight of everyone’s lives.  Everyone can joke around as much as they do, because they know that Boden is carrying the load.”

On working with this cast: “Off screen, I believe the alchemy is what comes down that screen.  The writers write the storylines, but the alchemy that we have had from day one on the pilot, the sense of humor, the sense of togetherness, that’s what’s here, 5 years later.  For me, the writing came after they saw what we had. They were like, we can use that.  The pilot was about losing a member. Now we’ve just lost a member in Borelli; he didn’t die.  He’s no longer on the force and the impact of that is going to be on the house. When we did the pilot, you didn’t know us and you didn’t know the person we’d lost. You know Jimmy Borelli and you know all of us. So you’re feeling that impact far more now, even though Jimmy Borelli didn’t die.  That’s only because of the sense of family and alchemy that we now have that’s come down the screen.  What you think about certain stuff, and how much we’ve got each other’s backs, and the loyalty. Loyalty is the cornerstone of life, and we have that on this show.”

CHICAGO FIRE airs Tuesday nights at 10/9c on NBC.