‘9-1-1’: How Eddie and Christopher Diaz’s Father-Son Relationship Extends Off-Screen

by Jacklyn Krol

9-1-1 stars Gavin McHugh and Ryan Gunzman have a similar relationship off-screen.

Eddie Diaz (Ryan Guzman) and Christopher Diaz (Grant McHugh) play father-son on the hit Fox drama but are also close in real life.

In a previous promotional video, Guzman said that “working with that kid is probably one of my favorite things of all time.” While filming the second season, when Gavin joined 9-1-1, Guzman was expecting his first child. He envisioned that his own son would be like Gavin when he grows up. And Gavin thinks extremely highly of his father-figure co-star as well.

“I actually woke up to a text message from Gavin’s mom,” Guzman recalled to TVLine. “And it was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever read in my entire life,” he says. “Gavin had a school project where he had to pick an interesting person that inspires him, and he wrote about me. He could have chosen anyone, but he wrote about me. He was like, ‘I love Ryan. We have so much fun and he’s such a great person.’ That just warmed my heart.”

“Gavin is a light that you can’t shut off,” he added. “He brightens everybody’s day just by walking into a room, and his laugh his so infectious. He’s made me even more excited as a soon-to-be father to get to that place with my own child. I feel very privileged that my character gets to spend time with him.”

During a recent interview with Teen Vogue, Gavin calls Guzman “my dad” and “Eddie.” The two also hang out together in-between scenes.

“When I see Ryan, I give him hugs because I really actually do love him and it fills my heart with love — just the way that he loves me,” Gavin noted.

“Ryan spends a lot of time with Gavin,” Lisa confirmed. “He reads books with him, and he’s genuinely happy to see him. I’m always like, ‘Gavin! Don’t bother him. He’s on break!’ But Ryan comes over.”

‘9-1-1’ Representation Matters

9-1-1 is all about representing as many stories, people, characters, and cultures as possible. This extends to showcasing people with disabilities. A 2016 study by Ruderman White Paper revealed that 95% of television characters in the top ten series were played by able-bodied actors. Showrunner Tim Minear shared with the outlet that when he first began to create the world of 9-1-1, he wanted to have Eddie Diaz have a son that has a disability.

“We just read his Instagram comments and want to cry,” Lisa said of Gavin inspiring fellow kids. “They’re like, ‘you changed my life,’ or ‘you made me realize that I could do things that I didn’t realize I could do.’ It’s really incredible to not just have fans or have a show or a job, but [also] to be able to move people the way he is. It’s been really exciting to watch.”