Acting in a first responders procedural can take some extra research. For “9-1-1” star Ryan Guzman that mean diving into a real life firehouse. Though the show does a good job at depicting what situations fire fighters face daily, the real thing is always a more visceral experience.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight Canada, the actor opened up about visiting the firehouse and how it has since impacted his performance.
“The brotherhood there is so tight-knit,” Guzman says. “They finish each other sentences. They make fun of each other all the time. Throughout all the craziness that they go through in their day-to-day lives, if it calls for it, they are really there for each other. They will be there for their little girls, for the birth of their children or the death of their spouse. It really is an all-encompassing love that they have for each other.”
The “9-1-1” actor entered the show in its second season as firefighter Eddie Diaz. His approach to the role is one of respect – which is something he tries to portray through his character. He also tries to drive home the point that there’s a brotherhood among fire fighters.
“That’s what you need for the job and what we like to portray in ‘9-1-1’, is that Hen, Chimney, Bobby, Buck and Eddie are this unit, this family, that feed off of each other,’ Guzman says.
“9-1-1” Actor Learned to Act ‘On the Run’
Further, as acting goes, Guzman didn’t start like many other actors. He didn’t have starring roles as a child or spend years studying his craft. In fact, he once said he felt like he had to learn to act “on the run.” He says this allowed him to really delve into his emotions and become vulnerable to the role.
“My first acting job was Step Up Revolution. I kind of had to learn on the run, and then as I was doing it, I started to feel in tune with something that I’d never felt in tune with before in my life, which were emotions. As men in certain areas of the world, we decide that we have to hide our emotions for the betterment of whatever job we’re doing because emotions get in the way. This job made me tango with and tackle them at the same time.”
The “9-1-1” actor also says that getting in touch with his emotions and connecting with his character helped him translate events in his own life.
“As I was doing that, I started to learn more about myself and become more introspective than I’d ever been before. To me, acting isn’t so much about “Can I get that next role? Can I get bigger? Can I make more money?” None of that means anything to me. I’m more so in it for “What can I learn about myself?” For instance, there was a scene that I did not too long ago where somebody passes and I got to revisit a certain point in my life that I had been so afraid to even touch upon.”