‘Chicago Fire’: Here’s the Process on How the Show Finds Its Extras

by Lauren Boisvert

For “Chicago Fire,” some may say it’s the main characters who make the show. But I like to think the extras are just as important. Without extras, your characters live in a vacuum. You have to populate the world you’re playing in. So, extras it is.

On “Chicago Fire,” a lot of actual Chicago residents fill in the background. According to Looper, the casting calls for extras might be general, such as “males and females, 20s to 40s, all ethnicities, to play reporters and camera people.” Or it might get specific and call for “professional physical therapists” to feature as physical therapist characters in the background or in a guest role.

Looper says that extras on “Chicago Fire” get $12 an hour currently, so if you’re a Chicago resident or are willing to travel, what are you waiting for? Being an extra on “Chicago Fire,” or “Law & Order,” or “NCIS” sounds like a sweet gig. Craft services, the potential to meet a star, getting to film on location but there’s no pressure of being the main attraction on the show; truly a dream job.

‘Chicago Fire’ Showrunner Purposely Misleads Spoiler-Dropping Fans

Some people just want to watch the world burn, and those people like to spoil TV shows for others. “Chicago Fire” showrunner Derek Haas has said that he likes to mislead those who pick up on spoilers by purposefully dropping vague photos of the set, or tweeting untrue predictions.

Haas has told EW, “To me, the only defense is to go on the offense. I try to be honest on the feed, but my honesty is also going to mislead you […] If I can add any piece of doubt into whatever is the pervading theory, that’s a victory.”

Dropping a spoiler, even on accident, should be a finable offense. There’s nothing worse than talking with a friend about the latest episode of your favorite show, and you haven’t had the chance to see it yet, and your friend reveals the dog was a ghost the whole time. Now, when you finally watch the episode, that’s all you’re going to be thinking about.

It’s worse with social media now. Sometimes you just have to block certain words and phrases from your feed just to avoid spoilers. It’s a harsh world out there for busy fans.

Speaking of Filming on Location…

The coolest part of “Chicago Fire” is probably that the fictional Firehouse 51 is actually the real life home of Engine 18 in Chicago, Illinois. According to Looper, fans come from all over to see the actual firehouse featured on their favorite show.

Chicago Fire Department Deputy District Chief Steve Chikerotis said of the tourists, “We have people [coming to the station] from all over the world … We might have 200 to 300 people that are here… I’ve seen a big increase in the number of tourists coming around.”