‘Chicago Fire’: How Taylor Kinney Got His Big Break

by Allison Hambrick

Before scoring a role on Chicago Fire, Taylor Kinney worked his way up the career ladder in Hollywood one role at a time.

Though he worked as a carpenter in Hawaii, Kinney decided to return stateside to pursue acting. He then won a recurring role in the nighttime soap Fashion House in 2006. He played the character of Luke Gianni along with genre veterans such as Morgan Fairchild and Bo Derek. Aside from some guest spots on hit series such as Bones and CSI: NY, Kinney’s next significant role was on the medical drama Trauma. He starred in a recurring capacity for 19 episodes, before later making a move to The Vampire Diaries, where he played werewolf Mason Lockwood.

In 2012, Kinney got his big break when he landed the role of Kelly Serveride on Chicago Fire. Not only has he starred on that series, but he has made guest appearances on the spinoffs Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med. During this time, Kinney was in a high profile relationship with music icon Lady Gaga. Sadly, the romance was not meant to be, and they broke off their engagement in 2016.

Because of his tenure on Chicago Fire, Kinney is something of a household name. After all, the One Chicago franchise is a ratings powerhouse.

Taylor Kinney Opens Up About Chicago Fire Character

While some actors would get restless after being on a show for a decade, Kinney is content on Chicago Fire. On the contrary, the actor enjoys the excitement of playing Serveride.

“He doesn’t spend a lot of time in the rearview, there’s always something exciting going on,” Kinney said. “There’s always something he’s working on and he loves his trade. He loves what he does for a living, that’s kind of been ingrained in him by his father, Benny, when he passed.”

Many speculated that Kinney’s tenure could be nearing its end after costar Jesse Spencer chose to leave the series.

“I realized I’d been doing TV for a long time, so I added it up… We were coming up on the 200th episode and I called Derek to break the news that it was time for me to leave the show,” Spencer explained at the time.”He agreed we should at least get Casey to the 200th episode. It was a difficult decision because I’ve loved the show from the start but there are other things I’d like to do in the future. There’s family I need to take care of, and 18 years is a long time.”

While Spencer, previously of House fame, felt his time on the show was up, Kinney thought Serveride has more stories to tell.

“I don’t think there’s a lack of stories to tell with this character,” Kinney concluded. “He’s a resilient guy.”