‘Chicago Fire’ Star Joe Minoso ‘Never Anticipated’ Cruz to Go Through Transformation He Has

by Shelby Scott

Joe Cruz has always been a “Chicago Fire” fan-favorite character. That said, he has also undergone quite a transformative arc since the hit series first debuted in 2012. 10 seasons later, the character’s actor, Joe Minoso, revealed he “never anticipated” Cruz would undergo the transformation that he has.

In speaking with occhimagazine.com, Minoso received the question, “What was the one thing you had to accomplish to tell Joe’s story in a way that resonates with fans?”

For longtime fans of “Chicago Fire,” we’ve seen Joe undergo major transitions both in a personal and professional way. As a fireman, friend, and caretaker, Cruz has become an increasingly loyal, dependable, and forward-thinking individual. As to his answer, the “Chicago Fire” actor brought readers all the way back to season one.

Joe Cruz ‘Wears His Heart On His Sleeve’

“[S]o much of a character is established year to year and is impossible for an actor to know what to expect,” Minoso began. “I never anticipated in season one I [would] leave a man to die in a fire in the effort to save my brother’s life and then cut to two seasons later where I am a Zumba instructor.”

In response, Minoso shared an incredibly transparent answer. The “Chicago Fire” star said, “I think for any actor our responsibility is to find empathy in every character.”

As he implies, empathy creates an open channel for viewers to connect with a character. As for Minoso’s character, Joe has endured so much, viewers can’t help but relate to the fireman.

Surrounding Cruz’s personality, the “Chicago Fire” actor concluded, “I felt it was important that you understand how much he wears his heart on his sleeve.”

He explained that the flaws which the character has battled and navigated have proven his capacity for love.

‘Chicago Fire’ Couple Faces Trouble Ahead of Show Return

Last season of “Chicago Fire” saw Cruz undergo major life transitions as he and his wife prepared for the arrival of their son. This season, though, focus has remained on Severide as he’s continued to face one major problem all season 10.

Outsiders know Severide’s fiancé Stella has remained absent since Captain Matt Casey’s departure from Firehouse 51 in the 200th episode. However, the show’s midseason finale saw Stella return in the final moments of the “Chicago Fire” episode. With that, fans wonder how the couple’s relationship will endure, or if it even will.

Showrunner Derek Haas reveals that Stella faces an onslaught of hard questions following her “Chicago Fire” return. Namely, she’ll be forced to answer Severide’s question, “Why did you shut down on me?”

However, at the same time, “Chicago Fire’s” beloved Chief Boden has an entirely different question for Stella. And that is, “Why did you not come claim this lieutenant spot [on Truck 81]?”

While we remain confused about why she dropped Kelly, we’re even more curious as to why she didn’t return for the lieutenant’s position. Season nine saw Stella pass her exam with flying colors, primmed and prepped for a brand new authoritative position. However, when the opportunity presented itself, she never showed.

Hopefully, when “Chicago Fire” returns in January, showrunners finally provide us with at least a couple answers.