‘Chicago Fire’ Star Taylor Kinney Was an Athletic All-Star in High School

by Maggie Schneider

“Chicago Fire” actor Taylor Kinney also has an athletic side. Find out which sport Kinney was an all-star for in high school.

Taylor Kinney of “Chicago Fire” is a versatile actor. He plays Kelly Severide in a compelling manner that keeps fans watching every episode. Growing up, the actor was not as interested in the performing arts. It turns out that he was an all-star volleyball player in high school.

The “Chicago Fire” star grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Attending Lancaster Mennonite School, he was one of his school’s best volleyball players. Eric Kinnel, former teammate alongside Kinney recalls how talented of an athlete he was.

“I remember he took the team to district playoffs,” Kinnel says. “He had a great senior year.”

It turns out that Kinney lead his high school team to victory. In addition to being an athlete, his high school’s faculty remember him being a bright student. ‘

“Taylor was a very likable young man. He was very popular and very good at sports,” superintendent Miles Yoder shares with Daily Mail. “He showed no interest in drama while here and studied core subjects like the Bible and attended chapel classes. Naturally, we are very proud of him and of all our pupils who go on and do well.”

College Before ‘Chicago Fire’

Before becoming an actor, Taylor Kinney went to college. Studying business management at West Virginia University, he expected to go down a more traditional route. But, his career took an unexpected turn when he took a theater elective during his sophomore year. This soon became his favorite class.

“[Theatre] held my interest outside of the classroom more so than any other subject I’d ever taken,” he tells USA Today.

In 2006, he began his acting career as a recurring character on “Fashion House,” a nighttime soap opera. He went on to land guest roles in popular shows such as “Bones” and “CSI: NY.” Six years later, he found his way to “One Chicago,” becoming known to fans as the heroic Kelly Severide.

Training With Real Firefighters

Taylor Kinney trained with real firefighters before joining “Chicago Fire.” He says that he looks up to first responders and the sacrifices they make for others.

“If you do get engulfed in flames even with the gear, the suits that these guys wear, you only have 18 seconds until you’re toast. Getting to ride along with these guys … it’s that respect and adoration that you had for these men and women when you were a kid.”

The actor has said before that he may have been a firefighter in another life.

“So having a firsthand experience even on a minimal scale just raises your level of respect for the job and the career.”