‘Chicago Fire’ Star Tony Ferraris Brought His Real Life Expertise to the Show

by Chase Thomas
(Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Chicago Fire and the One Chicago universe shine in their attention to detail on NBC. The showrunners and those behind the shows do their homework across all spectrums, and fans have always appreciated that.

However, did you know the star of the program Tony Ferraris brought his own real-life expertise to the show? Well, it came from his day job in Chicago — as a fireman. Yes, Ferraris is a firefighter by day and plays a background firefighter by night.

How did it happen? As he tells it, “A friend of mine received an email from the firefighter’s union saying the show was looking for extras.” It was just a posting that intrigued him. “He asked me if I would go with him to the audition. I went in with him, and I guess they liked me.”

And the rest, as they say, is history. His arrival became rather important rather fast, though. He also said, “On the first day of filming, the crew realized nobody in the cast was able to drive squad.” Not too long after the showrunner, Derek Haas started including him in the show, giving him lines, and now he appeared in over 100 episodes of the program.

Jesse Spencer Leaves ‘Chicago Fire’

As heartwarming a story as it is to see Ferraris become such a fun, valuable character on Chicago Fire, fans are still reeling from Jesse Spencer’s huge decision to leave the show after so many years. However, it was hard on the former star of FOX’s House as well. It was not a decision he came to easily.

Spencer told Cinema Blend, “I realized I’ve been doing TV for a long time. I added it up, and I think this year is my 18th year of television straight, because I went straight from House into Chicago Fire. And we were coming up to the 200th episode, and so I called Derek on making a personal decision. [I] called Derek and broke the news that I thought it was time to leave the show. And he agreed that we should at least get Casey to 200 episodes.”

He got the 200 episodes and then Spencer departed for personal reasons and to get a break from the grind that pulled him from his family.

He concluded, “And it was a difficult decision, because I’ve loved the show from the start. But there’s other things that I would like to do in the future. And there’s some family that I need to take care of. And 18 years is a long time. That’s a long stretch. I was marking off these milestones and looking to the future and I called Derek. Well, Derek didn’t want me to leave, but we both agreed that if it was time for me, then it was time, so it was a difficult decision. And I hate to leave the show, because I do love this show. But you know, when the time comes, the time comes.”

You can watch Chicago Fire on NBC each week.