‘9-1-1: Lone Star’: Brian Michael Smith Hopes the Show Revisits Paul’s Love Interest

by Alex Falls

9-1-1: Lone Star is gaining traction in the Fox TV lineup. The show was recently renewed for a fourth season, and the previous episodes showed some significant changes on the horizon for its characters.

Paul Strickland, a trans man, and firefighter/paramedic with a keen eye for details played by Brian Michael Smith, is one of the show’s most popular characters. Season three saw the character face many challenges, but fans are already looking forward to what’s in the character’s future.

TV Insider conducted an interview with Smith during the second annual queer television festival, The OutFronts in Hollywood. Smith detailed one dangling storyline he looks forward to seeing play out: his character’s love interest.

“I really, really would. I love working with [Angel],” Smith said. “She is an amazing, amazing actress. I felt there’s something very natural to the way they connected. It’d be great for her to come back. She said she wasn’t ready right now. We want the audience to take the journey with the characters.”

These two characters have unfinished business. Lone Star did a commendable job of creating a love story that people from the trans community could identify with. However, Josie ended things early on in the show’s history, and Smith is hoping for a follow-up as much as viewers are.

“I like how their conversation unfolded. [Josie] responded in a very honest way,” Smith said. “It was great that she could be honest. It wasn’t the best outcome for either of them but it was great to see them being honest. It’d be great to see the follow-up to that.”

Brian Michael Smith Earns the Fan Favorite Status

Portraying a firefighter on TV requires a great deal of submersion. To get the most out of their performance, sometimes actors must endure harsh conditions to add realism. Smith loves portraying Strickland, but he can’t stand one piece of the set.

“The rain machine is the bane of my existence,” Smith said. “We had to do a scene in the rain, and at first, it was exciting and exhilarating, because it really pumped up the adrenaline. But it gets cold at night, and when that cold water gets to those turnouts [firefighter uniforms], you start to feel it.”

Smith added, “If I don’t have to do another rain machine in my life, I think I’d be a happy guy.”

Paul faced some major challenges as a character. On top of being a trans man in a masculine profession, the drama surrounding the character’s health is still fresh in the minds of fans. But this only triggers the imagination further for what could be next.

“Paul went through a lot!” Smith said. “He got hyperthermia and dealt with his heart issues and was triggered by things that happened in his past with his father dying early in life. I want to go further and see how this change in his health is going to impact how he does his job. We’ve seen him return to his job, but what is the psychological impact of facing his own mortality?”