Before Kelly Severide and Christopher Herrmann were battling flames together on Chicago Fire, they were battling the effects of cancer in a heartbreaking Lifetime anthology titled Five.
While the network may get a bad wrap by some who think its dramas are painfully unrealistic, Lifetime stepped out of its wheelhouse with Five in 2011. And it earned rave reviews for doing so.
Instead of following some naive housewife who inadvertently falls in love with a twisted stalker and barely escapes alive (isn’t that the plot of all Lifetimes movies?), this film highlights five different cancer ward patients while they try to survive their diagnosis. And it shows how they, their friends, and their family process their unique situations.
For being a made-for-TV movie, Five is surprisingly star-studded both in front of and behind the camera, too. Because it is an anthology, the stories only intertwine with the theme of cancer. Other than that, the characters in no way interact with or know each other. And the stories are treated as different plots. For each segment, one big-name celebrity directed. Those people include Patty Jenkins, Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Alicia Keys, and Penelope Spheeris.
Spheeris helmed the story for the Chicago Fire stars. And the project was her second to last before retiring from the industry a year later. Spheeris also directed the films Suburbia, The Little Rascals, and Wayne’s World.
‘Chicago Fire’ Stars Taylor Kinney and David Eigenberg Play in a Mobster Tale
In Penelope Spheeris’ tale, Severide’s Taylor Kinney plays Tommy. He is a newlywed mob enforcer whose exotic dancer wife has to grapple with the decision to get a mastectomy or further risk losing her life to breast cancer. Kinney’s character is much darker than his Chicago Fire persona. While they’re both notable bad-boys, Tommy selfishly struggles with the idea of his wife being more than an object of his desires—something Severide would never consider.
Herrmann’s David Eigenberg once again stars as a bartender, an occupation he strangely holds in nearly all of his major roles. And he lends an ear to Tommy one night as the mobster talks through his issues with the possible surgery.
Five also stars Patricia Clarkson, Rosario Dawson, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Holloway. And Jennifer Morrison, Annie Potts, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and Tracee Ellis Ross also appear.
The movie enjoyed major fan-fare upon its debut. In 2012, it earned an Emmy nod for Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special. And Jill Biden and Nancy Pelosi were so impressed that they hosted a special screening for the release.