‘Chicago Fire’: David Eigenberg’s Touching Explanation of How Otis Keeps Show Together

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images)

“Chicago Fire” has been airing on NBC for the last 10 years. As such, we’ve seen some pretty significant and meaningful characters come and go. The latest episode of “Chicago Fire” threw a heartwarming reference to beloved fireman and late best friend of fireman Joe Cruz, Brian “Otis” Zvonecek. Now, several seasons have passed without the popular Otis character. In discussing Otis, current “Chicago Fire” actor David Eigenberg (Lieutenant Christoper Herrmann) opened up about how the deceased character keeps the show together.

Eigenberg shared his touching explanation during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. The beloved Herrmann actor began his explanation with, “The character of Otis has been stitched into the show since day one.”

“Chicago Fire’s” pilot episode featured all of our favorite characters. The late Brian Otis Zvonecek appeared in the first few minutes of the episode. Eigenberg further emphasized the importance of the Otis character, specifically referencing an episode which took place during season nine.

In it, Eigenberg’s character Herrmann and Joe Minoso‘s Joe Cruz become trapped in an elevator. The building itself is going up in flames and the elevator’s cables threaten to break. All the while, the characters work through their fear and figure out a way to escape. The entire time, they rely on their friend’s memory to keep them safe.

Several seasons later, the “Chicago Fire” star said of his former costar and cast member, “Yuri’s character was so heartwarming and sweet,” referencing Yuri Sardarov, Otis’s actor. “We miss Yuri tremendously. Joe’s character was close with Otis, all of us were really, so it kind of pops out and comes in, which is sweet and bittersweet at the same time.”

‘Chicago Fire’ Prepares for Mini Cross-Over with ‘Chicago P.D.’

The departure of Jesse Spencer’s character, Matt Casey, from “Chicago Fire,” sees another of our lead characters investigating a dangerous arson case. Last week’s episode saw one of the target’s church’s priests literally set on fire. As such, Lieutenant Kelly Severide has taken a stake in the ongoing case. And as for the crossover?

We saw hints of the exciting potential near the end of last Wednesday’s episode. Severide quickly made a tough decision between pursuing the suspected arsonist or saving the life of the priest ablaze. Following, “Chicago P.D.” sent over Officer Kevin Atwater to take our Lieutenant’s statement.

This week promises to continue the investigation, the stakes much higher following the attempted murder, which can only mean we’ll see more of Atwater, and hopefully other fan-favorite “Chicago P.D.” officers crossing over to “Chicago Fire” for a while.

For now, that’s all we have regarding the mini-crossover. However, as Severide’s arson investigation intensifies, things promise to heat up within “Chicago Fire” and the starring city itself.