Fire isn’t too concerned with international borders. It behaves the same way no matter where on the planet you find it. Few know this better than the star of Chicago Fire, Wallace Boden actor Eamonn Walker. The London-born English actor has been playing Deputy District Chief Boden since 2012. He says that firefighters are made of the same stuff whether they’re in Chicago or the Caribbean.
When Walker first signed on to play the Chief Boden role, he had no idea what it meant to be a firefighter. It wasn’t until the cast of Chicago Fire sat down with Steve Chikerotis—the 35 year Chicago firefighting veteran who’d eventually become the show’s primary consultant—that he understood what the job entailed.
“This is what we do, and this is why we do it. It’s because we care about the people. We’ve got other stuff going on – we have drinking issues, we’re adrenaline junkies, we’re all of that – but the truth of the matter is, is every single one of these first responders is willing to give their life for their fellow man.” That’s the message Chikerotis gave to Walker and the Chicago Fire cast on the first day.
It’s the same message that has informed the way Walker plays Chief Boden to this day. Now, he has some perspective. London, Chicago, Mexico City—it doesn’t matter. Firefighters are acting selflessly every time they respond to an emergency.
The ‘Chicago Fire’ Star Has Had Overwhelming International Support
The policies may be different, the techniques vary, but firefighters are firefighters at the end of the day. This is why Chief Boden actor Eamonn Walker finds so much support for Chicago Fire wherever he travels.
“Yes, I’ve walked into fire departments in Trinidad and Tobago, London, and they all watch the show and they love it, because it’s the same thing. When you put your life on the line, when you walk into a burning building knowing that you may not walk out, one thing that’s the same, no matter what country you’re from, is that you may not walk out of that building,” Walker told Assignment X in 2015.
We can’t pretend to have charged into a burning building before, but it’s not hard to imagine the level of fear involved in doing so.
“So you have to know why you’re walking in, regardless of the amount of fear that you’re feeling. So there’s a great deal of fear, but the thing of knowing who you are and why you are is what pushes you through, because there might be a child, or might be an old woman, there might be someone who can’t, and you can,” Walker continued.
It’s part of the job, and it’s what Walker tries to capture on Chicago Fire week in and week out.