‘NCIS’: Which Role Did Gary Cole Play on ‘Chicago Fire’ Before Becoming Alden Parker?

by Kati Michelle
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Before Gary Cole stepped into his controversial role as Alden Parker on “NCIS,” the actor already boasted quite the lengthy resume. You may have even spotted him in some classic TV or movies from back in the day. But in addition to Office Space, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and the Brady Bunch Movie franchise, there’s another series that hosted the actor and this one’s an Outsider favorite. It’s none other than “Chicago Fire.”

That’s right. Just like Kelli Giddish’s character hopped through the Dick Wolf franchise before settling into her Amanda Rollins character, Gary Cole did the same. The difference, though, lies in the fact that Cole actually had a recurring role on “Chicago Fire” and made appearances over thirteen different episodes and three different seasons.

Gary Cole Is No Stranger to Playing Team Captain on Shows Like ‘NCIS’

From 2018-2019, Gary Cole worked on “Chicago Fire” as Carl Grissom. His character functioned as the main antagonist of the show’s sixth season and made appearances through the eighth season. Here’s a quick synopsis of his time on the show. It features some spoilers, so there’s your fair warning.

Originally, Grissom acted as the Chicago Fire Department’s Deputy District Chief. He also acted as a friend and mentor to the squad’s Lieutenant Kelly Severide, played by Taylor Kinney. The two knew each other because Gary Cole’s character Grissom worked together with Severide’s father, Benny.

To stir up some drama, the show promoted Grissom to Fire Commissioner despite his shady past. Eventually, the other characters found out that he had been faking his response time statistics for the district. They even tried to report him to the higher-ups. However, little could be done because the promotion had already gone through.

The last time that the show featured his character involved a 2019 episode called “Welcome to Crazytown.”

Now, Gary Cole finds himself in a similar position of power with heading the NCIS team, though the jury’s still out about whether or not he’s a good fit.

Talking About Longevity in Hollywood

Back in 2019, Gary Cole sat down with Larry King to discuss his various roles over the years. One of the most difficult parts of the job, he says, is making it last.

“The longer I work and the longer I’m around, the more aware of how fortunate I am,” he starts off the laidback interview. He then continues on saying “It occurs to me ’cause I know that it’s the exception not the rule for a career [in Hollywood] to have longevity.”

He also goes into the nuances of comedy calling it “murky” and saying “when it works, it works” but when it doesn’t work, it’s “deadly.”

You can listen to the full segment here:

Outsider.com