Interview with David Eigenberg, Joe Minoso and Christian Stolte of “Chicago Fire” on NBC by Suzanne 10/8/21
This was a really fun interview! These guys are hysterical. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Suzanne: So, congratulations on your show being on the air for ten seasons. That’s fantastic.
Joe: Thank you.
Christian: Thank you.
David: We’re very grateful.
Suzanne: I mean, it’s not unheard of, but it’s kind of rare. Joe, your character Cruz goes through a lot in the first three episodes. In the third episode, he seemed to be doing better, but will he still be traumatized? If you can tell us from what happened in the first episode?
Joe: You know, I think we’ve definitely kind of gotten over that hump, at least for now. I think there are other hurdles that he’s going to be facing over the course of the season, but I think we’re going to be able to see Cruz back in action, the way he used to be.
Suzanne: And now he’s gonna be a dad.
Christian: Until there will be – I don’t think this is a spoiler; I think they’re okay with this, but at some point, there’s going to be an incident at a factory that results in Joe’s character having a terrible fear of packing peanuts.
Joe: Oh, I didn’t want to bring that [up]. See, I feel like that did spoil it, because now you told them exactly. Well, you didn’t tell them that I fall into the vat of packing [peanuts]. Oh!
Christian: Now, see, you just made it worse.
Suzanne: I have a fear of packing peanuts, so I understand. I hate those things. [laughs]
Joe: They’re terrible for the environment.
Suzanne: They’re almost as bad as Christmas tinsel. You’re finding it for weeks after you get the package.
Christian: I haven’t seen tinsel in years.
Joe: Where do you get tinsel?
Suzanne: You can still get it online. Go on Amazon.
Christian: Well, you’re not really doing the best job of selling me on wanting tinsel.
Joe: Find it. It’s on Amazon!
Suzanne: It’s worth it. David, Herman got a black mark on his record for helping Sylvie. Is this going to cause more trouble for him this season? If you can tell us?
Joe: Is it? Good question.
Christian: David, is it?
David: As my cast mates and my friends in real life, Christian and Joe, might say, my mouth, David, and the mouth of Herman are correlating in the same column of inappropriateness and belligerence, so you never know when Herm is going to snap off. The difference between me and Herman is Herman is trying to do the right thing. David is doing – how would you categorize it, Chris?
Christian: He’s doing the thing.
David: The thing. But you never know, and these days, we’re never cued into really what’s going to occur later on. People always find that kind of amazing, or people that you meet on the street, go like, “You should have them blah…” We don’t know.
Joe: They don’t ask us what we’re interested in, because let me tell you, if they asked us what we were interested in, our show would be very different. Very, very different. And to their [credit], I think it’s a good idea that they’re not asking us for ideas.
Christian: Joe’s not suggesting we would continue to get any viewers if it went our way.
Joe: No, we would get canceled immediately.
Question: Would it be like this conversation?
Suzanne: Yeah, that would be good. I think you should have a podcast or something; you guys would be great.
Joe: I keep telling Christian this. I haven’t asked David. Frankly, I want to be –
David: There’s going to be a billing problem. It’s always a billing problem. He’s on the screen, a guy who gotten everybody to say he’s the greatest actor of our generation.
Christian: What’s that? I’m sorry, did you want something?
David: Yeah. See, and then it becomes – it’s a billing problem with the podcast. I’ve wanted to do it, but just…
Christian: When David says it’s a billing problem, he’s talking about the fact that I bill him for any time he spends around me.
Joe: Well, I mean, you have to charge David, it’s work. It’s actual literal work.
Christian: It’s what he understands.
Question: I have one quick question, that I think you guys kind of answered by the entire conversation, which is the show makes everyone feel sort of like a family. I was going to ask, do you feel like a family behind the scenes? I think the answer is clear by this conversation, but you can go ahead and give us a little more.
David: Yeah, there’s a constant banter at our show, and not to be narcissistic, a lot of of it is to ridicule me, and whoever [can] pile on, they do, and because I came here –
Joe: You have to understand. David goes in there asking to be ridiculed.
Joe: He thoroughly enjoys –
Christian: He’s not a victim of anything.
Joe: He loves to be the butt of jokes.
Christian: He loves it. He loves it. He invites it; he insists on it.
Joe: Trust me. I’ve tried to talk –
David: Family branches – that’s the flower, the thing that family branches out of. A good sense of humor and somebody who’s easy to hit.
Joe: No one understands what the hell you’re saying you’ve made this a completely useless part of the podcast.
David: I’m done apologizing for myself. I am what I am.
Question: Thank you. I think that the question was answered before, but thank you.
Question: Episode 200 I’ve heard is a very, very big one for you guys. What can you [say] about what you’re up to there?
Christian: Can anyone think of anything to say that doesn’t spoil anything? If you have been a longtime viewer of the show, then you’re probably going to watch it without my prompt, without me trying to sell you on it, but if you are a person who’s been devoted to the show for a long time, brace yourself!
Joe: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That is definitely –
David: The conflict will come from outside, but the love will blossom from [with]in. That’s kind of at the core of I think what happens with a lot of these characters, even their flaws, is that they care and they have compassion, and that comes from first responders, the actual first responders that we work with, and their genuine concern for the human condition and taking care of people…We don’t have any nemesis within the core group of all the actors, the eleven, twelve, thirteen actors, depending on what day it is that we have together; we don’t have a nemesis amongst us. But the show is always branching out. It’s just, you know, it’s tentacles of love. I love that metaphor. Tentacles of love, what could be better?
Joe: I mean, if that’s not the title to a song, I don’t know what is.
Christian: [pulls out guitar] I’m sorry, did you say Tentacles of Love?
Joe: Oh God, I never should have made that setup.
Christian: Give me just a minute. All right, I’m done.
Joe: Ask your question.
Question: Since we are on our 200th episode, I want you each to share your favorite memory about being on the show.
Joe: Everything between action and cut, like, especially those first couple of years, just whatever nonsense was filling our time, while they were setting up some giant fire while we were sitting in a freezing truck, those will forever be the best memories for me of the show.
Christian: If you take the first few seasons, because it was all new to us, and we were all sort of marveling at the very idea that we could get paid to hang out with this cool group of people and suffer through some pretty rough conditions together, to the extent that you kind of lose your sense of humor on your own. Take any moment in the back of that truck where we’re laughing until tears come out of our eyes, and that’s my favorite moment. As far as the actual acting part, a lot of the cool rescues and stuff we did, those are hard won moments. They take a lot of hard work from a lot of people to make those things happen, and they are rewarding in their own way. But very recently, last week, we shot a scene that took place entirely in the bullpen, right outside Chief Boden’s office, and it was hard to comprehend, but it was a fast paced, high stakes, fast-moving scene, and it was probably the most rewarding acting experience I’ve had in ten seasons. It was exciting.
Joe: Well, and we’ve been exploring a lot more kind of long form filming; we’ve been doing a lot more kind of longer takes. I think I will forever remember my episode with David in that elevator; that was unlike anything we’d ever filmed. We were doing thirty pages a day, twenty-five, twenty-six minute takes. And I think what Christian is kind of honing in on there is when we have the opportunity to play with each other for an extended period of time, and everyone’s hyper focused on just making the scene work, it is rewarding in a wholly new way. It’s ten years of doing, you know, one page at a time. When you get an opportunity to really let something kind of cook like that and let yourself feel through an entire couple of scenes, it’s really rewarding as an actor.
Christian: Yeah, and to tag on to what Joe is saying, I think part of that, what is rewarding about it, is it kind of catches you almost off guard, because we don’t tend to take ourselves very seriously. We mock ourselves and each other all the time. Once in a while we’re in the moment like that, where I think each of us realizes, “Oh, we’re pretty good at this,” and we kind of forget that, because we’re used to just sort of taking ourselves in a casual fashion.
David: [There’s] never, that I’ve ever been in or heard of, a scene in the show where everybody isn’t all inclusive, working on trying to get this thing to its best, highest level of effectiveness or creativity or however you want to label it. Everybody is on board to go, “How can we do this to make it [the] best?” And there’s never been a moment of somebody going like, “I’m not doing it like that,” type thing. And that’s a unique [thing in] my experience, not that I’ve seen a lot of that, but I’ve seen it where people bash against the grain of trying – I think the show has been very selfless in like, “How can we help make this work?” Many times other actors go like, “Can I kind of throw you something that’s going to aid you?” Or whatever. There’s a conversation about being better as opposed to how can the individual be better, because we all want each other to be as good as as we can. We always want to aid each other, rising to the highest level. It’s hard for me to explain, but it’s just hard to articulate that kind of friendship and creativity because it’s never been detracted against, if that’s right.
Christian: And the new people come on the cast, they get it. They either get it, or they don’t last very long, but the thing is, if you come on our show and think this is gonna be about you, you’re gonna find out otherwise pretty quick.
David: We had one actor one time, who will remain nameless, and we were at a call day, and they said, “I’ll read my lines from inside the vehicle,” and that immediately was like [shrugs]. They didn’t get out, because we were standing on the street ready to go. And not to be negative, I don’t mean to bring it down, but you fit or you don’t, and we’ve been really successful with that with those numbers.
Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com
From renowned Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (“Law & Order” brand) and co-creator Derek Haas, the writer behind “3:10 to Yuma,” comes season 10 of the adrenaline-fueled drama “Chicago Fire.” This edge-of-your-seat ride is a look into the professional and personal lives of the firefighters and paramedics of Firehouse 51 as they risk their lives every day to save and protect the citizens of Chicago.
Led by Capt. Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) and Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney), the Truck and Rescue Squad companies work day in and day out beside each other. This tireless, never-give-up mindset brings them all closer together – the men and women of Firehouse 51 are more than co-workers, they’re family.
The firehouse also includes Battalion Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker), who keeps his house running smoothly and his firefighters prepared to overcome all adversity. Paramedic Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) returns alongside seasoned veterans Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) and Randy “Mouch” McHolland (Christian Stolte) as well as resourceful firefighters Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) and Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso).
Completing the team are daredevil Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende), talented and dedicated Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri), and 51’s newest addition, headstrong paramedic Violet Mikami (Hanako Greensmith).
Executive producers are Dick Wolf, Derek Haas, Andrea Newman, Michael Gilvary, Reza Tabrizi, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski.
“Chicago Fire” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment.
Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/chicago-fire
For the latest “Chicago Fire” news, videos, and photos, please like on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram:
Christopher Herrmann, “Chicago Fire”
David Eigenberg stars as Christopher Herrmann, a seasoned firefighter and salt-of-the-earth family man, in NBC’s drama “Chicago Fire.”
Eigenberg is known to film and television audiences for his former role as Steve Brady, the good-hearted husband and quintessential New York bar owner in the Emmy-winning HBO series “Sex and the City.”
His film credits include “See You in September,” “The Trouble with Romance,” “The Mothman Prophecies” and “A Perfect Murder.”
Eigenberg’s selected television credits include “Justified,” “Criminal Minds,” “N.C.I.S.” and “Law & Order: SVU.”
A member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York, Eigenberg has performed in numerous Off-Broadway plays. On Broadway, he received his break in 1990, playing a hustler in the original cast of John Guare’s “Six Degrees of Separation,” directed by Jerry Zaks at Lincoln Center. He also starred in the original cast of “Take Me Out,” directed by Joe Mantello, which was awarded the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Drama League and New York Critics Awards for Best Play.
Eigenberg served in the United States Marine Corps for three years. He is married and living in Chicago with his wife and two children.
Joe Cruz, “Chicago Fire”
Actor Joe Minoso plays Joe Cruz on the hit NBC drama “Chicago Fire.”
Additional TV and film credits include “Get Shorty,” “Man of Steel,” “Shameless,” “Prison Break,” “The Chicago Code” and “Boss.”
Minosora, raised in Yonkers, N.Y., graduated from Adelphi University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, and Northern Illinois University with a master’s degree in fine arts. Minoso worked extensively in the theater prior to his television and film appearances, including Chicago’s Teatro Vista, the largest Latino theater company in the Midwest.
As the founder and CEO, Minoso recently launched Mass Epiphany Studios and the Epiphany Project. Mass Epiphany Studios is a film and television vocational arts academy and studio system that looks to be a megaphone for America’s marginalized artists of tomorrow. For more information, check out the website at www.massepiphany.com
In addition, Minoso is active in the community and supports charities and organizations that include Shriners Hospital for Children, 100 Club of Chicago, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Cycle for Survival, Salvation Army and the Red Cross.
In addition, Minoso supports animal organizations that include the World Wildlife Fund and Fetching Tales Foundation. He and his wife currently have two rescues dogs, a pit-bull and French bulldog.
Randy “Mouch” McHolland, “Chicago Fire”
Christian Stolte stars as Randy “Mouch” McHolland, a seasoned veteran who will do anything to protect his fellow firefighters and his coveted spot on the firehouse couch, in NBC’s drama “Chicago Fire.”
Stolte was born in St. Louis during the Cuban missile crisis. He moved to Chicago 28 years later in search of artistic fulfillment. He studied acting under Jane Brody and began working steadily in Chicago theater in such places as Steppenwolf Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre (which produced a play written by Stolte, which won a Joseph Jefferson citation for Best New Work), Piven Theatre, Famous Door and Profiles Theatre.
His first film role was in “The Public Eye,” starring Joe Pesci. He has worked semi-regularly since, including roles in such films as “Ali,” “Road to Perdition,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” “Public Enemies,” and, perhaps most recognizably, as the killer who provokes Gerard Butler’s vengeance in “Law Abiding Citizen.”
On television, he has had recurring roles in the dramas “Turks,” “The Chicago Code,” “Prison Break,” “Boss” and “The Playboy Club.” He is a co-creator of the web series “Graveyard,” which can be witnessed in all its grotesque glory at thegraveyardshow.com.
Stolte still resides in Chicago, where his idiosyncrasies and peculiarities are indulged and tolerated to this day by his wife and two endlessly amusing daughters.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda