Exclusive Interview: Chicago Fire’s Teri Reeves On Playing Hallie Casey and Honoring Chicago’s Firemen

Teri Reeves

TV Equals was able to speak with Teri Reeves about her role as Dr. Hallie Casey in the upcoming NBC drama Chicago Fire. Not only did we learn about the research involved in becoming Hallie, but Reeves also described the lengths the show’s cast and crew went to in order to pay homage to Chicago’s decorated firemen. You can see Reeves in Chicago Fire premiering this Wednesday, October 10 at 10/9c on NBC.

How do you describe your character?

Teri Reeves: Hallie is a resident doctor in the ER. She’s a love interest to Matt Casey, played by Jesse Spencer. The way I would describe her is that she’s a woman on paper you’re probably supposed to not like, but then you see her and you’re pleasantly surprised by how down to earth and genuine she is. She’s very strong, very smart, willing to fight for what she believes in, and she’s got your back. She’s the type of woman I’d like to be.

Did you do any research to get into character?

Teri Reeves: I did. They scheduled an ER shadow [experience] so I went to Mercy Hospital in Chicago and was with an ER doctor an evening and he put in a lab coat and introduced me as Dr. Casey. I had some people treat me as a doctor (laughs). So yeah, I got to see all types of real life situations, and observed him and his behavior which was really a huge help because of the way an ER doctor deals with the craziness of their job [with] the most interesting sense of humor and they’re super close with one another.

I read that the creators of Law and Order are behind Chicago Fire. What do you think Law and Order fans will love about Chicago Fire?

Teri Reeves: Well, Law and Order fans–Dick Wolf fans–will see similarities in the integrity of the storytelling and the authenticity of the people that they are representing. But it’s not a fire of the week show, and I think with Law and Order, you can sort of watch one and get all wrapped up in one episode. But this actually takes you through character storylines so you’ll have to give it a couple of seasons and that makes it unique to the Law and Order series.

My dad is a fire [batallion] chief and paramedic, so I’m already kind of familiar with what the show might be talking about. So, for the people who might be watching this show that have the same type of background that I do, do you think Chicago Fire shows the real life problems that the people in that line of work go through?

Teri Reeves: Chief Chikerotis, who served many years in Chicago on the squad as a firefighter is in the writer’s room, sharing his stories with us. So, the stories that we’re telling are from his experience. And we have actual firefighters and paramedics on set with us almost daily as extras and we actually shoot in their firehouses,  and they share their stories with us. So all of that is being incorporated into the storytelling that we’re telling. I think it’s as authentic as you can get. If you pull Chief Chik aside and go “Hey, is this scene representing what you want?” and he’s like “Yeah.” You get emotional about it becasue it’s about men that he has lost or men that he admires that have survived and I hope that the firefighters in Chicago and the paramedics and the squad guys are just–I just hope they feel represented and celebrated by the show.

If you could guest star on any other show on television, what show would that be?

Teri Reeves: My dream role would be something similar to Jennifer Garner’s character on Alias or Buffy [Sarah Michelle Gellar] on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but those are sort of old school (laughs). I’m a huge Joss Whedon [and] J.J. Abrams fan. strong women who aren’t afraid to kick some butt–that’s  what I want to be.

Top Photo Credit: Nathaniel Taylor