Sources close to production of Chicago Fire have confirmed to Reel Chicago that Taylor Kinney, who plays Kelly Severide, will be taking a leave of absence. “We don’t have any further details to provide. He is on a leave of absence to deal with a personal matter.”
Kinney has led the Dick Wolf series since its debut in 2012. In addition to the fire and rescue series, he has appeared on all of the spinoffs, including Chicago Med, Chicago P.D. and the short-lived Chicago Justice.
The announcement was made Friday morning when the cast and crew gathered to film scenes for Episode 15. The news sent shockwaves throughout every level of production and writers will have to change scripts to accommodate his indefinite absence.
Kinney’s character Severide is an integral member of the show and it will be difficult to create an explanation of his absence within the current storyline.
Severide and Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) were married in the Season 10 finale. In a recent interview with NBC, showrunner Andrea Newman said there would be some bumps ahead for the couple, but also confirmed that they are still completely in love. In the next couple of episodes, the strength of their relationship will be tested as a revelation about Kidd’s past in the CFD comes to light,” she revealed.
The couple recently had their first fight as husband and wife in Season 11, Episode 12. After Stella was in an explosion in the mid-season finale and Severide ran into the burning building to rescue her, the two have been concerned for each other’s safety, which is obviously causing discourse considering the level of danger they both face in their careers.
It is unknown at this time how the story-line will progress without Kinney available to film and how the heroes at Station 51 will deal with his absence. Kinney has previously gushed about how much he enjoys being on the show and in October 2022, Kinney shared with Today how much he enjoys Chicago and that the Illinois city is his “home.”
“I’ve been here over a decade, and the city has been good to me,” Kinney said. “I’ve gotten to know it through my work: southside, north, westside. We’ve done scenes on the lake.”
Kinney added, “The city has been good to me. I love this city.”
Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 8PM CST on NBC and streams the next day on the Peacock app.
Chicago Fire is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment. Filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studio.
Check back with Reel Chicago on this developing story.
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