It's Damn Cold on the 'Chicago Fire,' 'P.D.,' and 'Med' Sets


Taylor Kinney on the set of Chicago Fire is like the U.S. Postal Service: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night keeps him from working. (Photo: NBC)

Forget that whole “winter is coming” thing. Winter his HERE for the fine folks on Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med.

After two straight record-breaking cold winters in the Windy City, we can only imagine the dread the veteran cast members must be feeling right about now. After all, the city is widely considered a character on these shows, so they’re shooting outside regardless of the conditions.

When we spoke with Fire’s Eamonn Walker a few months ago, he admitted he was looking towards another winter “with great trepidation.”

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“When you’re here and you’re trying to do those scenes and the blood in your face freezes and you can’t speak properly, it ain’t no joke,” he said. “Because you can see the breath and the words form in mid-air as we’re speaking, I’m sure it adds to the drama. But I’m not looking forward to it.”

“It’s just fun to b—h about,” Taylor Kinney said. “I’m fine ‘til Christmas. I can tolerate anything until Christmas. And then January and February, it’s something special. It’s not cold, it’s something else. Like 20 degrees below Fahrenheit is just absurd.”


Jason Beghe shivers while his P.D. castmates and Law & Order: SVU pals get to wear winter coats. (Photo: NBC)

Because they pretty much only give him a leather jacket to wear regardless of the temps, P.D.’s Jason Beghe is even less excited about the weather.

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“I’ve always said that the lead character in our show is Chicago. She’s going to determine how the scene goes because she’s the boss… But, yeah, I’m freezing,” he confessed. When we asked him about a warmer coat, he replied with a laugh: “You know, I have said this to wardrobe so many times, but I guess I look cool in that jacket. I’m working on it.”


Eamonn Walker and Oliver Platt clearly love the cold. (Photo: NBC)

“We are layered up, every single one of us,” Walker said. “And the truth is, it doesn’t really stop you from getting cold. What the audiences don’t realize is that some of the quickest scenes you see on the screen can take a 16-18 hour day sometimes to be able to film. On the backdoor pilot for Chicago Med, Oliver Platt and I were in a car park doing this scene and at one point, it was in the middle of a blizzard when they shot it, and we shot it because we shoot everything. Half an hour later, we hadn’t finished shooting the scene yet and it was complete and absolute sunshine, but it was 15 below. So you never know.”

“It goes beyond cold. They cancel school. We’ll have cable freeze,” Kinney recalled. “For example, you lose dexterity in your extremities, so for our focus pooler, whose job is to focus, he can’t move his hands because it’s so cold. And he’s got these giant gloves. So sometimes we can’t shoot outside because it’s so cold. Two, three feet of snow, we’ll shoot — 20 below, you can’t. It’s just too cold.”

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In other words, those Chicago Med newbies should be thanking their lucky stars that they’ve only had one outdoor scene so far, but we hope they’ve invested in some heavy coats.

Chicago Med airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC; Chicago Fire follows at 10 p.m.; and Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

Watch the men of Chicago Fire battle the elements last season: