Chicago Fire star Taylor Kinney celebrates his birthday today, so we’re celebrating him and his Chicago Fire character, fan favorite Kelly Severide.
Taylor Kinney has always been an integral part of Chicago Fire, as the compare and contrast between Severide and Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) was what the show was built on. And while their relationship has grown over six seasons, Severide still has a large part to play.
He continues to be a contrasting figure of his own: brilliant on the job and not so much everywhere else (though sometimes it’s not really his fault).
That constant back and forth between a man who can easily save other people but keeps being unable to get himself together is what makes Severide who he is, and what has provided Taylor Kinney with so many memorable moments in the show’s history.
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Just look at what’s happened recently: after losing his girlfriend to cancer, Severide apparently slept with “half the women in Chicago” between seasons, then got himself involved with the obsessive Hope Jacquinot (Eloise Mumford).
Oh, and his mom (Kim Delaney) showed up and temporarily moved in.
That is a lot of drama for one character to handle, but at least unlike last season, Severide didn’t get drunk and wind up in handcuffs, then later have someone he loves die. So technically, you could consider this year an improvement for him.
We bring all that up because that’s a lot for one actor to play, and it’s not always easy. Especially when Severide does things that he probably should know not to do by now, like sleeping with the woman who throws herself at him and turns out to be a little crazy. It’s up to the actor to make all that work, and Taylor Kinney continued to do that this year.
Even when Kelly Severide makes us shake our head at his behavior, Kinney makes it so that we don’t necessarily love him any less. We see his flaws, but it’s always been clear that despite them, he loves his job and cares deeply about doing the right thing.
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That was evident again this season in battling Grissom. It was frustrating to be at odds with someone he respected, but Severide stood his ground and didn’t let the past influence the present. He was also firm with Renee when she started dropping hints about how much she missed him.
And it’s these moments that Taylor Kinney doesn’t get enough credit for. Yes, Severide’s a hero and yes, it’s fun sometimes when he gets himself into trouble. But the quiet moments, the ones where we see what he’s really made of, those are the most memorable and those are when Taylor is brilliant. He’s a true asset to the One Chicago franchise. Happy birthday, Taylor KInney!
Join us in wishing Taylor Kinney a happy birthday in the comments and on Twitter! Here’s to hoping his character catches a bit of a break in the next season of Chicago Fire.