Meet Chicago Fire’s newest series regular Adriyan Rae

Adriyan Rae. (Photo Credit: Diana Ragland/Courtesy of PR Machine.)
Adriyan Rae. (Photo Credit: Diana Ragland/Courtesy of PR Machine.) /

Adriyan Rae dishes on joining the Chicago Fire cast.

Adriyan Rae has only appeared in two Chicago Fire episodes so far, but she’s already made a strong impression.

The actress joined the cast in Chicago Fire season 9 to play Gianna Mackey, Firehouse 51’s new paramedic and the latest partner for Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer). It’s her first series regular role in a procedural, and a role that she’s been enjoying immensely.

Adriyan connected with One Chicago Center to discuss why she was interested in becoming part of Fire, her take on Gianna as a character so far, and what you need to know about her if this is the first TV show you’ve seen her in. Get to know more about her before tonight’s episode airs on NBC at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT!

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One Chicago Center: This is a different role than you’ve played before, so what made you want to join the cast of Chicago Fire?

Adriyan Rae: I have a medical background as a medical laboratory scientist, and I had a degree in physician assistant studies as well. This is something that combined my love for action and my love for medicine.

I got to do a role where I am someone who practices medicine in some way, so that was always been a dream for me. I always said when I was younger, “Oh, I want to be on Grey’s Anatomy.” I could never get those roles, and for this one to come along. I was just like oh, awesome. That is freaking great. It’s been awesome.

OCC: The primary thing we know about Gianna Mackey so far is her history with Joe Cruz. Joe Minoso is a wonderful actor to work with, so how did you two decide on their backstory and create the rapport between your characters?

AR: Joe’s a phenomenal actor. We actually got together on a phone call and talked about our backstories. I was just like hey, I want to know what you built for Cruz’s backstory, and I want to tell you what I’ve built for mine. And find places to make them intersect. Let’s find stories that link us could together, memories together, so that we actually have those and they’re present when we’re in these things together and giving it another texture.

We definitely did the work together and we took time out of our schedule to get to know each other [and] get to know each other’s characters as well.

OCC: Chicago Fire has a history of strong female characters, particularly on Ambulance 61. What are you interested in exploring with Gianna as she adds to that tradition?

AR: Just explore her dynamic between carrying comedic moments and also carrying the weight that happens when you live a life, and you’re human, and you’re jaded, don’t want to be vulnerable in transitioning in your life to a whole new space. Just the journey of her.

I’m super excited to learn more and grow more with her and see how that transitions into her and Brett’s dynamic. It’s just so many different things, and I’m excited to see how it works out.

Chicago Fire
“Rattle Second City” Episode 901 — Pictured: Adriyan Rae as Gianna Mackey — (Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC) /

OCC: Speaking of comedic moments, there were some funny scenes with Gianna and Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende) in the season 9 premiere. Are these just meant to be humorous, or is Gallo actualy interested in Gianna?

AR: That was so funny. I think that it may progress into something. It’s Chicago Fire, so you never know. It could just be something that was just for a joke for that episode, or it could really be the start of some type of googly eyes that could go on for two episodes or two years. We don’t know, but I can’t say any more than that.

OCC: We didn’t get too far into that, because we saw Gianna consider leaving Firehouse 51 in the second episode. How was it for you to play that pivotal moment so early on?

AR: In regards to Gianna, I’m super proud of her for taking her first day in stride, and also her courage and strength to continue to press on in the midst of everything that’s going on. She didn’t have to go out on that second call, but she did. She had the heart to. I think that courage is so admirable and I’m really proud of it.

OCC: Is there anything else you’d recommend to Chicago Fire viewers who want to see more of Adriyan Rae? Anything you’re working on outside of the show?

AR: People can check out [her previous series] Vagrant Queen. It’s on SYFY, so that’d be fun to see me in a completely different light.

I’m working on projects like my Heart and Soul Scholarship, which is presented by Love and Light Media, my company. We’ll be giving scholarships to underprivileged students to help them get through secondary education/college because it’s tough out here, especially at these times, so I’m working on that. And people can find me on Instagram.

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For the latest Chicago Fire season 9 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Fire category at One Chicago Center.