Charlie Barnett says leaving Chicago Fire ‘broke’ him

CHICAGO FIRE -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Charlie Barnett as Peter Mills -- (Photo by: Nino Munoz/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Charlie Barnett as Peter Mills -- (Photo by: Nino Munoz/NBC) /

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than seven years since Charlie Barnett last appeared in an episode of Chicago Fire. 

Across the first three seasons of the series, Barnett’s character Peter Mills was a crucial part of the cast who often found himself at the heart of some of the series’ biggest storylines. Not only was Mills a central character on the show, but he was also one of the show’s most beloved characters and remains a fan favorite all of these years later.

When it was announced he would not be returning for the show’s fourth season, the news broke the hearts of fans. However, as a new interview has revealed, fans weren’t the only ones whose worlds were turned upside down by his departure.

Charlie Barnett opens up about his Chicago Fire exit

Although Barnett departed the series on good terms, even he was surprised by the decision the creative team made in writing his character off the series ahead of its fourth season.

In a new interview with Digital Spy, Barnett reflected upon his departure from Chicago Fire which he admitted “broke” him in the immediate fallout.

"“[The show] was a behemoth that I never really saw coming. I was thankful to be a part of it. I really was sad to be let go. It broke me for quite a long time,” Barnett revealed."

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While Barnett admits to being shaken by his character’s exit, looking back on the decision now, he confesses that it was actually a blessing in disguise.

"“Yeah. It was a blessing in disguise, and they all told me that. You never really see that in life, in general. You never see the bad moments becoming the good. It wouldn’t be. It wouldn’t be what it was, I think, if you did recognize it for what it is in the moment. So I’m thankful.”"

It’s a fair assessment as Chicago Fire proved to be just the beginning of what has been an incredibly successful career for the young actor. Since leaving the Windy City, Barnett has gone to appear in a handful of hit series including You, Russian Doll, Arrow and Ordinary Joe. 

And although it remains unclear if we might ever see him return as Peter Mills, it’s sure to warm fans hearts in knowing Barnett remains in touch with many of his Chicago Fire costars to this day… and the door definitely remains open for his possible return!

Next. 5 Chicago Fire characters who need to return. dark

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