Chicago Fire star teases ‘different sides’ of Stella Kidd in S11

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Every Scar Tells a Story" Episode 1102 -- Pictured: Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Every Scar Tells a Story" Episode 1102 -- Pictured: Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

Stella Kidd has undergone lots of changes on Chicago Fire. She started out as a headstrong member of the 51, before transitioning into a leadership role that’s allowed her to connect with her employees in distinct, meaningful ways.

The differences between the Stella we first met and the Stella who’s currently running the 51 and putting her life on the line to protect others are startling when placed side by side, but actress who plays her, Miranda Rae Mayo, assures fans that there’s plenty more changes coming around the corner.

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Mayo recently sat down for an interview with Essence, and discussed the ways in which playing Stella has shaped her life, as well as the ways in which her life has helped to shape the path of the character.

The first thing the actress singled out was the courageousness. Stella’s commitment to following her heart, regardless of how it may look, is something that has defined her over the course of the show. Leaving Chicago to promote the Girls on Fire program was a textbook example, and the effects have been positively felt by the students who went through the program.

Mayo also singled out the importance of being able to express herself as a performer for the sake of her mental health. “Being able to do that in a community with the cast I work with has affected my mental health tremendously”, she explained. “It has also been challenging to go through that kind of shadow work in public. I mean, there’s a lot of pressure that I have put on myself to be quote-unquote perfect.”

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The character has definitely been through a lot in the last year, from nearly splitting up with Severide (Taylor Kinney) and getting married, to getting the promotion of her dreams and nearly getting killed during her honeymoon. That’s not even getting into the deadly encounter she had in the fall finale. We’re still waiting to find out if she made it out of that explosion without any major injuries.

As far as what fans can expect from Stella on the back end of season 11, Mayo singled out the contradictory aspects of the character. “Stella has been an incredible vehicle for me to explore many different sides of myself”, she noted, and we can’t wait to see which sides come out when the show returns in 2023.

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For the latest season 11 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Fire category at One Chicago Center.