We all remember Otis. He was one of the most beloved characters in Chicago Fire history, and his death in season 8 was one of the most devastating. There’s something to be said for the fact that fans are still discussing Otis’ death years later, and that characters who remain on the show often pay tribute to him.
If it was shocking for us in the moment, one can only imagine how the actor who played Otis, Yuri Sardarov, felt. Fortunately, we don’t have to imagine. Sardarov talked about the decision to kill off Otis during an interview with Tell All TV.
Why did Otis leave Chicago Fire?
The actor pointed to several reasons why Otis’ death was a necessary decision. For one, it helped the show maintain a sense of unpredictability and tension, and it had been several seasons since a major character had bit the dust.
"“Going into the eighth season, sometimes you need something that’s going to get the engines revved up a little bit,” Sardarov noted. “And what better way to do that than to kill someone so beloved and someone so warm and sweet and funny? I think in many ways, Otis is the one character that people don’t expect to die.”"
He was definitely right about subverting expectations. In a real world sense, Sardarov admitted that he was itching to play different characters and challenge himself as an actor, since he had been playing Otis for nearly a decade.
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“It was difficult, but it was also necessary,” he added. “It was a combination of me wanting to move on and them needing something akin to what’s going to happen. And I think those two things met at the perfect time.” Sardarov went on to say that the prospect of playing a death scene was exciting for him, for he knew it would have a lasting impact if done correctly.
“It took me a while to really focus and commit,” he recalled. “Once I did, I think the results speak for themselves, but it was both exciting and just so emotionally taxing.” We’d agree that the results speak for themselves.
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