One Chicago runs a pretty tight ship when it comes to juggling all of its different shows. There have been epic, three-part crossovers between Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD, and smaller crossovers in which a character from one show pops up to help out a character from a different show. There are even marriages between Fire and PD characters.
That being said, sometimes there are inconsistencies in the franchise. There have been a couple instances in which actors that we know and love due to their long-running characters have been tasked with playing completely different characters. It can be a little confusing, especially upon rewatch, but it happens often enough for it to be considered a pattern. What gives?
Dick Wolf likes to audition actors in small roles before making them stars
Well, put simply, Dick Wolf likes to use the same actors. The showrunner has spent three decades making TV stars out of relative unknowns, and part of his process is using an actor in a small part before deciding to give them a more substantial role elsewhere. He talked about this process in a 2018 interview with Variety.
“Casting is the most subjective area of TV production,” he explained. “One man’s meat is another man’s poison and frankly, if I’m going to go all in on a new member of an ensemble, or when you are starting a show, if it is not the right choice I want it to be my wrong choice [than for me to say] to a third party, a showrunner or a network, ‘OK, so you choose.'”
This means that you can be watching a random season 3 episode of Chicago Med and see future Chicago Fire star Daniel Kyri playing a concerned family member named Lane Tucker. There’s no relation or connection to the Fire character that has made him famous, Darren Ritter, just an instance in which the actor is two separate people in the same TV universe.
The same goes for Brian Tee and Guy Lockard. Tee broke into One Chicago by playing a gangster named Jesse Kong on the Chicago PD episode “Three G’s”, and then made the pivot to Dr. Ethan Choi once Chicago Med was launched. Guy Lockard popped up in a season 8 episode of Chicago Fire as a distraught father. A few years later, he was breaking our hearts as Dr. Dylan Rhodes on Chicago Med.
It can be a little jarring, especially for fans who are sticklers for consistency, but Wolf’s method makes sense and has led to some of the best characters in the One Chicago franchise. Besides, these appearances gain a certain charm over time, like we’re watching an actor audition before getting the part they really want.
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