Interview with Joe Minoso of "Chicago Fire" on NBC - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Interview with Joe Minoso of "Chicago Fire" on NBC 2/20/19

It was great to speak with Joe again. I spoke with him 3 years ago about the crossover they did back then. This one is for tonight's big crossover with "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago P.D."  I watched it last night and it's very exciting. Joe is featured in it, especially the first half. If you don't watch the show regularly (as I don't), you don't need to worry about being lost or confused. They do a pretty good job of catching you up on everything.

He seemed like a really nice guy on the phone...very personable and likable, like his character. You might think that all actors are like that, and they put on a façade, but that's not always the case. He was very friendly. I remember, in our 2016 interview, that he and Colin Donnell (Dr. Connor Rhodes, "Chicago MD") were very funny together, making us all laugh. I also really appreciate the fact that he was speaking clearly and loud enough for my recorder, and we had a good connection. It's not always that way! :)

Here's the recording of our interview today. Here's the transcript of our call!

Katie: Hi, Suzanne, you're on with Joe Minoso.

Suzanne: Hey, Joe.

Joe: Hello, Suzanne.

Suzanne: How are you this morning?

Joe: How are you?

Suzanne: Alright. A little rushed?

Joe: I'm very, very good. Thank you. Say again?

Suzanne: You're a little rushed today? A little busy?

Joe: It's a full morning, but after working on stuff with you, I get to kind of sit back and relax a little bit.

Suzanne: Oh, that's good.

Joe: [inaudible 00:00:23]

Suzanne: Are you calling from Chicago?

Joe: I am calling from Chicago. Yes.

Suzanne: I see you're having a relatively warm day in the 30s.

Joe: Are you kidding me? It's a heat wave over here. This is fantastic. Compared to two or three weeks ago, you couldn't ask for a better temperature.

Suzanne: That's good. It's cold. I'm in Arkansas so that's cold for me and we're having about the same weather so we're all freezing.

Joe: Oh, my goodness! That's the thing. I remember when I moved to Los Angeles, from two months in January. We came back in March and we had one night where it was 45 degrees and I was freezing my butt off. Now 45 is nothing.

Suzanne: It's all relative, right?

Joe: So true.

Suzanne: How is this crossover episode different than the previous crossover episodes you've done?

Joe: Specifically for me, I'm kind of the glue for the storyline this crossover episode so I'm really highly involved in this one. It kind of tracks Joe Cruz as he goes undercover at another firehouse to try and find out who's been committing a series of burglaries. And so definitely in that way I'm highly involved. Usually in these big crossover episodes, I come in, I say two or three lines; I pick somebody up; I put 'em on a stretcher and I'm done. In this particular situation, they've kind of entrusted me with a big chunk of the storyline, which I'm greatly honored for.

Suzanne: Right. I watched it last night. You did a good job.

Joe: Oh my God, thank you so much. You saw it even before I did. I haven't even seen it yet so I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Suzanne: Oh yeah, no, it was good. Now, have the crossovers gotten easier now, do you think, for everyone to set up? You've done so many.

Joe: You know, I think yes, in a lot of ways. Especially because we're all one night now. We were all able to start our filming process at the very same time. So we all started on the same day so we're all basically around the same episode number throughout the course of the year which makes it a lot easier to talk the stories, to kind of build them together and have more of a conversation or dialogue about how we go forward. But at the same time, it's just kind of become one giant crossover every week. I feel like every episode, on at least one of our shows, you're going to see somebody from another show on it. Every week. It's kind of this constant marriage of all three worlds, in the best most seamless way I think, which kudos to that to the writers and crew for making that happen.

Suzanne: In this Chicago Fire episode part of the crossover, as you said, you play detective a little bit. Now for this new aspect of your role, did you have to prepare any differently than you have in the past as an actor?

Joe: I don't think so, no. All things, I think for example, unless they're like physical things where you have to prove to be kind of a professional at something, it's all about locking into the emotion of the thing. And in this particular situation it was about kind of dealing with the struggle of turning in one of our own versus doing what's best for the sake of the city and Cruz has kind of come across that situation before. In season one he ended up choosing basically for the safety of his family as opposed to the overall good of the city. Though it ended up both when he left this gangster to kind of die in a burning building. But with something like this, with every performance, for every role, no matter what it is, it's about connecting to the situation and the humanity of the thing and I think that's what really carries the show along and carries the art from one show to the other is how Cruz has kind of found himself really feeling these guys. It's just another firehouse of people and it becomes harder and harder to make the decision to turn them in.

Suzanne: It was interesting to see a different firehouse and different characters. I liked that.

Joe: So true. That's a great old firehouse that our crew found that is not actually an active firehouse anymore. But they're talking about turning it into a museum. It's just got such a great aesthetic. It's such a great old feel.

Suzanne: Neat. Do you know why they decided not to include Chicago Med in this particular crossover?

Joe: I don't specifically. I think in a lot of cases, it's just about what best services the story that we're telling. In this particular situation I think it just happened to be a storyline that was more focused on really the PD side of things, with a helping hand from Fire. It becomes difficult to try and marry all three shows especially when you're looking at some sort of an investigative side and then dealing with the fire side so I think in this particular situation it really is a PD storyline that is just involving some people from Fire. And I think that's where you see the marriage and there just didn't seem to be an apt place to really involve Med in a tactile, concrete way without making it feel false of forced. So I think that's why they just settled on these two shows.

Suzanne: Okay, and is there anything else that you'd like to tell us about the crossover?

Joe: Gosh, not that I can think of off the top of my head, other than it was a tremendous honor to be able to work with some new actors. Those guys that came into be the firefighters for Firehouse 66 were fantastic to work with. I think you're going to see a breakout in the guy who plays Suggs, one of the firefighters on the show, on the crossover. He's really fantastic. I hope you guys enjoyed it. We worked our butts of to put it out there for you so I hope you enjoy it.

Suzanne: Great. And when you see people on the street do they ever think you're a real firefighter?

Joe: Sometimes that can get [consueded 00:07:01] but I quickly remind them that I'm the last person that you want around in a real dangerous situation. I may be tough on TV but Joe Cruz is the tough guy. Joe Minoso's pretty much a softie. So I would say, yes, it happens sometimes, but for the most part, keep me firefighting on TV. It's best that way.

Suzanne: What would you like to see happen to your character in the future?

Joe: There's been a lot of growth both personally and professionally for Cruz in this season specifically so it's been great to see. It's hard to tell. You never know from year to year what the actors, excuse me, the writers are going to give you but at the end of the day I think the next natural progression for Cruz is maybe family life. Maybe a kid, maybe not but I think that's probably the next step because I think he's found himself where he wants to be as a firefighter. So who knows, I think the next step is something personal.

Suzanne: All right, well I really appreciate you calling me today.

Joe: Oh my God, it was my pleasure. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me.

Suzanne: Well thank you and I'll try to get this up real so soon so people can read it before the show.

Joe: Okay. Thank you so much.

Suzanne: And thank you.

Joe: I appreciate that. You've got a couple of hours so-

Suzanne: Yeah.

Joe: Good luck.

Suzanne: Bye-bye.

Joe: Thank you. Bye-bye.


Joe Cruz played by Joe Minoso

Joe Minoso stars as Joe Cruz, a product of Chicago's tough streets who has dedicated his life to serving with the brave men and women of the CFD, in NBC's drama "Chicago Fire." After years of hard work, Cruz was placed on Lt. Severide's (Taylor Kinney) rescue squad.

Raised in the Bronx, Minoso discovered theater when his first girlfriend took him to see her act in the school play. After graduating from Adelphi University with a bachelor's degree in fine arts, he continued on to Northern Illinois University, where he received his masters in fine arts. Upon graduation, he immediately moved to Chicago and quickly became involved with Teatro Vista, the largest Latino theater company in the Midwest.

Minoso appeared at the Goodman Theater in "A Christmas Carol" during the 2011-12 season and was also recently seen in the world premiere of Brett Neveu's "Do The Hustle" at Writers' Theatre. Additional Chicago credits include Don Pedro in "The Sins of Sor Juana" at the Goodman Theater; Eusebio in José Rivera's "Boleros for the Disenchanted" at the Goodman Theater and Yale Repertory Theatre; "Esperanza Rising" at Chicago Children's Theatre; Nilo Cruz's "A Park in Our House;" "Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams" at Victory Gardens Theater; "Short Shakespeare! The Comedy of Errors" at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; "Massacre (Sing to Your Children)" and "Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner" at Teatro Vista; and the Teatro Vista/American Theater Company co-production of "Living Out."

Regionally, Minoso appeared as George Gibbs in "Our Town" at the Madison Repertory Theatre.

Among his television credits are guest-starring roles in "Prison Break," "The Beast," "Shameless" and "The Chicago Code." Before "Chicago Fire," he was seen as Alberto "Moco" Ruiz in the cable series "Boss." Minoso made his feature film debut in the blockbuster "Man of Steel."

Minoso is a five-time Imagen Award nominee for best supporting actor in a drama series, for his role in "Chicago Fire."


Upcoming two-way crossover set for Wednesday, Feb. 20 between “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.”

“Chicago Med” kicks off the evening with its own stand-alone installment, which will be followed by the crossover.

“CHICAGO FIRE” — “WHAT I SAW” (Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT)
A spate of robberies comes to light after a firehouse lockbox key goes missing. CPD’s Voight has suspicions that a firefighter may be involved and with Boden’s support he recruits Cruz to go undercover and help sniff out any suspicious activity.

“CHICAGO P.D.” — “GOOD MEN” (Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
Using information from Cruz (guest star Joe Minoso, “Chicago Fire”), Intelligence chases down the robbery crew that’s been using the lockbox key. Voight is under pressure to bring the crew to justice without tarnishing the reputation of a murdered firefighter who might have been involved.

All shows are produced by Universal Television in association with Wolf Entertainment.

Interview transcribed by

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