NBC television drama series Chicago Fire debuted in 2012. It was created by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, with Dick Wolf in the role of executive producer. The show documented the lives and loves of Chicago firefighters and paramedics working at Firehouse 51 of the Chicago Fire Department. Audiences were introduced to a vibrant cast, including actress Monica Raymund, who played paramedic Gabriela “Gabby” Dawson and quickly became a fan favorite.
Raymund appeared on the show for six seasons before making her exit, but she later returned in the premiere of the seventh season to say a final goodbye to Matt Casey, played by Jesse Spencer. Throughout her time on the show, Raymund made guest appearances on Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med, the second and third installments of the Chicago franchise.
After leaving the role of Gabby, Raymund decided to stay in the Dick Wolf family as she stepped behind the camera of Wolf’s long-running crime series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Raymund directed the episode “Hell’s Kitchen,” which aired on Thursday, October 8.
This marks her first TV directorial credit, and it’s all thanks to the NBC’s Female Forward initiative, which is a program aimed to bring more women behind the camera. According to a report from TV Guide, the program allows women looking to try their hand at directing to shadow one of the network’s current scripted shows, then offers them the opportunity to direct an episode.
While talking to TV Guide, Raymund talked about how she got the gig and what it was like working with Mariska Hargitay, SVU actress, director, and executive producer.
“I was in the NBC family as talent but I had explored directing a few years ago and found that it’s something I’m very seriously passionate about and when the application came out, I submitted my short film along with all the other requirements. I went through an interview process and then I was accepted,” Raymund explained.
She said she wasn’t intimidated to work on the iconic series but she was filled with excitement to show what she could do. She said she admires Hargitay and the work she does on and off the show. The pair talked a lot about their commonalities, like being two of the most popular female leads in Wolf’s creations and their passion for empowering women and fighting for social justice issues.
“Just being able to meet Mariska and knowing that we were fighting for the same cause, it was a beautiful experience of feeling support from another strong woman. We have to continue supporting each other. We have to be there to help the other because if we stay in this together, we will overcome,” the former Chicago Fire star said.
While the show’s creator, Derek Haas, has reportedly said he will keep the door open for the possibility of Raymund’s return, the actress isn’t quite sure whether or not she’ll take him up on the offer, according to a report from US Weekly.
“I have no idea whether or not I’m going to return to the show. That is up for debate but I am very humbled that the door remains open,” she admitted.
Chicago Fire airs on NBC Wednesdays at 9 p.m.