How to Get Cast on ‘Chicago Med,’ ‘Chicago P.D.’ + ‘Chicago Fire’

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NBC’s Chicago franchise—also called One Chicago—consists of three interconnected shows about first responders in the Windy City: “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.”, and “Chicago Med.” The action-dramas explore the professional and personal lives of the firefighters and paramedics of the Chicago Fire Department, the officers of the Chicago Police Department, and the doctors and nurses of Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. 

“Chicago Fire” premiered first in 2012, and “Chicago P.D.” came next via a “Chicago Fire” backdoor pilot during Season 2 in 2014. “Chicago Med” aired as another backdoor pilot on “Chicago Fire” during Season 3 in 2015. Molly’s a bar owned by three firefighters, serves as the connection point for characters from all three shows.

In early 2020, NBC renewed each show for three more seasons before COVID-19 halted productions across the country. At the time, “Fire” was in its eighth season, “P.D.” was in its seventh, and “Med” was in its fifth. Production and air dates have not been announced due to the ongoing precautions taken with COVID-19.

The Chicago franchise was created by Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, and Dick Wolf, the mastermind behind NBC’s “Law & Order” franchise. The three also serve as executive producers on the series, which all film in Chicago, Illinois. “Chicago Fire” filmed during pilot season in 2012, and the series premiered on Oct. 10, 2012. “Chicago P.D.” began filming in 2013 and premiered on Jan. 8, 2014. “Chicago Med” began filming in spring of 2015 and officially premiered on Nov. 17, 2015.

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“Chicago Med,” “P.D.” + “Fire” Auditions + Open Casting Calls

Backstage has had casting calls for “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.”, and “Chicago Med” in the past and while there are none right now, keep an eye on Backstage for future opportunities to join the series once filming resumes. You can still find other productions that are worth checking out if you love the NBC franchise. 

Love NBC’s “Chicago” franchise? Play a hero on one of these projects casting now.

Throughout its first eight seasons, “Chicago Fire” has starred:

  • Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey
  • Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide
  • Christian Stolte as Randall McHolland
  • Eamonn Walker as Wallace Boden
  • Randy Flagler as Harold Capp
  • Joe Minoso as Joe Cruz
  • David Eigenberg as Christopher Hermann
  • Yuri Sardarov as Brian Zvonecek
  • Monica Raymund as Gabriela Dawson
  • Anthony Ferraris as Tony
  • Kara Killmer as Sylvie Brett
  • Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd
  • Lauren German as Leslie Shay
  • Charlie Barnett as Peter Mills
  • Annie Ilonzeh as Emily Foster
  • Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo

Throughout its first seven seasons, “Chicago P.D.” has starred:

  • Jason Beghe as Hank Voight
  • Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead
  • Patrick John Flueger as Adam Ruzek
  • Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess
  • LaRoyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater
  • Amy Morton as Trudy Platt
  • Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson
  • Elias Koteas as Alvin Olinsky
  • Sophia Bush as Erin Lindsay
  • Brian Geraghty as Sean Roman
  • Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton

Throughout its first five seasons, “Chicago Med” has starred:

  • Nick Gehlfuss as Will Halstead
  • Yaya DeCosta as April Sexton
  • Torey Devitto as Natalie Manning
  • Brian Tee as Ethan Choi
  • Marlyne Barrett as Maggie Lockwood
  • S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin
  • Oliver Platt as Daniel Charles
  • Colin Donnell as Connor Rhodes
  • Rachel DiPillo as Sarah Reese
  • Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel

Who is the “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.” + “Chicago Med” casting director?

Jonathan Strauss casts all three series in the Chicago franchise. Based in New York City, Strauss is also known for his other work with Dick Wolf, including “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “FBI.”  

One of the casting directors at Jonathan Strauss Casting, Philip Huffman, shared with Backstage that a typical episode of a procedural show like “Law and Order: SVU” or a show in the Chicago franchise might have up to 20–30 roles outside of the main cast. Although many of the roles are cast for just one episode, there is the potential for some of the characters to return for several episodes throughout the season or even the run of the show.

You can expect a few rounds of auditions if you are called in for a role on one of these shows. You might be pre-screened through an audition with the casting team if you’ve never auditioned for Strauss’s office before or you’re trying out a new type of role. If the office thinks you might be a fit, you’ll move on to a producer session. In a producer session, you can expect to read in front of an executive producer, the CD, and a writer. Casting happens quickly, so once the top creative team has the casting selects, offers will go out when the shooting schedule is established.

Huffman also notes that having representation isn’t a requirement to get called in for one of these roles. In order to be memorable, make sure you’re flexible in the audition room and you can make even jargon or seemingly insignificant dialogue sound natural. And remember, these shows are ongoing and full of opportunities, so if you don’t get one part, you still have the chance to win another!

Advice on Auditioning For “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire” + “Chicago P.D.” From Casting Director Jonathan Strauss

It’s not just about the physical aspects: The physicality is important, but it’s not the only thing that’s important. These characters are defined by their feelings and unspoken emotions. They have to be believable within all the demands: that’s the hardest thing to find.”

Chemistry is key: “Relationships, back-stories, subtext: these are the things an audience gravitates to. How these people relate to each other is a work in progress that grows as it would in life. Chemistry is very important.”

How to Audition for “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire,” and “Chicago P.D.”

Though there have been no public casting calls for lead roles, that doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing new faces when these three series return. 

Keep in mind that for larger speaking roles—series regular, recurring, guest star, co-star, contract—you’ll likely need to go through your agent. Don’t have an agent? Here’s how to get one

Should an audition come up, make sure you’re prepared: 

How to Become an Extra on “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire” + “Chicago P.D.”

Chicago-based Joan Philo of Joan Philo Casting is the casting director for background actors on “Chicago Med” and “Chicago Fire,” while Amy Vachon is the casting director for background actors on “Chicago P.D.” There are currently no open calls for background talent, but be sure to check the “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire,” and “Chicago P.D.” extras Facebook pages. Past Backstage casting calls for Chicago franchise background talent have included:

“Chicago Med”: Fitness Center Extras

  • All genders
  • 18+
  • All ethnicities
  • Some pay

“Chicago P.D.”: Bar Extras

  • All genders
  • 20-59
  • All ethnicities
  • Pay started at $88 per eight hours with a $35 auto bump, if applicable

“Chicago Fire”: Hospital Types

  • All genders
  • 18+
  • All ethnicities
  • $88 per eight hours

“Chicago Med”: Extras

  • All genders
  • 20-60
  • All ethnicities
  • Some pay

“Chicago P.D.”: Taqueria Extras

  • All genders
  • 18+
  • Latino/Hispanic
  • $96 per eight hours with a $35 auto bump, if applicable

“Chicago Fire”: Victims

  • All genders
  • 16-19
  • All ethnicities
  • Pay started at $104 per eight hours and a $35 car bump if applicable

Since “Chicago” franchise shoots in Chicago, it’s helpful to be local to the area. Because background work often does not include relocation or travel stipends, being a local hire is crucial for getting repeat work as an extra. For more information on what it means to be a local hire, click here

For more information on how to land work and make a living as a background actor, check out Backstage’s guide to working as an extra.

Love NBC’s “Chicago” franchise? Play a hero on one of these projects casting now.

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