‘Chicago Fire’ Star Taylor Kinney Ran Into a Fan Who Thought His Character’s Name Was ‘Samurai’

After 11 seasons on Chicago Fire, Taylor Kinney’s character Kelly Severide epitomizes the series. A former ladies’ man turned settled husband, the Station 51 Lieutenant is a driving force on the show. However, despite his popularity and long-running history with the NBC drama, not every fan is an expert on the finer details of the characters.

'Chicago Fire' actor Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide
Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide | Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC/Getty Images

In fact, some even make humorous snafus on the basics that have to be humbling for the cast. Recently, Kinney shared a fan interaction that left him laughing about it later. 

Kelly Severide is one of the original characters still on ‘Chicago Fire’ 

Kinney’s tenure on Chicago Fire is a long one. His character started off in Season 1 with baggage from his father, Benny Severide, who abandoned Kelly and his mother when he was young. Despite that, Severide follows in his father’s footsteps and becomes a firefighter in the Windy City. 

The young firefighter is good friends with fellow firefighters Leslie Shay (Lauren German) and Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer), both of whom have left the show over the years. Now in Season 11, the Lieutenant is settling into married life with fellow firefighter Lieutenant Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo).

After several roller-coaster seasons between the two, the pair tied the knot in a ceremony on the Chicago River at the end of Season 10. Though showrunners tease a few “wrenches” in the works for the couple, the two seem to be endgame material. 

A fan mispronounced ‘Severide’ and called him ‘Samurai’ instead 

Kelly was named after his mother’s father, a fanpage for the show notes, but he kept his father’s last name despite their rocky relationship. It’s that name, Severide, that caused a mixup with a fan recently. 

“I got called Samurai the other day,” Kinney told People in the coverage for the sexiest firefighters on TV roundup. Evidently, the fan mispronounced his character’s last name and ended up with something much more epic. “The guy’s like, ‘Yo, what’s up, Samurai?'”

In the profile, Kinney said his work over the past 11 seasons has been rewarding, even if not every fan knows how to say his name. “We’ve been fortunate enough to go forward and do something really special: tell great stories,” Kinney said of the series.

He also acknowledged the stories wouldn’t be nearly as meaningful if they didn’t represent the work that people do in real life all the time. “There’s not a lot of people that walk into harm’s way willingly, day in, day out — and that’s the job,” Kinney said of real firefighters. “So, thank you.”

Severide’s work ethic and stunts make the mix-up appropriate

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The name mixup might be a humorous mixup, and perhaps a humbling one for the veteran actor, but “Samurai” is perhaps the most fitting accidental nickname for Kinney. The actor, 41, is known for doing many of his own stunts on the show. Like many other cast members, Kinney trained at a “fire college” so he’d have a more realistic idea of what it would be like to fight fires in real life.

He also got his scuba certification so he could do some of his own stunt work for Rescue Squad 3 on the show. Kinney’s floated in the Chicago River in February to get the necessary shots on a camera and in general, is known for doing as much stunt work as he’s allowed to. 

The fan page notes that the aura and work ethic carry from Kinney to his character: In Season 5, Joe Cruz (Joe Miñoso) refers to Severide as “FILO,” which stands for First In, Last Out. It’s apparently a nickname the crew uses behind Severide’s back, although it’s clearly a term of respect for his work ethic on the squad. Kinney’s Severide might not carry a sword or truly be a Samurai, but in Chicago Fire lore, he might as well be. 

Chicago Fire Season 11 airs Wednesdays on NBC at 9 p.m. ET.