Monica Raymund is an American actress best known for her television roles as Ria Torres in Lie to Me, Dana Lodge in The Good Wife and most recently as Gabriela Dawson in Chicago Fire. Dawson is a lovable, strong paramedic that wears her heart on her sleeve. In an exclusive interview, Raymund said it has been a joy to play her and said there is a lot of romance and drama left for season two.
Q: You have done television series in the past but how did you get involved in Chicago Fire?
Raymund: Hmm… how did I get involved in Chicago Fire. Well, it was pretty standard. It was pilot season I wasn’t contracted to a show as a series regular, I had just come off of The Good Wife and I was reading various amounts of scripts…and Dick Wolf’s name came up and it landed on my desk. I read the script and I just could not get enough of it. I am very supportive of any project that honors and highlights real heroes that don’t get any attention. I loved the way it was written and the style. When they said they wanted to see me I said yes right away and I tested and got the part.
Q: What was it that made you want to play Dawson?
Raymund: I loved the fact that she was kind of a tomboy and flawed — but also extremely, what’s a better word to use then badass? [laughs]. She was. She is a badass. She is someone who puts others people before herself. She is stubborn, which is quite fun to play with, which is very much like myself. she says yes to everything. She will be the first one to go in and help other people and I am attracted to characters like that. Also, being a Latina actress, I am very interested in playing parts that don’t necessarily highlight just my cultural background.
Q: Of course we want to know, she is such a badass but when it comes to her personal life she is a mess, a complete mess.
Q: When the show first starts I thought we were going to see her with Casey. Then she switches over to Mills and then the season ends with maybe the possibility of a Casey future. What is going on!
Raymund: [laughs]. I love that you like that. She is a mess, a beautiful mess. What I love about that, is that it’s so true to life. You are never going to talk to a woman that doesn’t have a sort of messy past. What’s going on is that I think she is struggling to find what she wants and even though she is courted by maybe a couple of men in her life, she is constantly trying to find a balance between what is right for her personally and what is right for her professionally. What she is willing to compromise and sacarfice and what she is not willing to. I think in the second season we are going to see her make more of a deliberate decision in how she manages and navigates the single lifestyle. There is something really special and incredibly authentic with Casey. It’s one of those great loves, the one that got away. I think he is her great love, but for some reason they haven’t been able to come together.
Q: Will they come together in season two?
Raymund: I really don’t know. I think we are going to see a few episodes where Casey and Dawson sort of walk that line again, but I can’t answer that otherwise I will get in trouble. [laughs].
Q: Are you surprised by the fans reactions to Chicago Fire? People love it.
Raymund: It’s incredibly humbling. I love meeting fans. It is one of my greatest joy is to see the joy on these people’s faces and to hear how invested they are in these characters in such an emotional way. That is what I am looking for. As an actor, I am an artist. I love telling stories. So for me, as the storyteller, its such an honor to know that people are invested in it because I am invested in it too. It becomes such a collaborative process between the artist and the fans. We are all invested in the story together.
Q: So there is a spin-off happening, which I was very excited about till I heard that some of the cast members might be leaving to do that show… should I be worried especially since at the end of the season we see Mills going to the police academy?
Raymund: The spin off, Chicago PD, will feature some of the Chicago Fire characters for sure, but it does not mean that we are leaving or moving permanently. It’s going to be a bit of a hybrid like Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. We are basically doing two shows, two separate worlds that collide. It gives us many more options to play with. It’s almost like reading a fantasy series. There are so many story lines to follow.
Q: What can fans look forward to for season two?
Raymund: I am still pretty early on for season two and I don’t really have that much information. What I can say is that the Casey/Dawson relationship will grow, whether or not it grows into a love or not we will see. The Renee and Severide relationship is going to have a surprise that will alter their relationship, regarding her pregnancy and how that affects their relationship and Severide’s relationship with Shay. We are basically going to watch these characters have to deal with loss and try to rebound.
Catch Raymund on the season two premiere of Chicago Fire on Sept 24 at 10pm EST.