Zap2it: You were at Juilliard, which consistently turns out great actors. Who else was in your class?
Monica Raymund: Finn Wittrock, who was in “Death of a Salesman.” I was very, very lucky. There are a few of us in that position. We have a lot of friends who are equally as talented who are struggling still.
Zap2it: Did you go on ambulance ride-alongs to prepare for your “Chicago Fire” role?
Monica Raymund: I have seen them save someone. A woman was having a heart attack or a stroke, something that would probably kill her, and her heart rate was skyrocketing. You can actually inject adrenaline into the heart. … I saw that happen because this woman was about to go in a serious stroke, so the [EMT] woman would have to handle it there and told her, “OK, you are going to feel a strong kicking in the chest, so breathe through, it, OK?” She leapt out of the gurney. And all of a sudden we see her heart rate go back to normal.
Zap2it: It’s a mostly male set, with some very handsome actors; what is that like?
Monica Raymund: Oh, gosh, my job is amazing! They modeled our firehouse off an exact firehouse in Chicago. It is so cute to go to work with these boys who love pretending like they are firefighters.
Zap2it: How do you describe Gabriela, your character?
Monica Raymund: I describe her as she is a tough chick who has got a big heart. As easy as it is for her to kick some butt, she can get her butt kicked, too. She is pretty vulnerable. I really enjoy playing her. It is a lot of life and death, but the way these people cope is through humor.