Best known for her role as Stella Kidd in the NBC series Chicago Fire, Miranda Rae Mayo celebrated the season nine premiere of the Windy City drama on Wednesday. This marks her fifth season with the show, as she joined the cast in 2016. I sat down to chat about the success of Chicago Fire, her expectations going in, and how the pandemic has affected her life, personally.

"Isn't it crazy?," the actress beamed of the season nine premiere. "It's insane. Coming up this January I'll have been in Chicago for five years. It blows my mind."

Being the new person on set in the middle of an established cast who have worked together for years and have history presents a set of social challenges. "I didn't really have any expectations going in," Mayo explained. "Everybody was so warm, was so inclusive. Everybody wanted me to be a part of the joke.
"I really didn't experience the exclusion that I was bracing myself for."
Of course, she really didn't have much time to think about it. "It was all such a whirlwind. I got a call that I had booked the show and that I would be flying out the next day and I should pack for four months," she remembered. "I didn't have a whole lot of expectations."
Of course COVID has affected life on the set of Chicago Fire, but it's also affected another aspect of Mayo's life. "I created this live show called Eleutheromania and was working with a friend of mine on a consciousness/mindfulness program for teens, a camp. And all of that involves in person interaction. I've definitely had to go back to the drawing board with those things but it's definitely all worth it and I think the pause is a challenge but I welcome it."
Watch Chicago Fire Wednesdays at 9:00 on NBC, and check out the full interview with Miranda Rae Mayo below.