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Charlie Barnett Felt Broken after His ‘Chicago Fire’ Exit - Inside Other Sudden Departures from the Show

Bettina Dizon
Apr 28, 2022
04:50 A.M.
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Charlie Barnett brought life to paramedic Peter MIlls on "Chicago Fire" but was written off the series after three years. Here's a look at the actor's thoughts following his exit from the long-running show.

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For three years, Charlie Barnett graced American television with his portrayal of fire-fighting paramedic Peter Mills on the hit series "Chicago Fire." 

Sadly, his time on the show was cut short when the NBC series' showrunners wrote him out, leaving no choice for the actor but to exit.

Charlie Barnett during the Netflix 2020 Golden Globes After Party on January 05, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

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BARNETT FELT SAD OVER HIS EXIT

Admittedly, the actor was devastated over his dismissal and was broken for some time. However, he also remains grateful to have been part of the show's cast. He later realized that his exit happened for the better. He said in an interview:

“It was a blessing in disguise, and they all told me that. You never really see that in life, in general. You never see the bad moments becoming the good [...] It wouldn't be what it was, I think, if you did recognize it for what it is in the moment."

The silver lining came when he landed a starring role in "Russian Doll," "Tales of the City," and "You." He also became a regular in "Arrow" for its final season.

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Charlie Barnett during the 2020 LA Art Show Opening Night at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 05, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

THE DECISION TO WRITE HIM OFF

According to the show's executive producer, Matt Olmstead, the decision to write off Barnett's character was not made at a whim. He said:

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“It was solely based on bringing in new people for new stories [...]. You have affection and admiration for [your cast], so you keep everybody, but it's at the detriment of being objective and making some tough calls in terms of storytelling.” 

Olmstead added that the decision was difficult to make, but it had to be done. At the end of the day, it was for the show's good, and they were happy about it.

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OTHER DEPARTURES FROM THE SHOW

Barnett isn't the first original actor to bid the series goodbye. Before its seventh season, Monica Raymund also announced her exit after playing paramedic Gabriela Dawson for "Chicago Fire's" past seasons.

At that time, the actress' contract was about to expire, and she felt the need to explore other opportunities. Although it was a decision she did not take lightly, given the family she made on set, it was a risk she was willing to take. 

Another actor who left the show was Jesse Spencer, who felt the same way about going as Raymund. Apart from chasing other roles, he also wanted to focus on his family.

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While some have left, there is a possibility that others will return. There have been recent talks about Kara Kilmer's return during the finale. 

Kilmer joined the show in 2014 as a paramedic and had fans concerned about her continuity on the series because of speculations, including pregnancy rumors. However, reports confirmed that the actress was not pregnant, although happily married to Andrew Cheney.

Showrunner Derek Haas also confirmed that Kilmer is a significant part of the show and had an exhausting schedule during Season 10.

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