Chicago Fire boss Derek Haas is tipping his hat to former series star Charlie Barnett, who recently opened up about his heartbreaking departure in Season 3.
“I read that article. That was really nice, everything he said about the show,” Haas told Deadline on Monday. “Of course we miss him. He was always such a huge part of our inception. He couldn’t be a nicer guy. We’ve been cheering on his success ever since.”
Added fellow executive producer Andrea Newman: “He was really fun because he was the audience’s eyes in the beginning. We walked into the firehouse with him, so he was a great introduction for this show. We love him.”
Barnett, who portrayed Peter Mills in the firefighter drama, said though at the time it was tough to look beyond the disappointment of being written out, he is now grateful for the experience.
“[The show] was a behemoth that I never really saw coming. I was thankful to be a part of it,” Barnett told Digital Spy. “I really was sad to be let go. It broke me for quite a long time.”
He continued, “Yeah. 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. It wouldn’t be what it was, I think if you did recognize it for what it is in the moment. So I’m thankful.”
Barnett has gone on to land starring roles in Netflix’s Russian Doll, You, and the miniseries Tales of the City. He was also a series regular in the final season of Arrow for the CW.
For fans of Barnett as Mills, Haas revealed he’s open to bringing the character back someday if the situation is right.
“We’ll have to get Mills out of that North Caroline diner and have him bring some pies. Yeah, he can bring pies. That’s a great idea,” Haas said.
Chicago Fire airs Wednesday nights on NBC.
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