In Here and Now, a new romantic drama directed by French filmmaker Fabien Constant, heartthrob Taylor Kinney plays a charming drummer who catches the eye of Sarah Jessica Parker. Kinney tells us how he prepared for the film's most romantic scenes, what he looks for in a script, and what to expect from the final episodes of Chicago Fire.
Taylor Kinney as Jordan in AMBI Distribution’s drama Here and Now.
You and Sarah Jessica Parker have quite the chemistry onscreen. How do you prepare for those romantic moments?
TAYLOR KINNEY: I think you deal with it in the moment. I remember my first day I was in New York. I think we'd had a couple hellos, and then we shot our first scene. I was behind a drum set, and I worked with a friend in Brooklyn learning some drumbeats and sets. And then I remember doing a scene. It was our first scene together. She was up there singing and we have to kind of, well, canoodle.
It just kind of happened. So it has to be organic, and it has to work. There can be a force, but nothing was forced. I really got along with her, and I've mentioned it to a few people. I did have a crush on her for a few weeks after the shoot. The character, Vivienne, and I fell into it. I had a great time shooting, and I missed her.
What attracted you to the script?
TK: I think you read something and you have an initial response, some sort of innate thing that draws you to something. When I read the script, I said, "Can I be a part of it? How do I get a part of this?" And then I met with Fabien Constant, the director, and hats off to him. He did a wonderful job. It was awesome to work with him. We talked ideas, and we just got on the same page. We didn't have much time, but in-between a hiatus on Chicago Fire, I had a little time. If I get to work with someone who shares an ideal or an idea or someone who wants to tell a story that I respond to, then I want to be a part of it. And it came to fruition.
I know some actors and actresses don't like watching themselves on screen, but do you mind?
TK: I have no qualm with watching myself, I guess. I think you can pull things. You see what works. If I try anything in a given scene—and I'm going to reserve this for television—but you can watch something, and see where the edits lay. You can see where they pull something to tell the story. So if I try something in a scene and I want to up the comedy or ad lib or do something, I'll see where the editor uses the cut, and that tells the story. Then, going forward, I know how to maneuver the character, but with a film, it's one and done. It's a tightrope with a net, and I think that you have to put your trust in the director. I think you put yourself in his or her hands, whoever it is. You do the thing, you do the job, you do the work, and then it's up to them. So on the day of, I do the best I can. When I go to bed at night, hopefully, I've exhausted the possibilities of what I wanted to do with the day and the work, and then I sleep well at night.
You've been taking fans of Chicago Fire on a wild ride this past season. Talk to me about some of the most recent twists and turns on the show.
TK: Treat Williams, who's played my father on the show for six years, suffered a stroke and passed away in the last episode. He's been a delight to work with. Love him. I was bummed. I wish I got more time. I just wish we had more time to tell a broader story. That being said, in the past two years, let's say, I feel like everybody has upped their game. We have the cast as solid as ever. Everybody has been really enjoying the city of Chicago. Chicago's been really great to us. Dick Wolf has given us the template to go forward. I ran into Mariska Hargitay a couple months ago in New York, and she's a beacon of hope. She told me, "Hey, we're in season 19. You guys could be here too." And Dick said the same thing: "It's about the writing. You guys have a good thing going. Don't mess it up." So I think as long as people keep enjoying the program and the show, we're going to keep telling the stories.
How far in advance do you have to plan for something like Treat's death on the show? What should we expect next?
TK: We get maybe two, three episodes in advance, and we're shooting episode 12 right now, and I think we're slated for 20 episodes this season. Maybe more, but around 20. I can't tell you more about what happens in the future. I try to stay current with what I'm working on, what I'm doing in the moment. So that's episode 12, and I'll read episode 13 when I get that script. Anything aside from that down the line, no, that's in the writers' hands, and I trust them. It's been seven years, and we have a good thing going. So I don't feel like I have an inclination or a need to insert myself into that.
Photography by: Photography courtesy Paul Schiraldi