'We Have Quite A Revolving Door': After Kara Killmer Reflected On Leaving Chicago Fire's Cast, She Name-Dropped Other Former Stars And I'm Really Feeling How Many We've Lost

 Kara Killmer as Brett in Chicago Fire Season 12 premiere.
Kara Killmer as Brett in Chicago Fire Season 12 premiere.

Chicago Fire has been going strong on NBC for twelve seasons now, and the hit drama is poised to hit the 250-episode milestone before the end of the spring 2024 TV schedule. While the original One Chicago show has managed to hold on to a surprising number of stars from the very beginning, there have also been a lot of departures and replacements over the years. The most recent to leave was Kara Killmer as paramedic Sylvie Brett, and she opened up about Fire's "revolving door" and all the other stars who have left.

Chicago Fire's 'Revolving Door' Of Cast Members

Season 12 lost its first series regular in the premiere with the departure of Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo, but Kara Killmer stuck around for the first six episodes to give Brett a proper goodbye (and very fishy wedding to Matt Casey). She was part of the cast for ten seasons, starting back in Season 3, and was therefore on hand for a lot of cast arrivals and departures. When I spoke with the actress ahead of her final episode, the former Dawsey fan reflected on Brett's many partners and ending with Hanako Greensmith's Violet as her fellow Firehouse 51 paramedic:

We have quite a revolving door on Chicago Fire, which is true for real firehouse. I've had seven partners on the ambulance, and I am so grateful that I got to spend these last four years with Hanako. She is just so sharp. She's such a hard worker. She's so talented, and she's funny. I mean, I've never laughed so much on this show as I have in these last four years. So I'm very grateful for the space that she and I have been able to share and a little lowkey jealous of whoever it is who gets to spend that time with her that I've been enjoying for the last four years. Miranda and I have been together for forever.

Brett first arrived on Chicago Fire to work in Ambulance 61 with Gabby Dawson, but went on to have plenty of other partners following Monica Raymund leaving the show. Teaming up with Violet was apparently a lot of fun for Kara Killmer, as she was able to spend so much time with co-star Hanako Greensmith after Greensmith arrived in Season 8. As for Miranda Ray Mayo as Stella Kidd, she and Killmer worked together starting back in Season 4. Killmer continued:

It's a special space that the three of us get to have, us ladies, because we're surrounded by a bunch of guys and sometimes you got to band together a little bit. Even when I went shopping for the wedding dress for this episode, we had the girls come in and I tried on like my top five favorite dresses for them and we all picked together and had some sparkling cranberry juice and some cookies and some candy and listened to Ella Fitzgerald and had ourselves a little bridal party. The fiction is very close to reality for me, especially with those girls.

While my sympathies for Brett were limited about how long she took to start actually planning her wedding, it sounds like preparing for the Brettsey wedding (which turned out as beautifully as could be hoped given the venue) was fun behind the scenes for Kara Killmer with Hanako Greensmith and Miranda Rae Mayo.

Kara Killmer Name-Dropped Fellow Former Fire Stars

While reflecting on her Chicago Fire exit to NBC Insider, Kara Killmer looked back at some of the most notable departures from the show over its twelve seasons, many of which happened during her ten years. She said:

There's too many to count. This cast is definitely very familiar with losing people that we love. We said goodbye to Charlie, we said goodbye to Monica and Yuri and Jesse and Annie...we've had a lot of people come and go.

Charlie Burnett was definitely was one of the biggest early departures, and the first of Kara Killmer's tenure on the show back in Season 3. They also teamed up for the main storyline of Killmer's favorite episode of Chicago Fire. Monica Raymund left as Gabby Dawson a few years later (although she is set to return to the Dick Wolf TV universe soon), followed by Yuri Sardarov with Otis' heartbreaking death.

Jesse Spencer's departure as Matt Casey was arguably the biggest loss in the history of the show, but he fortunately has returned several times as a guest star. While Annie Ilonzeh didn't have as long as tenure on Chicago Fire as the other names that Kara Killmer dropped, it makes sense that this loss stuck with the actress. Ilonzeh's Foster was Brett's first partner after Dawson left the Windy City.

All in all, as soon as I realized that Kara Killmer only named a handful of Chicago Fire cast members who left the show, it really hit home how many have come and gone over the years. While it can be bittersweet to look back, the full run of the show so far is available streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription now, so it's not hard to go on a blast to the past.

You can also catch new episodes of Chicago Fire Season 12 on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET, between Chicago Med at 8 p.m. and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m., all on NBC.