Gaby is my favorite character on “Chicago Fire.” Does Monica Raymund have any firefighters or paramedics in her family? She does such a good job.
—Jenna Ericson, Huntsville, Alabama
Monica Raymund, 27, has no first responders in her family. Her dad, now retired, was the board chairman of a Florida company that distributed computer components and software. Her mother was the co-founder of the Soulful Arts Dance Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida. She does have a couple of family members who are doctors and served in the Army, which she says is as close as it gets.
“When I joined the show, I was actually very intrigued by the entire experience of first response,” she says. “I had an opportunity to do a lot of ride-alongs before we started season one, and they’re just the most courageous, most fun and empathetic people I’ve really ever met. It’s humbled me since we’ve started working on the show.”
It has also intrigued her to the point that she would like to study to get an EMT certification during what she hopes will be her next six years on the series, if it should run the entire length of her contract.
“I would really love to find an opportunity to do that,” she says. “Since I started this show, because I don’t have any experience in the first response family or community, it was a really new way of seeing the world for me.”
With a mother interested in the arts, it is no surprise that after graduating Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, Raymund attended Julliard, at pretty much the same time as her “Chicago Fire” co-star Charlie Barnett, who plays Peter Mills.
“Charlie and I’ve known each other … he’s a little bit younger … he lived near the same area that I lived in growing up in Florida,” she says. “Then we both ended up at Juilliard together and his class and my class became really close.”
Her career took off immediately after graduating from the performing arts school. She first landed a role on “Lie to Me,” which was followed by a recurring role on “The Good Wife.” Her film credits include “Happy Baby” and “Arbitrage.”
Raymund currently serves on the board and faculty of the Performing Arts Project, is a board member for the Hollywood Arts Organization in Los Angeles, is executive producing the independent feature “Submarine Kid,” and is the founder/president of the theatrical production company SISU Theatrical Productions.
Married to writer and director Neil Patrick Stewart, the couple is bi-costal with residences in Los Angeles and New York City.