Look down any of the streets of Chicago and a common sight is a film crew and actors. There are more shows shooting in town now than ever. It seems like our city is turning into another Hollywood. There is one show that started the trend, and that show is now entering its fifth season. The show did so well in the ratings that it spawned three other spin offs . Dick Wolf had told enough stories in New York, so now it was time to move the narrative to Chicago. Instead of the law, Wolf focused on the stories of firefighters. In a media windstorm in the fall of 2012, Chicago Fire premiered. The show changed a lot of people’s lives and one of those people was Joe Minoso. It gave him a role that showed him as a hero and it found him the love of his life. Coming from the streets of the Bronx, Minoso has taken his love of acting and theatre and made a career of it.
I got the privilege this week of getting a chance to chat with Joe. This was lucky because on Sunday, Joe will be getting married to Caitlin Murphy Miles. Love found its way to the Chicago Fire set when Caitlin was hired as a make up artist . The two became fast friends and the friendship blossomed. Family is very important to Joe because he values the relationship he has with his “Chicago Fire.” family Naturally, the “gang” from Firehouse 51, will be when he says his vows. After four years, he thinks of his cast members “as close to family without being blood related. ” Joe stated. His values are related in his character , Joe Cruz. Cruz has a close relationship with his younger brother as he tries to get him away from his gang life. He maintains a close relationship with his brother despite his returning to the gang in an effort to help Chicago PD get rid of the gang permanently.
Minoso has a lifetime love of acting and theatre. Passion is the only word to describe his love for the theatre. Minoso graduated from Adelphi University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and continued on to get his Masters at Northern Illinois University. He got most of his theatre training at Chicago ‘s own Teatro Vista , which is the largest Latino theatre company in the Midwest. Minoso treasures his Latino heritage and background. He also thinks it is an honor to portray a positive Latino character. In a media that stereotypes Latinos as “gangbangers” and “drug dealers” , says that he welcomes the opportunity to portray Cruz as a family man and a firefighter. Minoso has also been honored by being nominated for an Imagen award for his role in “Chicago Fire.” This is the highest honor that a Hispanic actor can achieve .
Joe believes in giving back to the community . He is the national spokesman for the Shriners Hospital . He frequently goes to the hospital to visit young patients to encourage them to get well. Joe has also worked with Joe Trainor Jr.. “I have learned a lot about PTSD from Joe. I wasn’t aware that police officers and firemen suffered from PTSD as much as soldiers in the field.”
I asked Joe about what he thought would be his dream role. Without thinking, he answered “Othello, it is just the best role ever. He felt like the world let him down.” Feeding into the “Hamilton” frenzy, he also admitted how he could picture himself as Aaron Burr also. Obviously Joe is at home here in Chicago. He is one hundred per cent behind our Cubbies. “It is a legal right for a Chicagoan to be a Cubs fan . What they have done is extraordinary .”
Heading into the fifth season, we are excited to see what is in store for Cruz and the gang at Firehouse 51. But in the meantime Joe will be hanging out at his favorite eatery , MadSocial. After Sunday, Joe will take on the most challenging role of his life. He will take on the role of husband. We wish Joe and Caitlin the best and we’ll keep on watching Joe on Chicago Fire Tuesdays on NBC.