In November of last year (2020), Chicago Fire fans confirmed in the ninth season something that had become common on the show, the news that they would no longer see the character of the paramedic Emily Foster played by Annie on screen. Ilonzeh and who would be replaced by the sparkling and exotic actress Adriyan Rae in the role of Gianna Mackey, a new member of station 51 who would quickly permeate the public’s taste, especially when the circumstances surrounding her inclusion in the cast became known.
Once as part of the cast of the One Chicago franchise, Rae participated in an interview in which she revealed the bumpy process it took for her to become Gianna Mackey. The actress herself recalled that she first tried without much luck to audition for different roles, one was to be a regular actor of the cast and the other was to appear as a guest star, both in Chicago P.D. as in Chicago Med, but she was rejected.
Due to what happened, by the time she steeled herself to try to work at Chicago Fire she no longer had much hope of being accepted, but she still sent a video of her auditioning. To her surprise, this was the first step that led her to another pre-selection in which she sent a new recording of herself and subsequent virtual meetings with both the director and the writer of the series, in accordance with the precautionary measures in times of pandemic.
“Once you get there and meet the people, you realize how welcoming they are and then you enjoy the fact that you were hired for the Chicago Fire and you are part of such a great franchise,” Rae said.
However, the most surprising would come shortly after, when on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, the NBC network released episode 9 of the ninth installment of Chicago Fire, to mark the departure of Adriyan Rae’s character. The last time Sylvie Brett’s (Kara Killmer) rookie paramedic and partner in Fire Battalion 61 ambulance would be seen on Chicago Fire. In the plot, Gianna Mackey was offered a position at another fire station which she decided to accept, which would allow her the opportunity to advance. At the time showrunner Derek Hass explained:
“Adriyan let us know that he had some private reasons for leaving Chicago. To hear that as a showrunner, you absolutely respect what an actor needs. All I can say is that we love her and I know she will be great in other series.”
Actress Adriyan Rae also took advantage of the moment after the episode to say goodbye to Chicago Fire fans, writing a message accompanied by a photo on her official Instagram account, in which she thanked the opportunity to have been part for an unexpectedly short time of a series that he described as “The Olympic Games of acting”, where he made many friends, but it was time to say goodbye.
“I ask that you give me the same grace, space, and understanding that you would wish for at any time of transition, and to realize that while sad, some things are just for one season and that’s okay. And that I’m a to be human and that we are all growing. ”
For a few months there was no other explanation than that to justify her leaving; until last July when everything became clear. The Paramount + channel announced with great fanfare the resurgence of a famous series in the United States called The Game, with another location, new players, a new plot (with a modern perspective of African-American culture through the prism of soccer) and with Adriyan Rae joining the main cast as Brittanny Pitts, the daughter of soccer superstar Jason and reality TV icon Kelly. The show premiered on November 11.