Cruz and Chloe aren’t just taking care of son Otis these days. In Chicago Fire‘s “Keep You Safe,” which airs on Wednesday, April 6, the couple tries to adjust after temporarily taking in a 10-year-old immigrant boy named Javi who Cruz saved from an apartment fire.
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“I think what you’re going to notice is how easy it is to fall in love with this kid and how much Cruz and Chloe are falling in love with this kid. And how quickly he just sort of ingratiates himself into the family dynamic,” Minoso, 43, exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the episode. “The problem is that it seems that there is a family member in the United States for Javi and, of course, their priority in the foster system is that they reunite him with an immediate family member. So that’s gonna be what we’re gonna have to see Cruz and Chloe navigate throughout the episode.”
For Minoso, the latest story line has been “pretty phenomenal” for him to dive into “from an actor’s perspective.” Working with Kristen Gutoskie for the past couple of years has also been a highlight.
“[She’s] an incredible talent and I’m so happy that we have an opportunity to let her shine a little more and give her some more room to show off what she can do,” he gushed. “And Carlos S. Sanchez, who plays Javi, the kid is like a 30-year-old in a 10-year-olds body. He’s just so aware and so in tune and such a good character. I mean, really. Ahead of me. It has been nothing but a joy.”
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He added: “The show has been blessed this season with some pretty great guests. But I think I have gotten the cream of the crop. These two are such a joy to work with and I really hope you get to see them over and over and over again.”
Minoso has starred on the NBC drama since its debut in 2012. And over the years, he’s found that Cruz and him have a lot in common.
“It’s weird because in a lot of ways it mirrors my life. I was just thinking about this the other day. I started season 1 living with Yuriy Sardarov and Charlie Barnett and going out for all hours of the night and on constant random dates and doing crazy stupid things that you do in your, well, late twenties, but I was in my early thirties. And fast forward to 10 years later, I’m a very happily married man who is living in the suburbs and in bed by 9:30. I think in a lot of ways, Cruz, that sort of has evolved in the same way,” he explained to Us. “We got to see him be kind of a goofball with Otis and grow into a more established role in the firehouse becoming a member of Squad 3 and being kind of a more elite firefighter.”
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And that professional foundation, he believes, led to Cruz becoming a family man. “That is what built the confidence in him that was seen by Chloe and brought them together. And then that love that he received from Chloe is what I think grew him into a more kind of secure human being and ready to take on the idea of fatherhood. And now it seems like he just wants to be everybody’s father,” he told Us. “He just wants to take on as many responsibilities as he can, because I think he feels ready to be that kind of leader and that kind of figure in somebody else’s life. Because he’s moved through so much. That’s really the joy of playing someone this long. You really get to grow inside of a character in so many unexpected ways. And that’s a lot of fun for me.”
Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays on NBC at 9 p.m. ET.
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