‘9-1-1’s Ryan Guzman on Eddie’s New Missions & Opening up to the 118
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 15 of 9-1-1, “Eddie Begins.”]
“I don’t know if [the previous ones were] as action-packed as Eddie’s was because, rightfully so, Eddie was in Afghanistan, fending off terrorists,” Guzman told TV Insider. “I don’t know if I was completely prepared for what was going to ensue, but I was also ready to dive headfirst into this character and really get to understand this character on a different level.”
In “Eddie Begins,” Eddie went on a journey to save a boy from a well — and then himself — as flashbacks revealed his time at war and what led to him receiving the Silver Star, as well as his past with his son, Christopher.
Here, Guzman takes us inside his character’s big episode and proposes a Lone Star spinoff.
Eddie decides to be the one to save that trapped boy not once, but twice, the second time by cutting his rope. Can you talk about the roles the firefighter and the parent in him played in that?
Ryan Guzman: Yeah, any time a kid is involved, Eddie inherently becomes empathetic towards the situation. With the mother, obviously having a very difficult time with losing her son and trying to calm down a daughter in the beginning of the episode, you see Eddie look at that situation unfolding in front of his eyes and now something clicks in Eddie. “I have to do something more. I have to figure this out.”
This new mission in Eddie’s head starts to become the only thing that he thinks about, which is, “I gotta get this kid out, no matter what.” And as he goes down, he’s got his mind made up and when the time runs out, it’s all about, “No, I haven’t finished my job yet. People aren’t out there saving me. I’m a firefighter. I’m putting myself in this predicament. What we need to do is save this young boy. So until I get this young boy, I’m cutting this line, and good luck trying to get me again because there’s no way I’m leaving this hole without him.”
The flashbacks really built on what we’ve learned about Eddie’s past and his family, and I absolutely loved watching him go from being unsure around Christopher to fighting for them to stay together. Was part of his struggle the fact that he felt so comfortable at war because he knew what to expect?
Yes. Afghanistan was more of a home than home was to him. It’s a lot easier to actually fight off a combatant that’s endangering your life than to fight off emotions that are ether building up in you or being thrown at you by others.
For Eddie, it’s easier, to be honest, than real life. Real life to him comes with a bunch of complexities and unknown variables via his mother, his father, his wife, even coming back and seeing his son grown up and having to understand this is a completely different playing field. This is something he needs to learn at a rapid pace because everybody’s already been learning.
Eddie and Christopher’s relationship is one of the strongest and best on the show. And we really see it in this episode, with Eddie fighting to save himself and then calling Christopher his good luck charm.
I enjoy it just because I have my own son now. A lot of the times, I’ll be thinking of him during certain scenes. Gavin [McHugh] is an incredible person that plays Christopher and he sheds so much light on his character. He could say one word, and honestly, the whole audience would just go, “Aww,” and love him. It’s been a blessing to have him play my son on TV.
From Season 2, before I was even a father, to Season 3 now I am a father, now a lot has changed as far as my acting and my level to sympathize now for a lot of situations rather than empathize. I love hearing the fact that that kind of relationship, father and son, is one of the stronger ones.
What else is coming up for Eddie and Christopher?
I don’t know how many more times we can throw Christopher into a tsunami or a life-changing event before Eddie just becomes a reckless parent. From here on out, the bond between Eddie and Christopher is so strong. It’s really the one thing that’s been consistent, so it’s the one thing he can fall back onto.
The new problem in Eddie’s life is he has this family he’s created with the 118 that is asking him to open up as much as they’re opening up to him. How does he do that because the family he had before — his mother and his father — they always just told him what to do and said, “Hey, if you don’t take our advice, you’re going to be messing up your kid’s life.” Same thing with his ex-wife. “Hey, you do this, X, Y, and Z. I can’t overcome this. I need to move on from you.”
There’s a lot of trauma in his life [and] the 118 is something that’s trying to support him and love him through all these situations. That’s the new issue for Eddie. [Eddie and Christopher] will just be the reassuring moments, I believe.
… This new family carries a lot more weight than he wanted to give it. With the events that happen throughout “Eddie Begins,” he starts to really understand that now. A part of the excitement for me as the guy playing the character in the future is to really dive into those opportunities to share who Eddie is with the 118 and really get to know Eddie from an emotional standpoint.
With the events coming up at the end of the season, will we see that this episode affected Eddie in any way that changes his approach to upcoming calls?
One thing that’s consistent between Eddie and any kind of emergency is the fact that he sees emergencies as missions. And a mission isn’t done until the person is saved. He has a military mindset that’s transitioned from being in the service to being a firefighter. It’s just get the job done for him. I don’t know if that’ll ever change for Eddie.
Lone Star was renewed, and Eddie is from Texas. If there’s a crossover in the future, what would you like to see?
There’s been plenty of ideas thrown out there. We always joke around. As soon as Lone Star came into the scene, me and Oliver and Kenny, we always joke around with Tim Minear about how we cross over. Since Eddie, like you said, is from Texas, maybe there’s one day he decides to go visit his family with his son and he sees everybody from Lone Star is saving somebody right next to him and he decides to interact … There’s so many opportunities there. But yeah, I wouldn’t be opposed to having a little crossover.
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