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Taylor Kinney, Chicago Fire

NBC

Taylor Kinney has spent four years fighting (fake) fires and saving (TV) lives on Chicago Fire for four years. That's a lot of time with Kelly Severide.

"I was watching an interview with Monica Raymund, who plays Dawson on the show, and she put it really eloquently just in terms of you grow up with these characters," Kinney told E! News at the party for his TV Guide magazine cover. "I was 29 when I got this show and I'm 34 now, I spent the last 4 years in this character's skin, 10 months a year, so we grow up together. There's a lot of myself in that character. There's a lot of that character in me, which I don't think too many actors can say that. We've grown up together."

Coming up for Kinney's character is a big confrontation with Chili (Dora Madison). Kinney said, as viewers know, Chili's been going through "the throes a bit now."

"She's on…a spiral, and it's something I can empathize with. I lend a helping hand and I try and say, 'Hey, there's a couple ways to go about remedying this situation.' So I offer a helping hand," Kinney teased. "It's up to the—well, the audience will have to decide and watch what she does with it. "

Dick Wolf's Chicago shows—Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med—just came off a hugely successful crossover. According to Wolf, those crossovers are "fabulous" to shoot. Kinney likened them to a family reunion.

"I always like it because each ensemble, each cast is kind of like family, it starts to feel like we're visiting—like we're playing a pickup softball game or something, where you go and see your friends," he told E! News. "It's like Thanksgiving. I know all the guys, Jason [Beghe], Jon [Seda], Sophia Bush and Patty [Flueger] from PD, so when get the opportunity to hang out and work together, it's always a good time. I think it just adds to the whole [rich world]."

CLICK: That big Chicago crossover was a "headache," but worth it

Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med

NBC

And pretty soon there may be a new Chicago show in the mix. NBC officially announced it was developing Chicago Law, a fourth series in the Chicago franchise as part of a new deal with Wolf that goes until 2020. Kinney had one piece of advice for any actor looking at joining the Chicago franchise.

"Oh gosh, any advice? Get a really nice winter jacket," he said with a laugh.

Chicago Fire airs Tuesdays, 10 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)