‘I’ve been terrified of fire my whole life’

The latest firefighting cast member of “9-1-1” confronted some very personal fears when she joined the hit Fox collection about first responders.

“I’ve been terrified of fire my entire life. Yes, I did sign onto this job. But, my house burned down as a kid,” Arielle Kebbel, 37, informed The Post, including that she was round 4 years outdated on the time. 

“I watched my mom carry my brother out of the house; my sister and I grabbed the animals. I have vivid memories of the smells of it, and the sound of the ambulance,” she stated. “[The firefighters] saved our lives. So, when I first got this job, my family’s response was ‘How do you feel about that?’ because everyone knows that fire is hard for me. But, I felt like it was time to literally walk into the fire and face it.”

Now in its fifth season, “9-1-1″ (Mondays at 9 p.m.) follows the personal and professional lives of various LA-based first responders and the emergencies they face on the job. Among others, there’s patrol sergeant Athena Grant-Nash (Angela Bassett) and her husband, fire station 118 captain Bobby Nash (Peter Krause); caring, impulsive firefighter Evan “Buck” Buckley (Oliver Stark); Buck’s sister, Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt); loyal and even-tempered paramedic Henrietta “Hen” Wilson (Aisha Hinds); and lighthearted firefighter/ paramedic Howie “Chimney” Han (Kenneth Choi).

Arielle Kebbel in a firefighter uniform.
Arielle Kebbel as firefighter Lucy Donato, the latest addition to the cast of “9-1-1.”
Aisha Hinds as Henrietta 'Hen' Wilson and Oliver Stark, right, as Buck, in
Aisha Hinds as Henrietta ‘Hen’ Wilson and Oliver Stark, proper, as Buck, in “9-1-1-.”

Kebbel performs Lucy Donato, a firefighter who works with the 118 staff. She’s daring and assured, and in her introduction within the March 21 spring premiere, sparks flew between Lucy and Buck as they shared a kiss. 

“Her backstory is that she has three brothers and comes from a family of cops. She’s the black sheep. She’s a firefighter instead, and she’s very proud of that decision,” stated Kebbel. “Everyone’s had a lot to say about that Buck kiss. I’m excited in the episodes coming up [because] Lucy has some big rescues. A lot of her stuff is with Buck, but there’s also a nice moment between Lucy and Chimney.” 

She hinted that if the present is renewed for a sixth season, the plotline leaves room for extra developments with Lucy. 

Jennifer Love Hewitt wears a flannel shirt and holds a phone, standing outside, looking worried.
Jennifer Love Hewitt as Maddie in “9-1-1.”

Kebbel, a veteran actress who’s been in a slew of motion pictures and reveals, together with “John Tucker Must Die,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Gilmore Girls,” “90210,” and “Midnight, Texas,” stated she’s no stranger to the extent of physicality required by her “9-1-1” position. 

“I grew up doing sports, and I used to want to be a professional horseback rider as my career. It’s naturally who I am, and I’ve enjoyed bringing that piece of athleticism to my characters,” she stated. “But particularly, on ‘Midnight, Texas,’ as a result of I performed an murderer, I needed to be so conscious of set security, and what it meant to have weapons on set, whether or not they had been actual or faux. I used to be excited [for ‘9-1-1’] as a result of I’ve by no means performed a firefighter earlier than, and it’s essentially the most bodily demanding job I’ve ever accomplished. 

“They use real fire on the set. We have all of our gear on and are breathing out of oxygen tanks, and they’re very heavy,” she stated. “It’s staged, but it’s real fire. So, what prepared me the most is learning how to speak up and be present and safe while we’re doing these stunts.”

Angela Bassett sits in a car, looking serious.
Angela Bassett as Athena in “9-1-1-.”

She stated her first fire stunt was “a big moment for me, emotionally and physically,” because of her previous expertise with fire as a baby, however she felt supported by the cast and crew. 

“I didn’t know what I was walking into [joining the show]. I was aware it was Season 5, I wasn’t sure if the cast was close … It’s like the first day of school, all over again,” she stated. And I’m so impressed with this cast and crew. It’s actually one of my favourite tasks that I’ve ever been on. It’s onerous mentally and bodily, so the cast and crew’s camaraderie is the glue that holds issues collectively.”

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