Lauren German, who spent two seasons playing paramedic Leslie Shay on “Chicago Fire,” moves on this week to “a completely different kind of series.”
After “taking a little break” after she exited “Fire,” German fell in love with the premise of “Lucifer” (debuting at 8 p.m. Monday on WFLD-Channel 32) as soon as she picked up the script for the pilot.
“By page 3 or 4 of ‘Lucifer’ I was hooked. I couldn’t put it down until I finished. I loved the concept, loved the story and loved the character of Chloe.
“Beyond that, I loved the humor in it. Of course there are police procedural elements in it. I am playing a homicide detective, but the show very cleverly makes fun of itself. It knows exactly what it is. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else.”
On the Fox show, German’s Detective Chloe Dancer teams up with the Dark Prince — the Lord of Hell himself — who has become bored in the Underworld and moves to Los Angeles, where he runs a sexy nightclub called Lux. Endowed with supernatural powers to discern people’s secret desires and get them to tell the truth, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) gets his jollies helping the cops catch the bad guys, whom he obviously understands.
German loves the mystical aspects of “Lucifer” but also likes the fact that she is playing a character far different from those she’s done before. “I’m a single mom detective who does her own thing and is just trying to keep her life together — both professionally and personally.”
Given her time on “Chicago Fire,” guest starring on “Chicago P.D.” and now on “Lucifer,” has German changed the way she reads about or watches crime stories in the news?
“I think so, but mainly I think my experiences have made me have even more respect for first responders than I did before I went to Chicago. Sure, I always respected them and paid attention when I’d see a fire truck going by or hear about the cops getting the bad guy.
“But after the training we went through with the firemen and paramedics in Chicago — plus now having worked with homicide detectives to prepare for ‘Lucifer’ — I can’t tell you how much I respect these guys and women.”
German found herself the butt of a few jokes during the filming of a huge scene in Los Angeles near the Dolby Theatre — the site of the annual Oscars show.
“There were helicopters flying overhead, there was all this commotion, but we also had real firemen there. It wasn’t too long after I left ‘Chicago Fire,’ so they were yelling at me, ‘You went to the dark side!’ They were really kidding me about going from playing a paramedic to playing detective.
“Of course the cops on the scene were yelling just the opposite — telling me, ‘No! You’ve come to the bright side!’ I loved that, because that’s the fun friendly competition between the firemen and police officers. It’s kind of like Army vs. Navy.
“But of course, at the end of the day, everyone’s on the same team. These people are my heroes.”
German did admit she misses “the whole Chicago crew I worked with — and the wonderful fans in Chicago too. Everyone in your town is so great.”
The actress said she considers co-star Monica Raymund “my best girlfriend” and also keeps up with fellow “Chicago Fire” castmates Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer “quite a bit.”
“In fact just the other day, Monica asked me that after I wrap [the initial 13 episodes of] ‘Lucifer’ to come over [to Chicago] for a few days and hang out with those guys. So I may do that around the end of February.”
If so, it’s likely German and her “Chicago Fire” pals will make a beeline to the Palm restaurant on East Wacker Drive.
“Taylor and Jesse and I lived in the same building [on the New East Side], and we’d go to the Palm like three times a week. It was so cozy there. We even had our own regular little booth!”