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Tawny Newsome Discusses Her Time On Chicago Fire - Exclusive

Tawny Newsome has been popping up everywhere lately. Fans can hear her as Beckett Mariner on "Star Trek: Lower Decks," which already has two seasons for people to watch on Paramount+ and another two (at least) on the way. Some fans may recognize her for her role of Angela Ali on Netflix's "Space Force," and she also co-hosts the podcast "Yo, Is This Racist?" alongside Andrew Ti.

It's a lot of success, but it didn't happen in a vacuum. It's a result of a lot of hard work on Newsome's end, and before she was a lead in a "Star Trek" series, she had numerous small parts where she managed to make lasting impressions. Some of her earlier parts include one-off roles in the likes of "Crisis," "Sirens," and "2 Broke Girls." Additionally, she appeared on an episode of "Chicago Fire," so when we had the chance for an exclusive interview with her, we naturally had to ask her about her time on that set.

Tawny Newsome fondly recalled her time as a dead body on Chicago Fire

"Chicago Fire" has boasted some serious talent over the years, even when it comes to cameos — including such notable names as Gary Cole and Teddy Sears. Tawny Newsome should absolutely be on that list for getting her start in television from the show. 

She appeared in the episode "A Problem House," and Newsome provided us a quick recap of her character arc: "I played Jen, and I died. I had one line, and then you saw me on a stretcher." It may have been a small part, but everyone has to start somewhere. As Newsome explained, the "One Chicago" franchise was the main game in town for a while.

"That was a time in Chicago where the only television they saw fit to produce in that town was very ambulance-centric," she said. "If you wanted to be an actor in Chicago, you had to either be a paramedic, a cop, or a dead body. I'm proud to say I did it all and then realized I had to move to [Los Angeles] if I wanted to keep working in television."

As far as her actual time filming on "Chicago Fire," it sounds like there wasn't much to it. Newsome recalled, "I didn't even understand things like standing on your mark or 'Don't look down the barrel of a camera.' I'm sure I was an idiot, and that director was, 'It's okay. You only have one line, and then you're going to be a dead body. I'll help you through this.'" It proved to be a fortuitous path to take, as the actress is now in high demand and boldly going where few have gone before.

"Star Trek: Lower Decks" Season 2 is available now on Blu-ray and DVD with over an hour of bonus features, including exclusive featurettes, animatics, and Easter eggs.