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Warmed Up

Kara Killmer is plenty tough on TV—but Chicago weather almost defeated her.

Kara Killmer


During her first day on the set after joining the cast of Chicago Fire, Texas native Kara Killmer wrapped herself in a blanket to ward off the chill of a 56-degree day. 

“My co-star Yuri [Sardarov] came by and took a picture of me,” Killmer recalls. “He said, ‘I’m going to show this to you when it’s 10 below. And I will laugh at you.’ The cast just beat it into me: ‘You’re going to die if you don’t acclimate.’”

The lissome blonde, who plays paramedic Sylvie Brett on the NBC series, first got noticed when she appeared in all 32 episodes of a 2010 reality web series on Hulu titled If I Can Dream, but this role (which has crossed over to Chicago Med and Chicago P.D.) truly represents the Baylor grad’s breakout. And, after four seasons, perhaps that’s helped her acclimate to the city’s charms.

“My No. 1 favorite thing to do is the architectural tour,” Killmer enthuses. “I’ve taken it, like, six times. I could give the tour. It’s such a beautiful way to get introduced to the city and its history.”

And somehow, despite the grind of a TV series shooting schedule, she finds time to enjoy other downtown pleasures.

“I love West Loop restaurants,” she notes. “Little Goat is my favorite. I’m partial to Twisted Spoke for burgers. And there’s this really cool Randolph Street flea market once a month, and that is my jam. It’s like, ‘I didn’t even know I needed this lampshade made out of eyeglasses. But I probably should have that.’”