Despite the fact that she stars in Sirens, the USA Network series about Chicago paramedics, Jessica McNamee is grateful that most of her driving on the series is simulated.
“They basically they put an apparatus on the car to tow it, so we’re not actually driving when they’re filming us as we go,” she explains. “And since I’m from Australia, I drive on the other side of the road. It’s probably for the best that I’m not really driving.”
Off camera, however, McNamee’s life in Chicago—where the series films for three month a year—isn’t being faked for the camera. She’s made herself at home in the Windy City, getting comfortable in its thriving restaurant scene, showing up at local sports events and spending late nights in legendary blues clubs.
“I really didn’t know a lot about American sports prior to working in Chicago,” McNamee admits. “But I really started getting into the sports culture here, and I’ve been to watch the Bears and the Bulls and have become a real fan.”
And while she counts swank hotspots like Maude’s Liquor Bar and Au Cheval among her favorites, McNamee’s favorite memory from filming the second season of Sirens, airing now, involves a night at the legendary Gold Coast nightclub the Back Room.
“We had a music night,” she says. “We went out with a bunch of folks from the Chicago fire department and police department to the Back Room to listen to jazz. It was this big group along with the cast and we had this night of eating and drinking too much. It was really great.”