‘9-1-1’ Star Ryan Guzman Loves Eddie’s Romantic Twist: ‘I’m Here for All the Chaos’

“I mean, what do you do when you see the exact replica of your dead wife?” the actor tells TheWrap

Ryan Guzman in the 9-1-1 episode "Ghost of a Second Chance"
Ryan Guzman in the 9-1-1 episode "Ghost of a Second Chance" (CREDIT: Disney/Mike Taing)

Note: This story contains spoilers from “9-1-1” Season 7, Episode 7.

Firefighter Eddie Diaz (Ryan Guzman) seemed to be happy with live-in girlfriend Marisol (Edy Ganem), who dotes on his son Christopher (Gavin McHugh), but in Thursday’s episode of “9-1-1,” he ended up going on a date with a woman who’s “the exact replica” of his late wife, Shannon (Devin Kelley).

Guzman told TheWrap that Eddie’s a “stand-up guy,” but he can’t turn down the “one in a trillion chance” to try recapturing what he had with Shannon. He also explained how showrunner Tim Minear brought back Kelley, the actress who played Shannon, as new blond character Kim.

“Tim always joked about finding a way to bring her back. I’m so grateful for it, because she’s an excellent actress. I missed acting opposite her,” said Guzman of Kelley. The Wrap spoke with Guzman about the surprise cheating storyline and where Eddie’s story goes from here.

Devin Kelly as Shanon, Eddie's late wife, in a previous season of "9-1-1"
Devin Kelley as Shanon, Eddie’s late wife, in a previous season of “9-1-1” (CREDIT: ABC)

TheWrap: Eddie seems to be having the same issue with Marisol as when he had a panic attack when he felt things were getting too serious with Ana (Gabrielle Walsh). Except he doesn’t have a panic attack this time.

Guzman: They’re very similar, the only difference is the woman. They’re both very beautiful women, they both have their own incredible attributes. But the connective tissue is this trauma [about losing Shannon] that Eddie has never gotten over. He’s just kind of pushed it to the side.

There’s so much left to be untold with that story. I’m glad that we’re dissecting it in a way where it breaks Eddie and his morale.

What did you think when the story was pitched to you?

l love it. I’m here for all of the chaos. I’m here for flaws and imperfections. In Eddie’s case [cheating on his girlfriend] is something that goes against everything he stands for, and everything people know him to stand for. He’s a very stand-up guy, he’s a one-woman man. It’s an opportunity to see that no, he’s not Captain America, he is somebody that needs some help, just just like we all do.

When he sees Kim (also played by Kelley) in a store window, he can’t believe his eyes. Even though she’s blond, she looks so much like Shannon.

What do you do when you see the exact replica of your dead wife? What other reaction can you have other than literally stopping and staring, like, “Can this be?”And then to hear her voice? It’s like, “Oh, my god, is this God giving me a second chance?”

It’s these kinds of things that play in his head to justify stepping out on Marisol. If there’s no truth behind it, then it just seems like he’s cheating for no reason. But the truth is, this is a one-in-of-a-trillion chance that this could happen, and it happened. I think his body and his mind are not synced and they’re just kind of going with the flow, and he’s just following them.

Is he going to tell anybody the truth here? He doesn’t correct Buck when he assumes Eddie is going out with Marisol for a date night.

This is a tricky situation for Eddie, because how do you break it to anybody that your intention is to revisit the past with a person that looks like your wife who passed away? I don’t think that conversation goes well with anybody. I think his natural instinct is going to be safeguarding this once-in-a-lifetime thing and allowing himself to live in his delusion as long as he can.

He probably has this idealized version of Shannon, even though right before she died, she told him she wanted a divorce.

Yeah, it’s kind of funny what our memory does. You can look back at your history and fabricate a lot of things that weren’t there. I think Eddie does that, where he disregards everything that we saw in Season 3 with him and Shannon and fighting nonstop. I think he lives in this delusion of, “If I just had more time with her.”

Buck’s usually been the impulsive, reckless one in relationships and now that Buck’s in a sort of stable, committed relationship with Tommy, so it’s Eddie’s turn to go through the chaos?

[Laughs] Yeah, that’s all Tim. We all have that little seed in us for everything, good, bad, or other. It’s just how much do we access that? And are we put in a position where it brings it out of us? Right now we find Buck in a very healthy situation. And Eddie, for good TV’s sake, we have to find him in a horrible situation.

“9-1-1” airs on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/PT and also streams on Hulu.

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