Along with a literal fire helmet, Max Thieriot wears a lot of metaphorical hats when it comes to his job on Fire Country. He’s the co-creator, producer and star of the CBS hit series, and in Season 1, he directed an episode too. So, with Season 2 of Fire Country approaching on the 2024 TV schedule, I asked Diane Farr what it was like to have her on-screen son giving her notes as her director, and her story about the most “impactful” one is the best.
During Episode 21 of Season 1 Max Thieriot led the Fire Country cast as both number one on the call sheet and the director. The episode was focused on a fire at a winery and it saw the whole ensemble taking on this challenge as it grew out of control. Diane Farr plays Chief Sharon Leone, so she was calling the shots during the scenes, and reading orders from an iPad.
During an interview with CinemaBlend, the actress told me that memorizing firefighting shorthand is really hard, so normally she has the team put her lines into said iPad, she explained:
Last year when Max was directing there was a lot of pipe, is what we call it, exposition that we have to say like Greencrest this engine 1591. And we are, and it makes no sense, and it's a non sequitur. It's very hard to remember. So when I carry an iPad, I asked the people to put it in the iPad because Sharon wouldn’t actually memorize it.
However, on the day they were shooting the part of Episode 21 that required Farr to call out orders, her iPad wasn’t working. So, she decided to problem-solve, and add Post-It notes to the screen that had her lines on it. However, Thieriot and the crew noticed them, and didn't like them, as she humorously explained:
So for whatever reason the iPad didn't work, so I put little stickies, little Post-It's, all over. And [then] the script person came out and said, ‘You know, we can see the Post-Its so you have to take it out.’ And I was like, ‘No, that's how Sharon does the job. It's cool. I'm fine.’ She goes away. Then the writer comes out, ‘You know, Diane, we can see the Post-Its,’ and they go away. Max comes out of the tent. He's the director. He's dressed up like a convict he's got mud on his face, and he goes, ‘Take them off. I can see them,’ and I was like, ‘OK, boss.’
Well, she was caught in the act, and her co-star and director had to come out and tell her she really did need to move those sticky notes. And it was effective too, because Farr told me:
That was the most impactful direction of someone just came out, and was like ‘Cut that shit out.’
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All of this was said with a laugh, and she got a real kick out of the interactions she had with Max Thieriot while working on that episode.
Guest star Kanoa Goo told me Thierot was a “wonderful” director back when the episode first came out. And Farr agreed, as she said it’s great working with him leading the show, noting how he “brings everybody together.”
Overall, there’s a lot of love in the Fire Country squad, and Diane Farr adores working with her on-screen son when he’s behind the camera as the director too. If you want to go back and watch this Max Thieriot-led episode of Fire Country, you can stream it with a Paramount+ subscription. Also, be sure to tune into CBS on Friday, February 16 to catch the Season 2 premiere of the series.