When Maura Tierney returns in the final season of Rescue Me, her character will be battling cancer, the disease Tierney was recently treated for in real life, the show's co-creator tells TVGuide.com.
After Tierney received a clean bill of health, Rescue Me co-creators and executive producers Denis Leary and Peter Tolan approached the 45-year-old actress about portraying her character, Kelly McPhee, in the middle of receiving cancer treatment. After some thought, she agreed, Tolan said.
Tolan says Tierney, who will appear with what he calls a "buzz cut," even helped fine-tune the story.
"We wrote like dopes. We haven't had cancer, and we wrote stuff that was a touch melodramatic perhaps," Tolan says. "She got me on the phone one time, and we had the most fascinating conversation. She tried to explain to me what it felt like and what was going through her mind. ... It actually took me a long time to figure out what she was saying."
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