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Get To Know:Hassie Harrison

by Naureen Nashid

Watch out, Hollywood.

truTV’s lighthearted, comedy show, Tacoma FD, about the firefighters in a firehouse from Tacoma, Washington stars Hassie Harrison as Lucy McConky, the sole female firefighter. Lucy is the daughter of the Fire Chief, Terry McConky, and the niece of the Fire Captain, Eddie Penisi. Currently, on its second season, the show is packed with all-new shenanigans and adventures from characters that we grew to love in season one.

“Lucy has a very entertaining year ahead!” Harrison exclaims. “As last year’s rookie, she really solidifies herself as part of the crew this season. She gets into all sorts of mischief; overcomes a gambling addiction, gets a boyfriend, gets injured on the job—you know, life stuff.”

Before taking on the role of Lucy, Harrison did research by interviewing a few of her firefighter friends. They took her on rides on their firetruck while giving her a rundown of everything she would need to know. “I didn’t put out any real fires but just hearing their specific language and shorthand was very insightful,” she says. The showrunners also have an on-set firefighter to consult at all times to make sure that the show is as authentic as it can be.

With a role like this, there comes a responsibility. Female firefighters aren’t as widely portrayed as male firefighters are. Given that Harrison is playing the sole female firefighter on the show, she thinks of it as an honour and a responsibility that she doesn’t take lightly. “I’m really proud to represent female firefighters,” Harrison says. “These women are tough and super capable. I’m glad my character Lucy is written to have graduated at the top of her class and I try to portray her as a bad-ass in every way that I can.”

Harrison was excited to get into the second season as she felt the writers had a better sense of who she is as an actor and they were able to write her character’s story arcs with that particular voice in mind. “I never know what they’ll throw at my character,” she adds. “Things get pretty wild so I try to take it one day at a time over on Tacoma.”

Having started acting from a young age, Harrison has been perfecting her skills and art for years. She graduated high school within a year and a half and started college at Southern Methodist University at the age of 15. “It was a great experience overall,” she reminisces. “I learned a lot about what it means to work hard, study hard and see results. There were times where my age meant I didn’t necessarily fit, which led to bullying, but that taught me self-reliance and compassion for others. Ultimately, I knew that the people who could see past my age were the people I wanted to be friends with.”

The Dallas-based actress was taking acting lessons while in school at the Dallas Children’s Theatre from a very young age. “There I had access to amazing classes and teachers,” she says. “It’s a wonderful organization that informed my decision to become an actor. Those are some of my best childhood memories.”

Her first major role was on the CW show Hart of Dixie, also starring Rachel Bilson, Jaime King, and more. “Working on Hart of Dixie was such a meaningful experience for me and a great introduction to the business,” Harrison shares. “Shooting on the iconic Warner Bros lot was a thrill. Driving around the lot in a golf cart, passing the stages where legendary movies were made and where stars like Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall, and Humphrey Bogart went toe to toe. I was pinching myself. I still am! The cast was so warm and lovely and treated me like family. It was my first big job and I feel like that’s where, for most actors, so much is demystified about the job itself.”

Harrison has grown just as close with her Tacoma FD co-stars as well, calling them “wickedly smart and funny.” They’re all close and have a lot of fun on set. “That’s the great pleasure of working in comedy,” Harrison says. “We’re essentially just trying to make each other laugh all day. I can’t think of anything better.”

HAIR: Marissa Marino
MAKEUP: Melissa Hernandez
STYLING: Hillary Comstock

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