Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey on Chicago Fire
Credit: Getty Images

We have an Aussie in the house! As the charming lieutenant on Chicago Fire, you might have thought that Jesse Spencer’s impression of Matthew Casey was his real voice — but the actor actually hails from Australia. Hear clips of Jesse Spencer’s Australian accent vs. his American accent below.

Chicago Fire, NBC’s firefighter drama series produced by Dick Wolf, follows the professional and personal lives of firefighters, rescue personnel and paramedics of the Chicago Fire Department’s fictional Firehouse 51. The series is wrapping up its 11th season and was recently renewed for Season 12 in April 2023, along with the other One Chicago shows, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med. 

On the Chicago-based procedural, Spencer portrayed Captain Matthew Casey, a lieutenant (then captain) at Firehouse 51 and an officer in charge of Truck Company 81. He starred on Chicago Fire from Season 1 in 2012 until he left as a series regular in Season 10 in 2021 after almost a decade. Since his exit, he’s returned on the show in a guest role a few times to reunite with his former partner, Sylvie Brett. Variety revealed in May 2023 that Casey will also return for the Season 11 finale on May 24, 2023, amid Severide (Taylor Kinney)’s leave of absence due to personal reasons.

Spencer has one child with his wife, neuroscientist Kali Woodruff Carr. Spencer and Carr started dating in 2014 and married in June 2020. They welcomed their first child in April 2022 — six months after Spencer, who was born in Australia, became a United States citizen in November 2021, according to NBC. On a press call after he announced he was leaving Chicago Fire in October 2021, Spencer hinted that the reason he exited the series after 10 seasons was to spend more time with his family. His first baby was born seven months after his last episode as a series regular aired.

Jesse Spencer from Chicago Fire with wife Kali Woodruff Carr

“I added it up, and this year is my 18th year of network TV, straight — I went straight from House into Chicago Fire,” Spencer said at the time. “Coming up to the 200th, I called [showrunner Derek Haas] and broke him the news that I thought it was time to leave the show. He agreed we should at least get Casey to 200 episodes. “It was a difficult decision because I’ve loved this show from the start, but there’s other things that I would love to do in the future and there’s some family that I need to take care of. 18 years is a long time. That’s a long stretch.” He continued, “It was a difficult decision, and I hate to leave the show because I do love it, but when the time comes, the time comes.”

Now back to Jesse Spencer’s dreamy Australian accent. Keep reading to hear his actual voice – plus learn how the actor nailed down his Mid-Western American accent as Matthew Casey on NBC’s Chicago Fire.

What is Jesse Spencer’s accent?

Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey on Chicago Fire

What is Jesse Spencer’s accent? Spencer has a strong Australian accent. While acting on Chicago Fire, he worked with a dialect coach to master his Mid-Western voice. Spencer also revealed in an interview that sometimes he switches to an American accent for clarity purposes. “My accent has died down… On the phone, I’ll normally go American because if I’m saying you know numbers or letters, you know an ‘L,’ I don’t know it just doesn’t work!” he told Hollywood Outbreak in March 2021. “I need to be subtitled! I’ll drop into American just for clarity of things sometimes, but I kept my dialect.”

Spencer also explained that when he’s away from his home country, he forgets a lot of Australian phrases until he returns again. “You forget the phrases; you forget the colloquialism of things. And so I go back to Australia and I’m like ‘Oh, I forgot about that phrase and I forgot about that phrase,’ then I come back and within two weeks I’ve forgotten them all again. It’s weird.”

Hear Jesse Spencer’s real-life Australian accent in the interview below.

In an interview with Glamour in February 2015, Spencer said that his American accent is “still a work in progress.” “We never stop working on it because you can always improve upon it. I have a dialect coach who is fantastic, and she helps flatten it out and get it in that Midwest area,” he said. “Obviously being surrounded by the dialect is the best thing there is, and we are. It’s like being a musician though…you’re always working on it.”

Hear Spencer’s American accent on Chicago Fire as Captain Matthew Casey.

Spencer isn’t the only Chicago Fire star who has a foreign accent. Eamonn Walker, who plays Firehouse 51 Battalion Chief Wallace Boden, is from London and has a prominent British accent — which you would never know while watching Chief Boden on Chicago Fire. Years of vocal coaching and watching videos helped Walker master the deep, raspy Chicagoan voice that he does so well.

Walker told NBC 10 Philadelphia in 2019 that he was terrified of doing an American accent “in front of Americans and working with Americans,” when he first came to the U.S. in 1997. As a result, Walker worked with various voice coaches over the years in New York and in Chicago to get the exact vocals down. His voice coach in Chicago taught him how to do the “Chicago accent,” he says. “She got me some tapes of different Chiefs doing their job, and the first voice that we picked up on and I started doing, I was like ‘Oh god, he sounds White that’s not gonna work…’ Then we got this Black guy, and suddenly over the course of time, Boden’s voice came and was developed in a hotel room,” Walker said.

Chicago Fire airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

For more about Jesse Spencer, check out our gallery on Matt Casey’s dating history and all the women the Captain dated (and married) before Brettsey.