Next Gen 2012: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars
After playing an EMT on NBC's drama Trauma and a werewolf on The CW's The Vampire Diaries, Kinney, 31, landed a starring role in Dick Wolf's newest drama, NBC's Chicago Fire. The Lancaster, Pa.-reared actor (who happens to be dating Lady Gaga) also snagged a role in Kathryn Bigelow's awards-bait drama Zero Dark Thirty, a chronicle of the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden.
CAREER INSPIRATION: I got sick of roofing. I did carpentry work growing up. My buddies from home will call and say, "I'm on a roof and it's 100 degrees," and I think to myself, "I'm so lucky."
10 YEARS AGO: I left college my junior year, moved to Hawaii and was framing houses. I was homeless and broke and had a 1970s truck.
BEST DAY: When I booked Zero Dark Thirty. It was pretty secretive. They called to ask if I had a valid passport and said I would be traveling to the Middle East. I took a backpack and a duffle bag and was gone for a few months.
WORST DAY: I remember it was a Thursday. We got a call after I had gone saying [Trauma was] canceled. I didn't get to say goodbye to anyone.