Denis Leary Talks 'Rescue Me' Influences (Video)

Craig Blankenhorn/FX

The actor and writer recalls 9/11 and the real life inspiration behind his show.

Denis Leary’s long running FX series, Rescue Me, will draw to a close on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The series finale appropriately coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, which inspired the show.

STORY: 'Rescue Me's' Denis Leary, Peter Tolan Spill Secrets About Series in Candid, Funny Conversation

In a video interview with the New York Times, Leary looks back on the 2001 tragedy, recalling the impact it had on New York City and the arts – including his own 2004 dramedy.

“9/11, in terms of Rescue Me, was the main interest that drew [co-creator] Peter Tolan and I to the idea of writing about it,” he said. “Because we wanted to write about brave men and their overcoming grief over a long period of time.”

STORY: 'Rescue Me' Co-Creator Peter Tolan Drops Pants During Panel

For the show, Leary called on old friends to help shape the characters into something true-to-life. Among them, his cousin, childhood pals and the show’s technical advisor, Terry Quinn, who has been a Manhattan firefighter for more than 25 years.

“I just thought that that was, not only was it an interesting story, but obviously we had access to it through Terry and through a bunch of other guys that I knew,” Leary said. “And I think maybe that’s why it drew an audience. Because the audience was interested in watching a fictional story of those guys recovering from that event.”

Rescue Me airs its final episode at 10 p.m. on FX.