Already have an account?
Get back to the

‘Fire Country’ Star Diane Farr Talks Playing the Hottest Firefighting Grandma on TV

Diane Farr teases trouble for Sharon and Vince in 'Fire Country' season 2

Decades ago, Diane Farr hung up her Rescue Me firefighter gear because it was too much for her to lug around. Now, she’s starring on the CBS hit series Fire Country… wearing that exact same gear in her fifties!

The Numb3rs and Roswell alum who plays Fire Country’s Sharon Leone opens up to FIRST for Women about keeping up with boys on set, her newfound freedom as a 54-years-young mother of three, and how she lets off steam with pals like Marcia Gay Harden. Plus, Farr teases what to expect for Sharon and Vince in Fire Country season 2.


Diane Farr talks prioritizing family over career

Diane Farr has never exactly left our TV screens. The actress who got her start in the 90s has popped up in series like Californication, Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, Modern Family and Two and a Half Men, but her role on Fire Country marks her grand return as a series regular.

“When I was on Numb3rs, I got pregnant with my son and then accidentally got pregnant with twins,” Farr explains to FIRST for Women. “So I had three kids in a year and a half, and was on a one-hour drama. It was the worst schedule for parenting. I had to leave. And I almost killed my career: I had a rule for 15 years: only a comedy, only in cable, only in Los Angeles.”

Diane Farr, 2007
Diane Farr, 2007Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Once COVID lockdowns came to an end, however, Farr looked at her teenagers and realized they were all ready for action. “I loved the Fire Country pilot,” Farr recounts. “And I was like, ‘They’re big enough. They’re mad at Mom, all the time. This might actually help the cause!’”

For Farr’s first season, the family made the move together. This year, Mom finds herself on her own for the first time in over a decade. “My son is with his dad being a bachelor and the girls go to boarding school,” she says. “The idea was if I get to go away and do my job in Vancouver, they get to go somewhere fun too. Everybody’s happy.”

“And by the way, who knew there were going to be new things in your fifties?” Farr marvels. “But there are – and they just keep coming!”

Fire Country star Diane Farr on firefighting in her fifties

Diane Farr via Instagram

With Fire Country an emotional family drama about firefighters in Northern California, season 2 will see her character Cal Fire Division Chief Sharon moving onto the frontlines. That means Farr is carrying more weight this season – literally! Her wardrobe is often 65 pounds of gear that includes an oxygen tank, boots and helmet.

The good-natured actress is still laughing over the back-to-set photos she exchanged with So Help Me Todd star Marcia Gay Harden.

“She was working with very cute women in their 80s who were all dressed up, with pillbox hats on,” Farr sets up. “I was like, ‘Want to see my day?’ It was one in the morning. I’m with four men. They’re all three times my size. We have the same outfit on, including the tank. I am an Oompa Loompa in that outfit. We really have the opposite jobs!”

Having struggled under the weight of a similar wardrobe on Rescue Me, Farr did her best to prepare for this season.

“When I was in my thirties, doing the first show, I didn’t really exercise,” she admits. “I was just a little genetically gifted. Now? I was like, ‘Pilates!’ I did it every day. Didn’t help. I’ve given birth to three kids. I have no pelvic floor.”

“The other night, I was on the field, standing next to Jordan Callaway (who’s 33 and plays Jake), and we were both doubled over,” Farr continues. “His back was killing. Hi, in my fifties, here! You know why athletes retire at 28? Because this hurts.”

Farr shares about self-preservation and self-care

Jordan Calloway as Jake Crawford, Kevin Alejandro as Manny Perez, Diane Farr as Sharon Leone, Fire Country, 2024
Jordan Calloway as Jake Crawford, Kevin Alejandro as Manny Perez, Diane Farr as Sharon Leone, Fire Country, 2024Eric Milner/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

While Farr loves the drama on Fire Country – including the twist that her character has a grandkid she never knew about – she admits her firefighting wardrobe isn’t sustainable. Thankfully, she’s learned the importance of being her own advocate.

“I made a call and said, ‘Let’s have a meeting with the props department about how we can willingly suspend some disbelief and lighten my load,’” Farr shares. “At the same time, I am literally in a marathon run with myself. ‘Can I do this till the end of the episode? Can I do it till the end of the season?’ I’m negotiating a boundary and hopefully, I will have the confidence to draw the line and say, ‘I can’t do this anymore after this point.’”

In the meantime, Farr reserves her energy by staying quiet between firefighting takes and finds relief at the local Thai massage parlor.

Diane Farr via Instagram

As her Instagram followers know, she also lets off steam every week at her ‘CBS Ex-Pat Game Nights’ with Gay Harden, costar Jules Latimer, Tracker‘s Robin Weigert and Fiona Renee, The Good Doctor‘s Richard Schiff and Christina Chang, and a growing list of primetimers shooting in Vancouver.

“I was going to call it Monday Mental Health Getaway Game Night,” Farr cracks. “We play different games and it’s just silly. And they’re all so smart. And we never talk about work. It’s my favorite night of the week.”

It’s also a key component of her self-care, along with hitting the road. “When I was getting divorced in my late forties, I got a motorcycle license,” she says. “I had to be so alert. It was slightly terrifying. And when I’m doing it, I can’t think about anything else. Like game night, it’s there to clear my head.”

“I think you’ve gotta find the thing that lets your brain shut off,” she insists, “and then not judge yourself for doing it.”

Having written the books The Girl Code and Kissing Outside the Lines, as well as a script based on her interracial family, Farr also finds solace in creating new worlds on her laptop and traveling the real world with her kids.

Fire Country star Diane Farr previews trouble for Sharon and Vince in season 2

For all this talk of Farr’s age, she and Fire Country hunk Billy Burke make up one of today’s hottest TV couples.

Diane Farr and Billy BurkeCBS

“My secret about Sharon and Vince is Billy and I are earning the intimacy every time we’re together on screen,” Farr says. “When you’re dating someone, you have that period where you’re like, ‘Is it on? Is it off? Does he like me? Does he not like me?’ I wanted to keep that in every scene. Because when that dies in your marriage, you’re siblings.”

The couple survived Sharon’s kidney failure and some love triangle drama in season 1, but Fire Country’s crushing season finale saw their son Bode (played by co-creator Max Thieriot) lie to protect a friend and land himself back in prison, breaking his mother’s heart.

While FIRST can’t say what this means for Bode’s future, Farr teases it will have big implications for Sharon and Vince in season 2.

Max Thieriot as Bode Donovan, Michael Trucco as Luke Leone, Billy Burke as Vince Leone, Jules Latimer as Eve Edwards, Diane Farr as Sharon Leone, Kevin Alejandro as Manny Perez, and Stephanie Arcila as Gabriela Perez, Fire Country, 2023
Max Thieriot as Bode Donovan, Michael Trucco as Luke Leone, Billy Burke as Vince Leone, Jules Latimer as Eve Edwards, Diane Farr as Sharon Leone, Kevin Alejandro as Manny Perez, and Stephanie Arcila as Gabriela Perez, Fire Country, 2023Sergei Bachlakov/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

“Last year, Sharon’s primary relationship was actually with Bode, and the person she had to hide it from was Vince,” Farr reminds. “She was willing to burn down her job and her marriage, at times, to protect her son and a marriage cannot sustain that. This season, Sharon’s trying to figure out who she is if she’s not entirely dependent on Bode. So there’s a reckoning. You’re going to get mad at her… but then, hopefully, you’re going to love her more!”

Fire Country season 2 premieres Friday, February 16, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+.

Want more FIRST exclusive interviews? Click through below!

15-Year-Old Iain Armitage of ‘Young Sheldon’ Takes Credit For Reba’s Romance With Rex Linn: “They Are The Cutest Couple Ever!”

Susan Gallagher Dishes on Hallmark’s ‘A Taste of Love’ & Creating Her Own Destiny As An Actress (EXCLUSIVE)

‘The Young and The Restless’ Star Colleen Zenk Talks Villainous Jordan & Her Newman Vendetta (EXCLUSIVE)

‘The Young and the Restless’ Star Trevor St. John Talks New Movie and Playing Tucker

Hallmark Star Alison Sweeney Talks ‘Love & Jane,’ Hannah Swensen and more (EXCLUSIVE)

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.