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Donnie Wahlberg and Tom Selleck at the "Blue Bloods" Press Conference in 2012© Getty

Tom Selleck reveals the on-set Blue Bloods moment that made cast a real 'family' in emotional insight

The Blue Bloods star and his co-star Donnie Wahlberg reflected on the CBS show's special Sunday dinners

Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
May 30, 2024
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As Blue Bloods nears its end, its stars Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg are sharing insight into some of the most special on-set moments they've shared.

Both of them have been part of the beloved CBS procedural since its inception in 2010, and following news that the show was canceled — and will come to an end this fall — they have reflected on their time starring as Frank Reagan and Danny Reagan for its 14 seasons.

Among some of the fan-favorite elements of the show is the Reagan family's classic Sunday dinners, and the two have just reflected on just what makes them so special, for their real characters and their real life selves.

In an excerpt from emmy magazine's June issue shared by People, Donnie first recalled: "At the first dinner scene, I had to be fully committed to this character and who he was and his thoughts on the situation he was dealing with — and be willing to turn that dinner table upside down," before noting: "And to do that with Tom Selleck sitting at the head of the table? He's an icon."

He also remembered the responsibility he felt to sticking to that promise, even if it meant having to give contrasting opinions to the writers. Recounting a moment where he offered some feedback to them early on, he shared: "I had to make the commitment to go there with him. I could not hold anything back, because if I didn't do it in the pilot episode, I wouldn't be able to do it down the road."

Tom similarly expressed how much weight the Sunday dinner scenes hold for him as an actor, noting that he's not so much focused on his lines but rather the "subtext," and to properly emit what the audience already knows the characters are internally going through.

Bridget Moynahan as Erin Reagan, Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan, Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan on Blue Bloods.© Getty
Tom and Donnie during Sunday family dinner

He explained: "Audiences don't care about the words, they want to see the subtext. The family dinners are loaded with subtext, and the audience is in on it because they’ve seen what the characters are going through."

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Donnie then noted that the scenes have served as a true bonding experience both on-screen and off-screen, and that overtime it has made them operate like a real family.

Will Estes as Jamie Reagan, Vanessa Ray as Eddie Janko, Bridget Moynahan as Erin Reagan, Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan, Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan, Andrew Terraciano as Sean Reagan, Len Cariou as Henry Reagan on Blue Bloods.© Getty
The Reagans

"There's a genuine affection when we get together for dinner scenes," he shared, emphasizing: "There's a genuine gratitude at that table. If anyone's struggling, by the end of that dinner scene they're back to being aware of how fortunate we all are."

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Donnie further said that not only are the Reagan family "fortunate to be together on Sundays and to be safe, to have made it through another week of a very dangerous job," but also the cast "is reminded of how fortunate we are as actors."

Blue Bloods cast with Stacy Keach© Kevin Wade
Blue Bloods will end in the fall with the second half of the 14th season

He endearingly maintained: "It's an incredible blessing to have that dinner scene as a check-in every week, much like the Reagans do, fictionally."

"For us to have that in real life, it's a pretty spectacular thing — and I don't think we'd be here 14 seasons without it."

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