Blue Bloods: Iconic Dinners, Cast Exits And Other Filming Details
Blue Bloods became a hit among many fans. Here are the Blue Bloods filming secrets everyone wants to know! Do the actors really eat the food during the iconic Sunday dinners? How did Donnie Wahlberg convince Bridget Moynahan to take the role of Erin Reagan? And why there real officers on the set? Let's find out!
1. DONNIE WAHLBERG IS THE LIFE OF THE PARTY
Although Donnie Wahlberg plays a buttoned-up detective character, in reality, he likes to have fun. He recently tweeted a video of him in the car with his new partner, played by Marisa Ramirez, listening and dancing to Rihanna. Wahlberg’s on-screen niece Sami Gayle says that he’s the best to work with.
“That is a guy who walks into any room and lights it up,” she shared. And his co-star and long-time friend Bridget Moynahan revealed that Donnie used to host disco parties for the Blue Bloods cast and crew. Amazingly, they all used to party down in the squad room, and there was even an actual disco ball!
2. A FORMER DETECTIVE IS ON THE PAYROLL
Blue Bloods became a hit among many fans, including actual members of the Police Force, who appreciate its realistic portrayal of police work. The secret is that the show has a former New York City detective on the payroll! James Nuciforo regularly goes over the scripts and makes changes to them so that Blue Bloods is as accurate as possible.
The Blue Bloods cast also pay visits to a shooting range with Nuciforo to learn how to properly hold and fire a police revolver. The former detective revealed that everyone has done it – except Tom Selleck, who can probably handle a weapon better than some real-life cops thanks to his many years spent as the title character of “Magnum P.I.”
3. THE SUNDAY DINNERS ARE FILMED IN THE MORNING
The Sunday dinners are the heart of virtually every episode of Blue Bloods. But, in fact, these scenes are usually shot in the morning, starting around 9 a.m. The cast members are not consulted about the menu. It's the writers, the property master of the show Jim Lillis and the owners of the restaurant “The BeeHive Oven” that caters to the dinners are the ones who decide what food will be served.
4. THE CAST LOVES THE FAMILY DINNER SCENES
The cast of Blue Bloods really enjoys being at the table together. Tom Selleck shared that everybody looks forward to shooting these scenes because they all like each other and have become close. “You can work on an ensemble series and you may not see a fellow castmate for a month."
"But here we get to have a family dinner! Sometimes we get talking so much that it gets in the way of the work," the actor added. However, Selleck finds the filming process really tiresome, as it takes a full day to shoot one scene. After all, they have to eat the same food over and over again, for up to eight hours, to get all the shots!
5. THE BEVERAGES AREN'T THE REAL THING
Not all the food on the table is 100% real though. The wine the Reagans drink during the dinner scene is actually grape juice, and ‘Scotch’ is really iced tea. Donny Wahlberg even thinks that the coffee the cast is given is decaffeinated because otherwise they’d be “bouncing off the walls!”
6. BRIDGET'S CHARACTER ACTUALLY EATS NOW
Bridget Moynahan revealed that for the first couple of seasons she ate nothing during the iconic family dinners. Then she moved onto the mashed potatoes, which was, as the star admitted, “really bad". So now she’s moved to something healthier – the cucumbers.
By the way, Moynahan is actually a talented home cook. She even released The Blue Bloods Cookbook, which she felt was a natural extension of the show.
7. THE CAST AND CREW ENJOY THE FOOD BEHIND-THE-SCENES
Will Estes probably also sticks to cucumbers, because he’s the resident vegetarian. But the actor admits that the food is definitely as good as it looks, although “anything you eat for six hours can get tough at the end." Anyway, the leftovers don’t ever end up in the trash: food that's still good is shared with the crew to take home.
Not all of the cast members actually eat a hearty dinner – some of them are just very good at faking it. For example, Tom Selleck only eats when cameras are cutting to him, and the rest of the time he just butters his bread. Bridget Moynahan cuts her food, and Sami Gayle drinks water.
8. DONNIE WAHLBERG IS A FOODIE
According to Sami Gayle, it’s a running joke that Donnie Wahlberg doesn’t stop eating – even during rehearsals. “They’ll tell us not to eat the food because we’re just going through the lines. But I’ll look up and see Donnie chewing on something.” But his on-screen sons also exhibit healthy appetites. By the way, these two boys are really brothers!
9. TONY AND ANDREW ARE THE SAME AGE AS THEIR CHARACTERS
Tony and Andrew Terraciano’s age difference in real life is the same as in the show. They landed the roles of Danny's sons when they were eight and six years old respectively. So, the two have grown up from the quarrelling teens right before our eyes! The Terracianos' appearances on Blue Bloods became rare, because Tony, just like his character, went to college.
9. LINDA REAGAN'S DEATH WAS A SURPRISE FOR EVERYONE
Danny’s wife Linda Reagan died in an off-screen helicopter crash, which was a shock for the fans – and for the actress as well! Amy Carlson revealed that although she made the decision to leave the show herself, she didn’t expect her character to be written off the show that way.
In an interview with Deadline, Carlson said: "I did not know they would do that, I was surprised." Amy noted that she was not asked to return to give Linda's story the ending that she and the fans wanted.
10. JENNIFER ESPOSITO WAS FIRED
Another actress who controversially exited Blue Bloods was Jennifer Esposito. Her character, Danny’s partner Jackie Curatola, took a leave of absence from law enforcement because of stress. But in real life, Esposito was fired after she reportedly collapsed on the set because of an autoimmune condition she was suffering from.
CBS executives thought she was deliberately staying away from work to get a raise, while the actress claimed that she only wanted to get a less demanding shooting schedule.
11. BRIDGET ALMOST TURNED DOWN HER ROLE
Bridget Moynahan initially turned down the role of Erin, because she didn’t want to spend too much time away from her then three-year-old son. Fortunately, her friend Donnie Wahlberg convinced Bridget to change her mind and go for the role.
He revealed that he “made her an offer she couldn’t refuse”, which was to give her all his paychecks if they weren’t able to shoot in New York.
12. THE CAST WORKS WITH REAL COPS
Blue Bloods has all the proper New York City licensing, so everything you see on-screen is as identical to the real thing as possible. And since the cars and uniforms look so authentic, real officers are required on set to make sure the public doesn’t unintentionally approach an actor for help! Up to six officers and twenty traffic cops can be assigned to a shoot.
13. JAMIE REAGAN AND WILL ESTES SHARE A PASSION FOR BASKETBALL
Fans of the show know that Jamie Reagan is fond of basketball. But they probably don't know that this is because of Will Estes' passion for the sport! The actor can often be found shooting hoops between takes. Will also loves driving in the tense chase scenes, in which he really drives cars with cameras attached to the hood.
14. SAMI GAYLE REVEALED THAT SHE CONSIDERS TOM SELLECK TO BE HER GRANDFATHER IN REAL LIFE
Sami Gayle literally grew up in front of our eyes on Blue Bloods, as she has been part of the show since she was fourteen. She is very close to her co-stars and considers Tom Selleck to be like her real-life grandfather. Sami revealed that Tom once gave her his list of ten movies that every actor should watch.
“He really wants to educate me about the great films of all time, which is amazing. Will Estes asked me for the list too, and we’re both going to watch them all.” – shared the young actress. But Tom Selleck is not the most experienced actor on the set of Blue Bloods.
15. LEN CARIOU IS ONLY 6 YEARS OLDER THAN TOM SELLECK
Although Len Cariou plays Tom Selleck's father, the actor is only six years older than Selleck. Len is a veteran theatre actor, a musical comedy star, and an accomplished film actor who has appeared in more than eighty projects. Blue Bloods is actually his first TV series, and the Broadway actor enjoys playing the head of the cop family.
16. VANESSA RAY AND WILL ESTES HAVE THE PERFECT CHEMISTRY
The newest addition to the Reagan family, Jamie’s now-wife Eddie first appeared on the show in its fourth season. Vanessa Ray revealed that she and Will Estes had pretty good chemistry from the very start. And their characters’ transition from partners to husband and wife was at least partially grounded on that.
“Aside from the romance, there are so many times one of our conversations will end up in the story. I'll look at a script and be like, ‘We just talked about that thing!’” And Will added to it that “sometimes performances dictate the story”. Because the actors had been “horrible together”, the writers of the show wouldn’t have made Jamie and Eddie a couple!
17. WILL TOOK A WHILE TO WARM UP TO A ROMANCE BETWEEN JAMIE AND EDDIE
When the producers told Estes they wanted to put Vanessa and Will’s characters together, he didn’t think it was a good idea. ”It was the ‘Moonlighting’ thing. Once they got together, the story was over. So we were nervous about what it was going to mean once we were together." Well, it seems like he had a point, at least partially.
The fans felt let down and disappointed because they didn’t see the whole wedding ceremony. As one of the fans put it, "They’re not married to me, I never saw any vows!" But, Tom Selleck considers there’s just no way to please everyone.
Even if an entire episode of the show had been dedicated to the wedding, some people would still be upset that they did not show the reception or honeymoon! And what do you think about it? Would the police drama be better if they showed even more details of the character’s private lives? Share your thoughts in the comments!