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!

Image Credits: Getty Images/The Regan family all in blue. Jamie (Will Estes), Henry (Len Cariou), Frank(Tom Selleck), Erin (Bridget Moynahan) and Danny (Donnie Wahlberg).


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Reagan


“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!

Image Credits: Getty Images/Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan


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.”

Image Credits: Getty Images/Tom Selleck


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Blue Bloods


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."

Image Credits: Getty Images/Tom Selleck visits "Extra" at H&M Times Square on October 15, 2015


"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!

Image Credits: Getty Images/Tom Selleck on Blue Bloods


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan and Len Cariou


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Bridget Moynahan


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!

Image Credits: Gett Images/Blue Bloods


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/ Andrew and Tony Terraciano


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Tom Selleck


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jennifer Esposito


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jennifer Esposito


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Bridget Moynahan at the "Blue Bloods" screening during PaleyFest NY at The Paley Center for Media


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Donnie Wahlberg


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. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Blue Bloods



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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Will Estes


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Sami Gayle


“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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Tom Selleck


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Len Cariou


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Vanessa Ray


“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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Will Estes


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.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Vanessa Ray and Will Estes

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!

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