Donnie Wahlberg, star of “Blue Bloods,” found working with his on-screen father, Tom Selleck, to be frighteningly similar to how he interacted with his own father.
On the show, we frequently see Wahlberg and Selleck’s characters squabble at Reagan family dinners. Danny Reagan, played by Wahlberg, is the middle son of police commissioner Frank Reagan (Selleck). Danny had a lot of responsibility to take over as the oldest Reagan sibling after his older brother d1ed in the line of duty.
The responsibilities and expectations placed on Wahlberg’s “Blue Bloods” character reminded him a lot of home. As one of nine children, Wahlberg was inevitably subjected to family squabbles. However, in a 2013 interview with The Huffington Post, Wahlberg revealed that the family dynamic was what initially drew him to “Blue Bloods.”
“‘Blue Bloods’ is a throwback show because they don’t make shows like this anymore,” Wahlberg explained to HuffPost. “These days, it’s about the family down the block selling heroin or the husband with three wives.” Everything revolves around the unusual family.”
“When I read the pilot, the family dinner scene drew me in the most,” he continued. I’ve felt the heat of my father staring down at me and my sister while we’re arguing, and Tom Selleck and Bridget [Moynahan] have the same heat.”
In “Blue Bloods,” Moynahan plays Danny’s sister, Erin. Wahlberg then compares Selleck’s “hard exterior” to that of his own father.
“And, as we tease Tom on-screen, that comes directly from my childhood with my father.” “He was a tough guy, and we loved breaking through that tough exterior and making him laugh,” Wahlberg concluded.
Far too often, a tough exterior conceals a soft interior.
Donnie Wahlberg, star of ‘Blue Bloods,’ Discusses His Quick Rise to Fame
The “Blue Bloods” star also discussed what it was like to be practically a child star in the HuffPost interview. He compares the ups and downs of his band New Kids on the Block’s fame to being on an unpredictable train.
“It’s like you’re on a really fast train and you assume it’ll keep going forever, but one day it stops,” Wahlberg explained. “It’s difficult if you’re not prepared.” The public already knows who you are and may never accept you as anything else.”
This was especially difficult for the boy band member when NKOTB’s popularity faded around the age of 25. It forced him to face some difficult truths in his life.
“It may not seem like much, but when you’re twentysomething and have been on one of the most exhilarating rides of most people’s lives, you think it’s forever,” Wahlberg continued. “So being faced with the question, ‘What will I do for the next 70 years?’ is daunting because it’s not easy to be on the cover of every magazine, then go work at McDonald’s.”
He’s thankful he found a path that kept him out of the bad situations that far too many young celebrities fall into.
“It’s terrifying, and many children do not survive that initial burst of success.” They either go bankrupt or become addicted to drugs. To get through that and find your next phase in life, it takes a lot of hard work and faith in oneself,” the “Blue Bloods” star concluded. “But it’s more fulfilling the second time around if you can find your way to what you can do next — that you can love and be proud of.”