‘Blue Bloods’ Star Donnie Wahlberg Starred Alongside Kevin James in a 2011 Comedy

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Get a couple of TV stars together like Donnie Wahlberg of Blue Bloods and Kevin James of The King of Queens and it’s bound to rock. The actors have quite a track record with their shows. Wahlberg has continued to play his role while James has moved on to other projects. Still, their paths did cross for a 2011 movie that did not do well at the box office.

Wahlberg, who plays Detective Danny Reagan in the CBS drama, appears in Zookeeper. While you might miss him on the screen, he does show up as a side character. James plays Griffin Keyes, a zookeeper that finds himself loving his job. He also is working to get back together with his girlfriend.

Donnie Wahlberg of ‘Blue Bloods’ Gets Attacked For Abusing Gorilla As Movie Character

The Blue Bloods actor plays a zookeeper named Shane. That guy ends up abusing a gorilla. Bernie is a gorilla and his voice is supplied by Nick Nolte. Griffin and Bernie drive to Shane’s house. Griffin attacks Shane after he warns him to stop the abuse. There’s where the two actors happen to appear together in the movie.

Still, Blue Bloods lets Wahlberg showcase his acting abilities every week. He’s been on the show since the first episode. Wahlberg happens to be a guy who has helped others get on the show. When initially reading the show’s script, there was a need for someone to play Erin Reagan, the assistant district attorney. He reads the script and then he thinks about Bridget Moynahan being a good fit. Wahlberg approaches her and, ultimately, she joins the show. The actor worked hard to convince her to take the role.

Going Through Drama’s Initial Scene Is Something Actor Remembers

“I called Bridget Moynahan but she said ‘I already turned it down, I’m not going to do it,'” Wahlberg says. “I begged and pleaded and made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Which was that I would give her all of my paychecks if we weren’t able to shoot in New York. So, thank God we shot in New York.”

She’s been on there since the first episode. Wahlberg, though, remembers what it was like when showing up for the show’s very first scene. It was on Donnie to bring the heat for that initial dinner shot. “Do you know how hard it is to show up, 10 actors, and Tom [Selleck] at the head of the table, and I’ve got to have this knock-down, drag-out with Bridget?” the Blue Bloods actor says. “If I’m not ready to go full-out in that scene, the show doesn’t work.” Thankfully, everything did work together and the show has become a hit for CBS.