‘Blue Bloods’ Star Vanessa Ray Had a Surprising Challenge Early in the Show’s Run

by Caitlin Berard

Everyone who works to bring Blue Bloods to life, from the producers to the crew to the actors, is extremely dedicated to the realism of the series. Of course, watching an episode of the show won’t literally give you a window into the lives of the New York City police department. However, it’s about as close to reality as a dramatized series can get.

As such, working on Blue Bloods can be both physically and mentally demanding. Whether it’s chasing down another actor while weighted down with police equipment or coming to grips with the fact that many of the crimes and issues the fictional police face in the series reflect those of real life, portraying a realistic police officer is no small task.

For Blue Bloods star Vanessa Ray, who plays Eddie Janko-Reagan, wife of Jamie Reagan, the biggest problem she faced in the early days of filming was a surprising one – finding the proper footwear. In an interview with The Nerds of Color, Ray explained the dilemma.

“This sounds really dumb, but early on the physical stuff was really tricky,” she said. “Because we couldn’t figure out the right shoes. So like the first season, I had these really weak, I used to call them my jazz shoes, because I’m like, ‘These don’t even have a [sole] on them. I’m running and I look like I’m tip-tapping,’ you know?”

“Then a couple of seasons later, they got me Dr. Martens and those are so heavy,” she continued. “So I’d be doing these things and I’m like, ‘I’m trying to go faster’. And Will [Estes] would always say, ‘You’re faster than I am. You’re so much faster than I am’. But then I got those shoes and they slowed me down.”

‘Blue Bloods’ Star Vanessa Ray Reflects on the Realism of Her Costume

Getting used to the heavy footwear her costume required was tough. However, Vanessa Ray appreciates that real police face a similar, if not even more difficult, problem.

“It was actually good, because that’s the real situation with cops, in general,” she said. “When you see these police officers on the street, they have what looks like 50 pounds of gear on them at all times just fighting crime with all of these things on.”

“So it was actually good for me to kind of get used to that belt,” she continued. “Get used to how uncomfortable that is, and kind of figure out a way to fit that into what was happening in the narrative of multiple stories. So yeah, and I see these cops on TV, jumping over fences, and I’m like, ‘How are you doing that?'”

The Blue Bloods star then explained that experiencing the weight of the gear made her admire police officers even more. After comparing them to “superheroes,” she added, “I have a lot of empathy for them.”