‘Blue Bloods’ Actor Donnie Wahlberg Opens Up About the Respect He Has for the Police in 2017 Interview

by Amy Myers

Back in 2017, the cast of the popular crime drama Blue Bloods gathered for a live interview to celebrate the show’s 150th episode. Now in its eleventh season, the questions and conversations are more relevant than ever. The most hot-button issue? Donnie Wahlberg discusses respect for real-life police.

Donnie Wahlberg Says the Good Outnumber the Bad

After actress Sami Gayle shared a light-hearted off-camera moment, the conversation turns to a serious topic regarding renewed respect or changed opinions about police during a “very divided time in our country.” Donnie Wahlberg, who plays Detective Danny Reagan on the show, was the first to speak up.

“Police officers don’t always end up in the news for all the great things they do,” Wahlberg said pensively, “They tend to end up in the news for the occasional missteps or mistakes that some make. I can say that the great ones far outnumber the very few bad seeds.”

The audience immediately began applauding.

Donnie Wahlberg then spoke to his role portraying a police officer and how his character must always “run towards the danger.” He even corrected the director’s stage direction when he told extras to run in the same direction as the detective. Wahlberg explained that civilians would not be running towards the sound of bullets, but rather away from them. “Not only that,” he added, “That’s the only way I know where the bad guy is–because everyone’s running away from the bad guy.”

Danny Reagan’s Inspiration Is Retired NYPD Detective, Jim Nuciforo

Donnie Wahlberg also spoke to another enlightening experience in the show’s early seasons. His character had to teach his son about gun safety. Although he says he’s “never been a gun person himself,” Wahlberg reached out to retired NYPD Detective and Technical Adviser, Jim Nuciforo for insight. He asked Nuciforo if this was something he would practice in real life.

Not surprisingly, Nuciforo confirmed that when a firearm is in the home, teaching children gun safety is crucial. During the day of the scene, when Wahlberg needed him most, the Technical Adviser wasn’t on set. As it turned out, Nuciforo’s son found his gun box. The retired detective was living Wahlberg’s upcoming scene.

Donnie Wahlberg explained that these are the experiences that help him understand a cop’s perspective.

“Whether it’s running through the building, or gun safety or the different things that cops have to deal with…there’s no more profound moment in my life or my experience on the show than that moment,” he shared.

Wahlberg concluded that there still may be scenes that he may not get as Donnie, “the guy that used to be in a boy band,” he’s grateful to the show and to the writers for the chance to portray a member of the police force.

“It brought a lot of things home for me,” Wahlberg said.