Jennifer Esposito said she and Donnie Wahlberg would often break it down before breaking down a suspect on Blue Bloods. Wahlberg’s former partner on the crime drama explained how she and the New Kids on the Block star would spend their downtime on the show dancing or trying to make each other laugh.
Esposito, who was Wahlberg’s partner for three seasons, said he was “one of the best people I’ve ever worked with.”
“We had so much fun, I think (producers) needed to make us separate because that’s how much fun we had,” PEOPLE TV. “We would be cracking up and dancing, like, right before a take, and then we’d be like, ‘So did you do it!?'”
She said having a fun scene partner can make or break a show for an actor.
“You’re on set so long, especially doing a drama on TV like (Blue Bloods), you’re there long, long hours,” she said. “And (Wahlberg) was just wonderful.”
Wahlberg said he loved his time working with Esposito.
“The beauty of having had these different partners is that they each bring something different to react to,” Wahlberg explained to CBS Watch! “Jennifer made boring lines hysterical; she made throwaway lines authentic. She was a great partner, and is a great actor and friend.”
Esposito’s relationship with the show was much more strained, however. CBS removed her from the cast after she collapsed on the Blue Bloods set in 2012 because of complications of Celiac disease. They said she was unable to perform the role and needed to find someone who could. However, she disputed those claims. She said CBS put her on unpaid leave and kept her from work anywhere else since she was under contract, she told Deadline at the time.
Wahlberg Is Also Close with ‘Blue Bloods’ Partner
Working with Donnie Wahlberg on Blue Bloods seems like a lot of fun. That’s at least according to his co-stars, as they all describe him as the life of the party. Or the don of the dinner in this case.
After Esposito left Blue Bloods, Wahlberg was partnered with Marisa Ramirez’s Detective Maria Baez. Wahlberg said the production crew is constantly waiting on them to stop laughing to start a take.
“There have been times when Marisa and I laugh probably for an hour straight,” Wahlberg said. “We might tell jokes between takes, or someone goofs up a line.”
Ramirez said in March to Pop Culture that her relationship with Wahlberg is unique.
“But we’re at eight years and I think our relationship has evolved more this year,” Ramirez said of her Blue Bloods co-star. “I don’t know if it has to do with the pandemic. I don’t know if he’s being there for me with my many losses in the past year. But you can definitely look at each other and know what each other’s thinking and that’s … it’s such a, it’s such a beautiful thing.”