‘Blue Bloods’ Director Explains Why Tom Selleck Makes Show ‘Feel Like Home’ to Viewers

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)

We all know how central the theme of family is on the hit television “Blue Bloods.” This sense of familial connection is truly what has made the CBS drama as memorable as it is.

In fact, more than anything, family has always really been the show’s central theme.

Each week, the Reagan family officers, detectives, and officials highlighted in the hit CBS series may come up against a variety of law-enforcement plotlines; but, when it comes down to it, the “Blue Bloods” characters live in the moments when they are together as a family.

Especially when they are in the presence of Tom Selleck’s character, Frank Reagan.

Tom Selleck portrays the “Blue Bloods” New York City Police Commissioner, and father to Jamie, Danny, and Erin Reagan. Each of them has found their own niche in the New York City legal system.

And, according to “Blue Bloods” director, David Barrett, Selleck is one of the reasons fans connect so completely to not only the series but to the Reagan family as a whole.

Audiences Find Family Connection Relatable

But, what exactly is it that makes the audience connect with the “Blue Bloods” characters so completely? According to Barrett, it comes right down to the heart of the show. And the fact that each one of the members of the Reagan family is incredibly relatable.

“My brand, if you will, is to find the heart in a show,” the “Blue Bloods” the director explained.

“Where is the heart? If there’s no heart, it’s not relatable,” Barrett continued. “If it’s not relatable, it’s not commercial.”

During a conversation with Stunts Unlimited, Barrett discussed what it is about “Blue Bloods” that he feels gives the show its unique “heart.”

“With a grandfather that’s a lot like Tom Selleck, it just kind of felt like home,” the director explained, noting that this would speak to the audience on a wide scale.

According to Barrett, his own family’s trajectory and legacy owning of the Mammoth Mountain ski area have all been a result of his grandfather’s hard work. Each one of his grandfather’s descendants has succeeded in something related to the legacy Barrett’s grandfather, Dave McCoy left behind.

Barrett said that he was interested in working on “Blue Bloods” in the beginning because it reminded him so much of his family’s own story.

“It was so much like my life,” Barrett explained of the “Blue Bloods” legacy Tom Selleck portrays through Frank Reagan. “You have a character who kind of runs the city, runs the town, kind of like my grandfather.”

The “Blue Bloods” Legacy Is An Important One

Barrett added that he knew from the start that communicating this sort of legacy was important to get the “Blue Bloods” audience to relate to each one of the characters.

“My approach is this,” he said. “I’m invited into people’s homes every Friday night at 10 o’clock. How can I deliver something that’s inspiring?”

For Barrett, doing this was simple, make the characters as real as possible.

“I knew if I could try to approach it from a way where I could let the actors really have as big a stage as they needed to behave as truthfully as they could, that the audience would never bump on the message,” Barrett explained. “The audience would never be distracted, whether consciously or subconsciously from the message that the writers were trying to convey in the piece.”