On the show, we consistently see Wahlberg and Selleck’s characters go at each other at the Reagan family dinners. Danny Reagan, played by Wahlberg, is police commissioner Frank Reagan’s (Selleck) middle son. After his older brother died in the line of duty, Danny had a lot of responsibility to take over as the oldest Reagan sibling.
For Wahlberg, taking on the responsibilities and expectations placed on his “Blue Bloods” character reminded him a lot of home. As one of nine kids, Wahlberg inevitably encountered some family squabbling. But in a 2013 interview with The Huffington Post, Wahlberg revealed that the family dynamic really attracted him to “Blue Bloods” in the first place.
“‘Blue Bloods’ is a throwback show because they don’t make shows that focus on families like this anymore,” Wahlberg told HuffPost. “Nowadays, it’s about the family down the street selling heroin or the husband with three wives. Everything’s focused on the unusual family.”
He continued, “When I read the pilot the family dinner scene attracted me most. I’ve felt the heat of my dad staring down at me and my sister while we’re arguing and that same heat’s there with Tom Selleck and Bridget [Moynahan].”
Moynahan plays Danny’s sister, Erin, in “Blue Bloods.” Wahlberg then ties in Selleck’s “hard exterior” to his own dad’s.
“And just like we tease Tom on-screen, that’s directly from my childhood with my dad. He was a very tough guy and we loved trying to break through that hard exterior and make him laugh,” Wahlberg concluded.
Far too often, a tough outside hides a gooey center inside someone.
‘Blue Bloods’ Star Donnie Wahlberg Talks About Quick Rise to Fame
In the HuffPost interview, the “Blue Bloods” star also discussed what it was like to be practically a child star. He compares his band New Kids on the Block’s up-and-down fame to being on an unpredictable train.
“It’s like you’re on a really fast train and assume it’ll keep going but one day it stops,” Wahlberg said. “If you’re not prepared, it’s difficult. The public has an opinion of who you are and may never accept you as anything else.”
This was especially hard for the boy band member when NKOTB fell out of popularity when Wahlberg was about 25. It made him confront some hard truths in his life.
“It may not seem a big deal, but when you’re twentysomething and been through one of the most exhilarating rides of most people’s lifetimes, you think it’s forever,” Wahlberg continued. “So being faced with, ‘What will I do for the next 70 years?’ is daunting because it’s not easy to be on the cover of every magazine, then take a job at McDonald’s.”
He’s grateful he found a path that kept him out of the bad situations too many young famous people fall into.
“It’s scary and lots of kids don’t survive that initial huge success. They end up broke or on drugs. It takes a lot of hard work and belief in one’s self to get through that and find your next phase in life,” the “Blue Bloods” star concluded. “But if you can find your way to what it is you can do next — that you can love and be proud of — it’s more fulfilling the second time around.”