‘Blue Bloods’ Star Donnie Wahlberg Spoke Out on Challenge of Growing Up Out of Childhood Fame

by Keeli Parkey

Years before he became one of the stars of the hit CBS series “Blue Bloods,” Donnie Wahlberg was already famous. And like many famous people before and after him, that fame was sometimes very difficult to deal with.

The now 52-year-old star rose to fame as a founding member of New Kids on the Block. He talked about the challenges of being famous during an April 2013 interview with The Huffington Post.

According to what he had to say during that interview, this “Blue Bloods” star found himself at a loss during his career. This came when he was trying to decide what to do after the group’s fame declined. The band was wildly popular during the late 1980s and the early 1990s. When his group’s popularity began to fade, Donnie Wahlberg was in his early 20s.

Wahlberg compared that experience to being on a huge moving vehicle that is difficult to stop.

“It’s like you’re on a really fast train and assume it’ll keep going but one day it stops. If you’re not prepared, it’s difficult,” the “Blue Bloods” star explained. “The public has an opinion of who you are and may never accept you as anything else.”

So, what was the man who now plays Detective Danny Reagan on “Blue Bloods” to do when the group was on the decline? Deciding what to do was something that caused him a lot of stress. And, he was worried that he might have to take a job that wasn’t exactly up to his standards.

‘Blue Bloods’ Star Donnie Wahlberg Said Deciding What to Do After Early Success is ‘Daunting’

“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. 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’,” Donnie Wahlberg also said in 2013.

Wahlberg, who still tours with New Kids on the Block thanks to the band’s resurgence, also said that he has seen former child stars like himself take much worse roads than working at a fast-food chain.

“It’s scary and lots of kids don’t survive that initial huge success. They end up broke or on drugs,” the “Blue Bloods” star also shared.

Donnie Wahlberg then explained how surviving early stardom to move on to more in one’s career can be very fulfilling.

“It takes a lot of hard work and belief in one’s self to get through that and find your next phase in life. 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,” he said.