‘Blue Bloods’: Eddie Actor Vanessa Ray is Proud of Character’s Development, ‘Voice’ at Dinner Table

by John Jamison

As Eddie Janko, Vanessa Ray has been through quite the journey on “Blue Bloods.” A relative late-comer to the hit CBS police drama, Janko was first introduced as Jamie Reagan’s partner. Now, heading into Season 12, Janko’s blood runs blue as a full-fledged member of the Reagan family. Knowing what we know about the Reagans, it comes as no surprise that Vanessa Ray takes pride in how far her character has come.

Earning a place at the sacred Reagan family dinner table is no easy feat. Beyond the narrative, the dinner scenes are arguably the best place actors on “Blue Bloods” could find themselves. The dinners have proven to be the heart and soul of the show over the years. And as an actor, the opportunity to sit across from Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, and Bridget Moynahan in the same scene does not come along very often.

For Vanessa Ray, earning a place at the dinner table was monumental. It allowed her to explore the character from a new perspective.

“It’s been quite an arc looking back. Eddie’s voice is bolder now at the dinner table and on the job. I like that,” Ray told The Nerds of Color in a May 2021 interview.

For a show like “Blue Bloods,” which has been entertaining its CBS audience for more than a decade, few things are more valuable than character development. If a character isn’t developing on a long-running show, their days are likely numbered. Fortunately, Janko has seen plenty of growth. Consequently, so has Ray.

The ‘Blue Bloods’ Star’s Job Completely Changed

As the life of her character changed, so too did the nature of Vanessa Ray’s job. The cast of an ensemble show like “Blue Bloods” can be insulated, especially those who aren’t Reagan’s themselves. For example, there wasn’t a ton of overlap in the worlds of Eddie Janko as a beat cop and Erin Reagan in the District Attorney’s office.

As a result, Vanessa Ray only really had opportunities to act alongside Jamie Reagan actor Will Estes. As her character developed and Janko became closer to the family, however, the dynamic changed.

“When I started on the show in season 4, I almost exclusively worked with Will. He’s an incredible scene partner and dear friend. As Jamie and Eddie’s relationship evolved and when they finally decided to get together/married, my job had also evolved. I was working with people I’d only ever high-fived in the studio hallway. It felt like a totally new show. New faces every day. I got a new partner in the incredible Lauren Patton,” Ray said in the interview.

These days, Eddie Janko-Reagan can be seen at the dinner table every week. And Vanessa Ray is rightfully proud of that fact.