The “Blue Bloods” family dinners happen like clockwork every episode. But has the Reagan family ever been separated on a Sunday night?
As a matter of fact, there was one time when events conspired to tear the Reagans away from their beloved family tradition. It happened when Linda Reagan (Amy Carlson) got shot while she was at the hospital on duty. She and Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) were absent from the dinner that week.
But did the Reagans let that stop them from having a family dinner? No. They planted the phone in the middle of the table. Then they put Danny and Linda on speaker from the hospital. Finally, they arranged for a decent meal to be delivered to them in the hospital during the call.
That gesture sent a message to everyone involved that the Reagans have each other’s backs, no matter what.
‘Blue Bloods’ Family Dinners Are an Ordeal to Film
Overall, the “Blue Bloods” cast enjoys the family dinner scenes – they’re a bonding moment, and everyone has a chance to catch up on each other’s lives in between takes. But they can also be a little brutal to commit to film.
“You can work on an ensemble series and you may not see a fellow cast mate for a month,” Tom Selleck, who plays NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan, told People in 2013. “But here, once a show, we get to have a family dinner, which we all look forward to. We all like each other and have become close, so it’s like catching up. Sometimes we get talking so much that it gets in the way of the work.”
Still, several of the “Blue Bloods” actors, like Selleck and Erin Reagan actress Bridget Moynahan, have said they don’t enjoy eating for hours on end. The only exception to that rule seems to be Wahlberg, who can reportedly really put it away.
“It’s nice to spend time with the entire cast once an episode,” Selleck continued. “But filming an eating scene is miserable. Well, the eating part is. You have to eat the same foods over and over again to get all the shots. We’ll probably spend eight hours shooting this scene.”
The Actors Are Eating Real Food
Prop master Jim Lillis explained that the food in front of the actors is real – the liquor is not – and it’s pretty heavy fare. As Irish Catholics, the Reagans eat a lot of meat and potatoes.
“We give them real food on camera, but we try to keep it mildly seasoned because they have to do so many takes,” Lillis said. “The Reagans are Irish-Catholic New Yorkers, and their menu reflects that. It’s usually a meat or chicken, always some version of potatoes and a vegetable, salad and rolls.”
“I’m Irish-Catholic, and I was halfway through the first season before I realized I was serving my mother’s old menu,” he added.