‘Blue Bloods’ Star Bridget Moynahan’s Breakout Role Came in a Movie Also Featuring an ‘NCIS’ Star

by Madison Miller

Before consistently playing an assistant district attorney on CBS’ “Blue Bloods” since 2010, Bridget Moynahan was dancing on slick, beer-coated countertops in an iconic film.

Moynahan had her feature film debut in the cult classic film “Coyote Ugly” in 2000. She played a character named Rachel in the film. Rachel is one of three women that work at an iconic and trendy bar called “Coyote Ugly.”

Bridget Moynahan in ‘Coyote Ugly’

The girls dance and work the crowd, earning money and unforgettable nights. Violet Sanford, played by Piper Perabo, shows up one day. She’s in New York City trying to live out her dreams of being a singer-songwriter. She has terrible stage fright, however, the bars and the women that run it are a huge factor in helping her reach for those dreams.

Similar to “Blue Bloods,” Moynahan played a strong and empowered woman in “Coyote Ugly.” Viewers are introduced to Rachel by the bar manager, Lil. She says, “That’s Rachel, you can learn a lot from her.” To which Violet says, “She just cut some guy’s ponytail off.”

Lil says, “Yeah, the court ordered her to take anger-management classes after she pummeled a customer for grabbin’ her ass. He pressed charges, I gave her a raise.”

It doesn’t get more iconic than that.

It was also where two future TV crime show stars would unite. Maria Bello also had a role in “Coyote Ugly.” She plays the bar manager that hired Rachel and is the boss of the other women. Fans may recognize her now as Special Agent Jacqueline “Jack” Sloane on “NCIS” from 2017 to 2021. She also had several film roles including “Lights Out,” “The Cooler,” “Payback,” and “Grown Ups.”

The two women are quite the dynamic duo in the film.

Bridget Moynahan sat down for an interview on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” to talk about the 20-year anniversary of the movie in 2020. She told the hilarious story of her 13-year-old son watching the movie for the first time during the pandemic.

“He’s like closing his eyes when I’m on the bar … he’s like, ‘Mom, you were really wild when you were younger.'”

Moynahan Talks ‘Coyote Ugly’

Although it’s been about 21 years since her role in “Coyote Ugly,” it remains one of Bridget Moynahan’s most recognizable roles.

On “Blue Bloods” her character is typically dressed in business attire. That means a lot of blazers and some fancy blouses.

In “Coyote Ugly,” it was all about that now questionable 2000s fashion. The fashion in the film is something she will always remember, possibly even regret.

“I feel a little bit bad about that film because I think we were responsible for just every woman wearing really low-slung pants that maybe don’t naturally fit well on people. So I think we started a movement that maybe we should reconsider,” Moynahan said in 2014 to HuffPost.

At the time, low-rise jeans were on the rise. Now, these kinds of jeans have left the room and were replaced by a higher-rise fit. It’s something Moynahan surely is thankful for every day.

She joked that if there was ever a sequel, everyone needs to wear “high-waisted leather pants instead.” Maybe a sequel would create another pants revolution.

If you’re missing the days of bar counter dancing and low-waisted jeans, there are several bars throughout the country and the world. Locations include several in Texas, the original in New York, Las Vegas, Tennessee, and others. There’s even a clothing store that sells a variety of different products.

Luckily, there’s no low-rise pants for sale.