Selleck spoke with Cowboys & Indians magazine in 2016 about his turn as NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan in Blue Bloods. And his work as the titular Jesse Stone in the Hallmark movie series. As well as his life in between projects.
Selleck didn’t grow up on a farm. His education began on the other side of a television screen, he said.
“I was raised in tract housing but grew up watching westerns, and those movies had a deep-rooted influence on me,” he told the magazine.
He got the chance to finally act in a western in 1979’s The Sacketts miniseries. He fell in love.
“I got hooked on the genre, and although I’d ridden before, I really learned how to ride during that project because the director was a stickler for his actors looking authentic on horseback,” he said. “I didn’t want to look like a slacker.”
That authenticity is so important to the western. And Selleck said it’s important to take in the “lifestyle” while on the film set to get a better sense of a time and place.
“Everything in a western can work for you if you allow it — not spending time in your trailer,” Tom Selleck said. “Perhaps if you’re just sitting on your horse between takes and staying on the set, you can still kind of experience that lifestyle. There was a real sense of unity between cowboys.”
Tom Selleck Says Ranch Keeps Him ‘Sane’
The Ventura, California ranch is a “great counterpoint to the acting business, which is an abstraction — you do something, it’s up on a piece of film, and everybody argues whether it’s good or bad,” he said. “[On the ranch], you dig a hole and plant an oak tree — and I’ve probably planted a thousand of them — it’s real. It’s there, and you can watch it grow.”
Selleck bought the 65-acre property, which was once owned by Dean Martin, in 1988 for $5 million, Architectural Digest said. He said he does the “grunt” work around the property. He prefers it that way.
“I like watching things grow,” he told People. “It’s a retreat.”
And that retreat is why he’s been able to stay successful in Hollywood for so long, he said. He has a place to go away from the cameras and live a much more simple, quiet life with his family.
“I’m a fairly private person,” the actor said, adding, “My relationships and my ranch keep me sane.”