‘Blue Bloods’: Why Donnie Wahlberg Has to ‘Separate’ Himself From the Show Every Night

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Playing a high-stress role like a police officer can drain an actor’s energy. “Blue Bloods” actor Donnie Wahlberg has to leave work at work.

Wahlberg has been a member of the CBS crime drama’s cast since it debuted in 2010. He plays Detective Danny Reagan, who finds himself involved in some pretty tough cases on the show.

As an actor, Wahlberg said in a 2019 interview with CBS.com that he had to make space between his day job and home life.

“I’ve learned that I can’t bring the show home every night,” Wahlberg said. “I have to separate from it, or I’ll get tired of it.”

‘Blue Bloods’ Star Sometimes Will Not Read Scripts in Full Before Scenes

How does he separate himself from “Blue Bloods” work all the time? One way is by not reading scripts in full. Wahlberg said that’s done “sometimes by necessity, but also it’s become really fun and a great exercise to have elements of improv class in showing up on the set.”

“By changing my approach every season on the show,” he said, “it allows me to make the show fresh and fun every single year.”

When an actor and a show’s writers can work together, then it can make for a winning combination. Wahlberg appears to have developed a trust factor with them over 11 seasons.

Wahlberg Receives Some Room From Show’s Writers for His Own Interpretation

“The writers really do trust me to play around with the words and tie it all together, because it’s tough,” he said. “Even though we’re very much a family show, there’s a lot of police procedure, and to make that sound conversational and authentic is not easy.”

“Blue Bloods” by its nature will have a lot of police officer-type of language in it. Viewers are used to it by now. Some of the show’s fans may like the lingo as it brings them closer to the characters. Others, though, might want simple, straightforward dialogue.

That might be one reason Wahlberg does his best to bring the wording to a more understanding level.

When it comes to, well, freewheeling it at times, he does have some experience from his music career. Wahlberg, obviously, was one of the founding members of the boy band “New Kids on the Block.” Their work as a group could have given him a lot of room to take lyrics and change them up.

He’s a man who has found success in music, TV, and movies. Wahlberg is married to actress-comedian Jenny McCarthy.

“Blue Bloods” returns this fall for its 12th season. Tom Selleck will reprise his role as NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan. He has to run a department while also keeping family members together. Expect to see him and Wahlberg have a few scenes this next season, especially at the very popular Reagan dinner table.