When Blue Bloods producers killed off Amy Carlson’s character, it was a shock to fans. Linda Reagan had played a vital role in the show and then dies in a helicopter crash off-screen.
Andy Cohen, host of Watch What Happens L!ve, pressed Donnie Wahlberg on her sudden departure in a 2017 interview. And what was going on behind the scenes. Carlson’s character was married to Donnie Wahlberg’s character, Danny Reagan. And she’d been with the show since the pilot.
Wahlberg, at first, was evasive. Saying that he was sure there were “a lot of factors to it.” But under heavy questioning from Cohen, Wahlberg gave up some details.
“I think the show needed to move in a different direction,” he said. “I think she needed to move in a different direction. It was time, I think, in truth, she probably could have she’s a really great talent, and sometimes just being like the wife of the guy doesn’t utilize all our talents. As much as I miss her I know she’ll find something great to do next.”
Wahlberg said he loved working with Carlson, and she’s said that goofing off on the set with Wahlberg was some of the most fun she had on the show.
“He’s just been so generous and sweet,” she told Deadline. “I miss playing those scenes with him. We had a lot of fun.”
Whalberg said in 2020 that he and Carlson have remained in touch since she left Blue Bloods.
“I reach out to her and we stay in touch,” he said. “Trust me, Danny Reagan is still upset and Donnie Wahlberg misses her tremendously.”
(NSFW discussion at the end of the video)
Amy Carlson Hated Her Death on ‘Blue Bloods’
Amy Carlson was already planning to leave Blue Bloods in the 8th season. But she assumed she would have been given a chance to tie up loose plot lines and story arcs. She told Deadline that her character being killed off-screen in-between seasons was a disservice to her and the fans.
“I feel bad that she dies the way she dies,” Amy Carlson said. “I did not know they would do that, I was surprised.”
Her death was so sudden and tragic that it felt like cheap shock value rather than the rich storylines Blue Bloods strives for. And it left fans confused.
“It would’ve been nice for the fans … to be a participant in it,” she explained. “I’m not sure how I would’ve chosen it but I just know that for the fans to have a way to grieve, to move through it, I think it would’ve been nice for them.”
But the silver lining to this dark cloud, Carlson pointed out, was that she learned how much her character meant to fans.
“… It really touches my heart that they cared so much about Linda and that she meant so much to so many people, I had no idea,” she said. “I can’t even tell you how many messages a day I get about her and the character.”