‘Blue Bloods’ Star Donnie Wahlberg Explained Why TV Acting ‘Makes Total Sense’ to Him

by Keeli Parkey

One factor that has led to the success of the television series “Blue Bloods” is the performance of Donnie Wahlberg. As fans are aware, he plays the character Danny Reagan, a New York City Police Department Detective.

And fans know that Danny is not just any other NYPD cop. He is the son of New York City Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, who is played by Tom Selleck.

Donnie Wahlberg becoming one of the stars of a popular CBS drama is not something that was not necessarily in the cards when he rose to fame as a member of the famous boy band New Kids on the Block during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

According to an interview he gave to CBS in May 2019, the “Blue Bloods” star was interested in acting on television many years before it became the respected dramatic medium it is today. This was years before television shows proved that they could be critically acclaimed, as well as popular with fans.

Donnie Wahlberg’s Love of Television Acting Goes Back to Late 1990s

One of the first roles that led to Donnie Wahlberg getting noticed as an actor was a small – but very vital – role in the wildly popular 1999 M. Night Shyamalan film “The Sixth Sense.” Even as he was acting in this very successful film, the future “Blue Bloods” star was interested in taking on television roles.

“When I really started becoming an actor and being taken more seriously—even when I did ‘The Sixth Sense,’ and that was a real breakthrough—I really loved the idea of TV,” Wahlberg said. “And TV wasn’t cool back then, we didn’t really have all these cool cable and streaming shows.”

For Donnie Wahlberg, the medium of television was intriguing to him. Not only did he like the genre, he realized that working on a television show would give him a chance to work and stay close to home. This was nothing something he often experienced as a member of New Kids on the Block.

“But there’s something about a one-hour drama that just makes total sense to me,” Wahlberg told CBS. “And probably because I’d been touring and living out of a suitcase, the idea of showing up to work in the same place every day was something that appealed.”

‘Blue Bloods’ Star Donnie Wahlberg Sacrificed a Lot for His Role in ‘The Sixth Sense’

You might be asking yourself what role “Blue Bloods” star played in “The Sixth Sense.”

If you can’t place him off the top of your head, don’t worry. The actor underwent such an extreme physical transformation that he is almost unrecognizable as the man you see on CBS.

In fact, Wahlberg actually staved himself in order to fully portray the desperate Vincent Gray in the film. Gray is a patient of the psychiatrist character played by Bruce Willis. And, while Wahlberg is not on the screen all that much during the film, his work stands out.

His work stands out because of the vital role Gray ends up playing in the film’s plot and is memorable. It also memorable because of the sacrifices Donnie Wahlberg made.

“I starved myself. … would fast for two days, then only eat steamed cabbage and drink beet juice. …” Wahlberg said.