With all the screen time that the Blue Bloods star Tom Selleck has had over the years, you might not recall this particularly awkward interview with Rosie O’Donnell. Back in 1999, O’Donnell invited her tall, dark and handsome guest onto her talk show to discuss his recent roles in the sitcom, The Closer, and the movie, The Love Letter. Selleck, instead of his signature bushy mustache, opted for a full beard and longer locks.
Once Selleck sat down beside O’Donnell’s desk, the conversation took an uncomfortable turn. Instead of focusing on Selleck’s work, the talk show host instead wanted to discuss Selleck’s affiliation with the NRA. At first, when O’Donnell brought up the topic to the future Blue Bloods star, he seemed put-off. As the conversation continued, both the guest and host become increasingly irritated with each other. The audience, for the most part, sat in stunned silence.
‘Blue Bloods’ Star Lashes Back at Rosie O’Donnell
The topic began to heat up as O’Donnell stated that the NRA was against “every sensible gun law.”
“I understand how you feel,” Selleck said at one point, trying to maintain civility. However, as the two continue down the rabbit hole of controversial political debate, they become less polite to each other with every exchange.
Finally, O’Donnell pushed the future Blue Bloods star over the edge when she called him a spokesperson for the NRA. At the time, Selleck starred in a controversial ad for the NRA just one month after the Columbine tragedy. Selleck accused the talk show host of questioning his humanity. He told her that it’s an “act of moral vanity” to assume that someone that disagrees with her perspective “cares any less” about the topic. After that, the conversation then becomes more of a finger-pointing war. The winner seemed to be whoever felt most attacked.
With no resolution in sight, O’Donnell not-so-gracefully pivoted to Selleck’s new role in The Love Letter. She repeatedly told the future Blue Bloods star that her intention for the interview wasn’t to impose a “personal attack.”
Clearly, the actor thought otherwise as he silently sipped from his coffee mug and shook his head.
Rosie O’Donnell Reflects on Her Interview with Tom Selleck
Now, over 20 years later, there is talk around Rosie O’Donnell reviving her show. Even though the former host is hesitant to be back behind the desk, it has given light to some of O’Donnells most popular and controversial moments. In regards to her interview with Tom Selleck, O’Donnell admitted in 2011 that she wished she had conducted it differently.
“I was pretty raw,” O’Donnell said to reporters. “It was the first time I was in what I perceived to be a position of power — which I thought came with fame. And I was really disillusioned to find out that it didn’t.”
The Blue Bloods star doesn’t hold any ill feelings towards the talk show host, either.
“I still like Rosie,” Selleck said. “I think she needs to take a deep breath and stop thinking everybody who disagrees with her is evil.”