New Kid in the Big ApplePosted in DONNIE
Wahlberg ignores the hype for CBS’ ‘Blue Bloods’
By Bill Burke
Sunday, October 24, 2010 Donnie Wahlberg was acquainted with the police who worked the Dorchester neighborhood where he grew up.
After all, he said, most of them had arrested his brothers.
“They knew me, I knew them,” the New Kids on the Block singer, actor and producer told the Herald during a recent telephone interview while taking a break from shooting his new CBS drama “Blue Bloods” (Friday nights at 10 on WBZ, Ch. 4)
“We knew a lot of cops, anyway. When you grow up in a city like Boston, where I grew up, a lot of kids became criminals or cops.”
Wahlberg’s onscreen persona is among the latter - Danny Reagan, a detective from a family of New York City crime-fighters. Tom Selleck is patriarch and police Chief Frank Reagan, Bridget Moynahan is Erin Reagan-Boyle and Will Estes plays the youngest, Jamie Reagan.
Moynahan and her former boyfriend, Patriots [team stats] quarterback Tom Brady [stats], have a son together; Wahlberg’s divorce from his wife was recently finalized in California. The two cast members have bonded over their family situations
“Bridget and I have a very, very great relationship,” Wahlberg said. “While she’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, it’s a very trusting, brotherly-sisterly kind of relationship. We’re both single parents. We talk about all kinds of stuff offcamera, and we help each other a lot offcamera, and it flows very naturally onscreen when we work together.”
The New York City-set cop drama is shot on-location in the Big Apple - something Wahlberg says adds immensely to the production.
“We’re shooting right now in a building I live in that was built in 1885,” Wahlberg said. “I’m looking out the window at the Williamsburg Bridge and there’s a cool breeze coming in the window. I feel lucky every day.”
A recent day of shooting found the “Blue Bloods” crew setting up shop underneath the Manhattan Bridge. Between shots, construction workers shouted praise down at the actors, and at Wahlberg in particular.
“For a Bostonian, we live in the shadow of New York,” the 41-year-old actor said. “And to be acknowledged by New Yorkers is really the greatest feeling.”
Whatever the secret element - the writing, the ensemble cast, the location - the show is working and handily dominates Friday nights. Which prompts the obvious question: Can it be sustained?
“If I think about it, it only adds pressure,” Wahlberg said. “I try not to think about it, because the reality is, I control none of that. The more the cast follows the ups and downs of the ratings, the more the pressure builds around the set.” (On Friday, CBS announced it had given a full-season order to “Blue Bloods.”)
“It’s tricky,” he said. “The pressure never goes away. We treat every episode very importantly. I don’t take days off and my cast mates are the same way. I come to play every day - it’s like a concert every day, or a movie every day or a new challenge every day. I want to do the best I can every day.”