Interview: Donnie Wahlberg unveils "Blue Bloods"
Posted by Screenrush - Wednesday, March 28, 2012
In "Blue Bloods", Donnie Wahlberg is Danny, the inspector bright blood of the Reagan family. The actor has agreed to lift the veil on the series and its relationship with his playmates, and especially Tom Selleck ...
AlloCine: You seem to have developed a very complicit with your fellow players to "Blue Bloods". Can we speak of a quasi-family in which Tom Selleck would be the father and your brother Will?
It shows how the phase of the casting is paramount. Bridget Moynahan (note: who plays Erin, the sister of Danny in the series) and I have a fantastic relationship, based on the same confidence that can sometimes develop between a brother and sister. We're both single parents, we talk about many things when the camera is off, fueling our relationship to the camera. When I look at Will (Ed.: Will Estes , who plays Jamie's brother Danny), I feel to see me 10 years ago in Boomtown . I see understand certain elements of his character as I did at that time. As for Tom Selleck (who plays Frank's father, Danny, Erin and Jamie), he is a father figure to everyone. He clearly felt that I was a little restless sometimes, but he also saw and now know that I am very pro is a bit like Frank vis-à-vis Danny in the end.
The series has a different perspective on the police than other "cop shows". We feel more respect for the cops, as a respectful tribute to law enforcement. How did you see the cops when you were young? What was your vision of the police as a teenager?
I grew up in Boston and in my youth, I knew all the cops in the neighborhood. They were all arrested at least one of my brothers! In a city like Boston, children become either criminals or cops. I've never hated that. By cons I have never supported to have one behind me on the highway. In these cases, I always seem to have robbed a bank, even if I did nothing. I do not know why I feel it also. I never get used. Over the years I have worked with so many cops, my respect for them has continued to grow. As everywhere, there are always those who pass the rules, and it may happen that some do bad things, but 99% of them women or men, doing the best they can, in some circumstances simply frightening and dangerous. Sometimes it is played for nothing. Sometimes they are forced to take serious decisions in one second. Very rarely, it goes wrong. But they are even more rarely recognized for what they do well. Personally, having the opportunity to explore this aspect is extraordinary. My character sometimes makes bad decisions, but I know many cops who watch the series Danny comply because they know what it is and what he faces better than anyone.
The relationship between Danny and his partner, played by Jennifer Esposito, works because it's a game of contrasts between them ...
Indeed, I used to say to Will Estes (Ed.: who plays Jamie's brother Danny) that he and I were lucky to have Nick Turturro and Jennifer Esposito as partners. These are formidable actors who give a lot and that can create even more.
What is it like to actually run in New York, not in a studio in Hollywood or Canada, which is sometimes used as natural setting for New York?
I just shot a scene in a building dating from 1885, I think. I look out the window I see the Williamsburg Bridge, a cool breeze comes out of the window and ... I realize how much I'm lucky. In the episode called " Cop Killer "(Ed.: Season 1, Episode 4), we shot one of the most important scenes in the Brooklyn Bridge! Between each shot, I heard the workers who worked above me shouting things like "Hey Donnie, we love you man!" It was unbelievable. Play a New York cop in New York with New Yorkers is incomparable. And that's what we live every day. Turn these streets is something fantastic.
What do you prefer in fact to play Danny?
The freedom it gives me. I like when the scenario reminds me how I can be free to play and try something different every day. My favorite shoot days are those where, even if I am guided by the scenario, it is always possible to make discoveries or try something completely unexpected. Today, for example, I tried a variation on a scene "on" Columbo ! It was great fun ... and it did not sound fake. I had some opportunities to play here and there in other series, to do other things, but I was immediately attracted to this role because, besides the fact that I love my colleagues, that I'm a fan of Tom and the script was good, Danny allowed me to explore and try things as an actor.
The characters in the series have different views on business, the show offers a wide spectrum of views on events, and viewers can also form their own opinion. I think that's what makes Blue Bloods unique. Of course I could also say that my colleagues are wonderful, the script is great and that I play a character hitherto unpublished my filmography with incredible variations according to circumstances. I can explore the different facets of the personality of Danny. I also think the family dimension of the series, and has its impact on the public course. When I read the scriot, I remember that I could almost imagine my sister at the other end of the table. Besides a few shouting matches my character has with her sister played by Bridget are very similar to those I had with my sister in real life! When something resonates so true as in your heart, it creates something in your head, and as an actor, it makes you want to dive into the adventure. When we shot the first scene of dinner, I knew I would amuse myself by turning the following. I knew these scenes would be alive, animated. Turn in a series is backbreaking, work 15 hours a day, five days a week. I could not do so if the project did not vibrate and if I do not bring a little life. Danny gives me lot of freedom, it makes me feel alive. The family scenes are very sincere, it makes me alive. Feel "alive" five days a week by television, it's a gift. This is invaluable to feel such energy.
Have you done some research for this role? Have you spent time with the cops in New York?
Yes indeed I have spent some time with them. In fact I had already done some training at home for earlier projects, such as the miniseries The Kill Point: in the crosshairs . But Danny is not a cop, it is also the son of a powerful New York, and it is this aspect that I wanted to explore more, I wanted to discover a little more each episode. With the freedom we are given, the same scene can be played many ways. And when Danny is facing his father, Frank (Ed.: played by Tom Selleck ), I must think and prepare myself wondering what it feels to be the son of a powerful man and take his Later, while trying to follow his own path. Danny should probably have a bit of resentment vis-à-vis his father. But it must be mixed also with gratitude. I am sure that sometimes it takes advantage of his relationship with his father and that this relationship is sometimes a hindrance. This is both a privilege and a burden. It is this relationship and it contains all the dimensions that I wanted to explore. I wanted to try several things and go in several directions because in reality, there is no single explanation or only one way of seeing things. Danny is not a guy who wants his father or a guy who is adoring his dad. This is a character that evolves between these two extremes. And each scenario, each scene allows me to navigate these waters, explore, play by a different tone.
What are the similarities you have with Danny?
I was shooting a scene earlier and I realized that I found Danny too cold and that I tended to make it more human every time. I had to stop to realize that in the context in which Danny is at that moment he must be "insensitive", and that I was not involved. Danny yes. I do not play Donnie Wahlberg , Danny Reagan I play. The first common point we found is that I ... malice. I remember one scene between Danny and his father, during which the son gently pokes fun of his dad, he provokes a little ... and it's a lot like me. I also like being a leader in life, I always liked that position in my career, in the roles I've played. But it happened to me, and I sometimes still have to deal with leaders who could have a little authority than me, and it is a very strong point in common between Danny and me. It is worth exploring and it can be electric. This is what makes some relationships between Danny and Frank, his father. But behind the camera, I really appreciate being able to spend time with Tom , it's incredible, and this is what makes this job so fantastic. It's great to come to the office and say we will work with Tom and reflect on the scenes, dialogues, how to make everything work. It's great to get to know him. We have great respect for one another and, as in the series, there is a difference, experience, age, and these differences we use as our characters in the series and elsewhere. And it's amazing to use it and explore.
You spoke of your admiration for Tom Selleck earlier. Were you a fan of "Magnum"? Had you ever met him before?
I had never met Tom before Blue Bloods and yes, I was a fan of ... Three Men and a Baby. My mother was a huge fan of Magnum ! She's in heaven now! She watch Blue Bloods every Friday, and I can call into the night to ask his opinion on the episode to hear him say: "Oh my God, I loved it when you laugh Tom!" It is in heaven, I tell you! Of course I remember Magnum but I have to admit that especially Three Men and a Baby was one of my favorite movies for a long time. Over the years, through his roles, interviews he gave, my respect for him has only grown. And now, by knowing it, my respect is limitless. See where it stands today, all he has done, feel it diffuses through the plateau, it is something I cherish the highest point and know that I aspire to one day . It's one thing to succeed, it is quite another, and it's much more complicated to maintain that humility follows this success. And that's what impresses me most about him. He is an inspiration for me.
Interview by Emmanuel Itier