‘Blue Bloods’: An EMT Once Played a Surprisingly Villainous Role on the Show

For most aspiring actors, ditching your day job in hopes of becoming a superstar isn’t an option. Realistically, it takes a long time and a lot of work to support yourself acting full-time. For many, that means working multiple jobs and taking acting jobs on the side. That’s exactly what Adrian Matilla did while he had a small guest role on the TV show Blue Bloods — and his day job may have helped him land the role.

Donnie Wahlberg and Marisa Ramirez on set of Blue Bloods, on stairs behind a police line
Donnie Wahlberg and Marisa Ramirez on the set of Blue Bloods | Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Blue Bloods is about police & family

Fans of Blue Bloods have been keeping up with not only the interesting police cases each episode; the show also follows the prominent Reagan family, many of which are members of the New York City police force.

Frank Reagan, played by Tom Selleck, is the family’s patriarch and also the Commissioner of the NYPD. His father was the Commissioner before him. Frank’s oldest son, Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), is a detective; his daughter, Erin (Bridget Moynahan) is an assistant district attorney; his youngest son, Jamie (Will Estes) is a sergeant.

The generational nature of the show gives a better look at how police procedural work has changed over time. With three generations of the Reagan family involved with the NYPD, the show takes a more introspective look at cases that come up. Each week, the entire Reagan family gathers for a family dinner and discusses their opinions on the cases at hand. Because of this, fans think Blue Bloods is more than your average cop drama.

Actor Adrian Matilla landed an ironic role on Blue Bloods

Matilla started out playing background roles on Blue Bloods, starring in the pilot episode as an extra. In 2011, he stopped taking background roles and spent his time auditioning for speaking parts, which landed him back on the show in 2014. He landed a part as a drug dealer in an episode where an officer in Danny’s precinct is shot and killed. He told The Jersey Journal at the time that playing the role was a “full-circle moment.”

The most interesting thing about Matilla landing the role is that at the time, he was working as an EMT in Jersey City, New Jersey. This gave him a personal connection to the show dedicated to first responders. Playing a drug dealer is just about as opposite as you can get from his normal 9-to-5 job. Matilla said working as an EMT gave him the opportunity to give back to his community, while maintaining flexible hours to pursue acting. He has since made appearances on a number of other prominent shows.

Where is Blue Bloods at in its 10th season?

The show is now in its 10th season; although this EMT-turned-drug-dealer hasn’t returned since 2014, the show has continued with exciting cases and familial bickering. Following its fall finale, Blue Bloods has started 2020 with fans speculating about what’s to come. Fans think Jamie’s wife, Eddie, might be announcing a pregnancy. Another question is what will happen with Frank, after a widow blamed him for her husband’s recent suicide while working the job in the last episode.

Whatever the Reagans are up to next, viewers can’t wait to find out. We’ll be there for all of the dinnertime discussions and police shoot-outs in between.