‘Blue Bloods’: Donnie Wahlberg Explains How the Reagan Dinners Reminds Him of His Childhood and Real Family

Many fans love Blue Bloods because the characters have family dinner together in every episode. It’s a time where they can share their problems, different perspectives, and pass around their favorite dishes. The actors also shared their love for those scenes despite how long it takes for them to film.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet talked to Donnie Wahlberg on the phone on Dec. 4. He shared how the Reagan family dinners reminds him of his childhood and real family members.

The Reagans have dinner every week for a reason

There is a reason behind the Reagan family tradition. Jamie (Will Estes) told Eddie (Vanessa Ray) about their family history in the episode, “By Hook or by Crook.”

He said they have the dinners “because my grandmother grew up poor in a small town in Ireland.” Jamie then added, “She was the oldest of 12 kids and there was never enough to eat. She moved to New York to make money. She met my grandpa and when they got married she promised herself that they would always have more than enough to eat. Family dinner was just her way of proudly proving that every week.”

The family has managed to keep this tradition alive. Wahlberg revealed that this aspect of the family is what drew him to the role of Danny Reagan.

Donnie Wahlberg said the first dinner scene reminded him of his childhood

Donnie Wahlberg on 'Blue Bloods'
Donnie Wahlberg on ‘Blue Bloods’ | John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images

The actor talked about what it was like to shoot the pilot dinner scene. He said it really took him back to his own childhood.

“Well, the family dinner scenes on Blue Bloods, the very first one that I ever read, obviously, was the pilot episode,” Wahlberg told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “When I read that scene, that was the moment I decided I wanted to be a part of the show.”

He continued, “I hadn’t been offered the job yet, so I had to go in and earn it. But I read that scene and it rang so true to my childhood and to my upbringing with all of us sitting around the table arguing and disagreeing and everyone have a different point of view.”

He said Erin and Frank remind him of his family

The act of the family eating together isn’t the only thing that reminded him of his past. He said certain characters reminds him of his own family.

One of those characters is Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck.) “And with this brooding, mustached dad at the head of the table literally shooting that first dinner scene, it took me back to my childhood when my dad sat at the head of the table with his mustache holding court over the table,” said Wahlberg. “It just felt so authentic.”

Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan) also hits close to home for the actor. “Bridget Moynahan’s character reminded me very much of my sister Tracey, who I’m really close with, but also argued with a lot,” he admitted. “So it just had such a authenticity to it that I just fell in love with it right away when I read the dinner scene.”

It just shows that the fans aren’t the only ones that are reminded of their own families through the show. Wahlberg also loves those scenes for that reason.