‘Blue Bloods’: Why the First Family Dinner Was ‘Traumatizing’ for Donnie Wahlberg

One thing that has stayed the same on Blue Bloods is the Reagan family coming together for Sunday dinner. But Donnie Wahlberg, who plays Danny Reagan, admitted the first dinner scene wasn’t easy to film and even called it traumatizing.

‘Blue Bloods’ started with a tense family dinner

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The first episode shows Jamie (Will Estes) dropping out of law school and becoming a police officer. He was also in a relationship with Sidney (Dylan Moore) who wasn’t happy about it. Danny has a case to find a missing girl. The family is still healing from Joe’s murder dealing with these big moments.

The Reagans come together for dinner after church. It was a little different given Marlene Lawston played Nicky, then was later replaced by Sami Gayle.

Jamie kicked off the dinner by saying the blessing. Erin (Bridget Moynahan) and Danny are in an argument over a case so things are tense. Erin takes a stand against excessive force while other family members believe “enhanced interrogation” can be justified in intense situations.

Danny angrily leaves to go back to his case. Nicky storms away from the table and eventually it’s just Frank (Tom Selleck), Jamie, and Henry (Len Cariou) at the table. We later see the family talk more in other parts of Frank’s home like the kitchen.

The first family dinner was traumatizing for Donnie Wahlberg

Amy Carlson as Linda and Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan on 'Blue Bloods'
Amy Carlson as Linda and Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan on ‘Blue Bloods’ | Heather Wines ©2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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The first family dinner was probably a little awkward for the actors. For Wahlberg, he said it brought back personal memories.

“It was so intimidating,” he told TV Insider. “My character basically had to run roughshod over the table and to sit down with that cast and with Tom Selleck at the head of the table. My dad used to wear a mustache a lot, and he’s very intimidating and he sat at the head of the table like that.”

He then added, “It was sort of traumatizing for me to sit there and have to come in on my first day of shooting the series and just basically take over the dinner table.”

The actor said he knew if the dinner scene didn’t work then the show wouldn’t continue. The characters had to have different points of view, but still be a family.

He was right that the dinner scenes are an important part of the show. Luckily, the episode was successful and the show is still continuing with the beloved dinner scenes.

He joined the show because of the family dinners

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The first dinner might not have been easy. But the actor said he decided to go for the part because of the dinner scene.

“Well, the family dinner scenes on Blue Bloods, the very first one that I ever read, obviously, was the pilot episode,” he 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 revealed that he really connected to it because of his past. After over 10 seasons the Reagans still feel like a normal family who aren’t afraid to speak their mind.