Tom Selleck Once Admitted He Was ‘Too Old’ to Play Jesse Stone

Tom Selleck played police chief Jesse Stone for multiple movies. But the Blue Bloods actor once admitted he was “too old” for the character according to the books. This is what he said and why he had to play him anyway.

Tom Selleck played Jesse Stone in 9 movies

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Robert B. Parker wrote a series of novels focused on a police chief named Jesse Stone. His life spirals after his wife leaves him due to alcoholism and more.

The novels were then adapted into TV movies, and Selleck starred in them. He talked about being a fan of the books.

“I read ‘Stone Cold,’ from the late Robert B. Parker,” he said on The Early Show, according to CBS. “And I just said, ‘I got to play this guy.’”

The actor was probably drawn to the character because he’s so complicated. “Jesse is so flawed, and he’s such a mess, and yet he’s a good guy,” he said. “I just think people root for him, and he’s funny. He doesn’t feel sorry for himself.”

Selleck not only starred in the films, but he produced them. He might have been passionate about bringing Jesse Stone to the screen, but he admitted to not exactly being the right fit for the character when it comes to age. 

Tom Selleck once admitted he was ‘too old’ to play Jesse Stone

Tom Selleck attends the 'Blue Bloods' screening during PaleyFest NY 2017 at The Paley Center
Tom Selleck attends the ‘Blue Bloods’ screening during PaleyFest NY 2017 at The Paley Center | Noam Galai/Getty Images

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The first movie was released in 2005 called Jesse Stone: Stone Cold. At the time, Selleck was 60 years old. The actor admitted he was too old for the part.

“Oh, forget it: In the books, I was too old when we started! [Laughs.]” he told The A.V. Club. “I think he was 35! I don’t know, I felt that you’ve got to know who are, and you can’t try to be who you were 20 years ago.”

He didn’t let that bother him. “That being said, you have to be comfortable in your instrument, and while I had a little anxiety about Lost In Paradise because I hadn’t played him in three years… Once I started writing it, that was the hard part. I knew I could play it,” he said.

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This interview was in 2015 for his last Jesse Stone movie. He didn’t think the character was as old as him in that movie. “I don’t think Jesse’s 70, though!” he added.

Fans said goodbye to the character with the last movie in 2015. Selleck now plays Frank Reagan on Blue Bloods. Once again, he’s playing a character in the police force as a police commissioner, and he fits the role more when it comes to age.