Vanessa Ray Had Never Shot a Gun Until Preparing for ‘Blue Bloods’

Playing a cop on TV is not always an easy job, particularly because actors have to train like a real cop to make it look realistic. Blue Bloods is a good example of oftentimes showing the harsh realities of working for the NYPD.

Vanessa Ray (who plays Eddie Janko) had to go through some uncommon types of training to prepare for the role. The reason was she was a complete novice to guns.

Even if real life is far different from a Blue Bloods film set, each cast member had to go through enough training to make it feel like reality.

How much training did Vanessa Ray have to endure?

Vanessa Ray on set of 'Blue Bloods' holding a prop gun
Vanessa Ray as Eddie Janko | Jojo Whilden/CBS via Getty Images

There was a lot more she had to do to prepare for playing Eddie Janko than just practicing how to shoot a gun. Anyone who’s shot a gun for the first time after having never touched one will know it’s not always easy to acclimate to it from the first target shot.

Producer of Blue Bloods, James Nuciforo, took Ray and her fellow co-stars to a shooting range. Ray said in an interview with Long Island Weekly: “It was the first time I ever shot a gun since I didn’t really grow up with guns.”

Co-stars Marisa Ramirez and Will Estes joined Ray on the trip to the shooting range. Ray’s training didn’t end with just shooting a gun on a target range.

Training had to move on to higher ground, which included SWAT-like training, plus learning how to clear a room. Latter skill has a lot of things that can go wrong if not using proper tactics.

Not many actors go through SWAT-type training

Training on this level, though, is not for the timid. It was intense for Ray, including giving her more respect for law enforcement in what they have to go through in being the best they can be. Plus, she notes having to move quickly when carrying bulky equipment isn’t exactly easy either. If anyone noticed Ray’s skills in clearing a room on the show, it’s squarely because she also took on the complex task of training for this.

Vanessa Ray learned one of the most challenging law enforcement processes of all

Anyone familiar with the law enforcement version of clearing a room will know how risky it is when having to work with fellow officers. Strategy in getting this right includes predicting the shape of the room, identifying how many troops are in the room, figuring the size of each step taken, and avoiding flagging of teammates.

Much of this is easier said than done, something Ray likely found out. Her training in this could almost make her an elite in law enforcement herself, which is amazing considering her prior gun-free existence.

While the marriage story of “Jamko” continues on Blue Bloods, it’s worth reminding to watch Ray’s law skills on the show to see just how much work she put in.