Tag Archives: Blue Bloods

‘Blue Bloods’ Amy Carlson Savoring Mommy Time

Donnie Wahlberg, Amy Carlson CBS photo

What a grand time for the “Blue Bloods” troupe.  Ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month and being feted at CBS’s Upfront presentation for advertisers, Tom Selleck and the rest of the cast must be feeling duly appreciated by now.

Amy Carlson, who plays Donnie Wahlberg’s wife Linda on the show, tells us she and her family will be heading off to Fire Island for a vacation after the promotional fest.  And after that, “I would love to do a movie, but if it doesn’t work out, that’s fine.  I have two children who are still quite little — 2 1/2 and 5 1/2 — and I love having time to spend with them.”

In fact, her schedule is one of the reasons the actress considers “Blue Bloods” her “best job in the world…My scenes are pretty specific and they’re all in one place, so I end up not having too crazy a schedule which is great.  They tend to give me more to do every third episode.”

She could be moving around a lot more next season, if talk of having Linda return to work as a nurse comes to fruition.  Opening up a medical aspect of the cop show would certainly add possibilities, and Carlson is ready.  “On ‘Third Watch,’ I was a paramedic, so I have a TV medical background,” she says with a laugh.  Hey, but no kidding — the experience won’t hurt.  “It’s true,” she responds.  “You do end up with a lot of knowledge you can bring with you.”

Will Estes Talks ‘Anti-Love Story’ Film, ‘Blue Bloods’ Finale

Usually when we talk about a breakup movie, we mean a movie about a couple  breaking up.  But it’s different in the case of Will Estes’ forthcoming “Anchors” – a film that writer-director David Wexler predicts will actually make a lot of people break up.

That’s according to Estes, who adds, “It’s a real, honest look at the destruction of young first love.  I think, unfortunately for most of us, that’s the way the cookie crumbles:  we don’t end up staying with our first loves.  It’s a good film, an honest film.”

And the film, touted as a sexy, turbulent anti-love story, is also a big departure from Will’s noble cop character, Jamie Reagan – a.k.a. Tom Selleck’s youngest son — on “Blue Bloods.”  He rushed right into work on the indie feature, which also stars Devin Kelley of “The Chicago Code,” as soon as the series wrapped for the season.  In fact, it was almost too much of a rush.

“I am so relieved to be finished with the film.  It was really intense.  We shot about 13 pages of dialogue a day — really big monologues.  It was something that I would have felt pressed to do if I’d had two weeks of rehearsal, but  I had two or three days.  I heard about it Sunday, started shooting Wednesday.  Part of why I said yes is that I thought it would be a really big challenge, a really big exercise as an actor.”

According to Estes, “Blue Bloods” fans can expect to see brotherly friction between Donnie Wahlberg and himself on tomorrow night’s (5/11) big season finale of the show.  “There’s a lot of stuff between Donnie and me — the family relations.  We have a little bit of a blowup that ties into the story of the characters,” Estes tells us.  That’s in addition to the race-against-time thriller story that has Tom Selleck’s Police Commissioner Frank Reagan getting word of a bio-terror plot in NYC.

“It’s a great finale,” he enthuses.  “I’m so excited about ‘Blue Bloods.’  It’s just getting better and better.  Everyone’s really hitting their stride, the writers and producers as well as the actors.”

OPERA-ATION:  Oscar-winning actress Shirley Jones certainly surprised the surgical team that worked on her knee replacement at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica, CA the other day.  Orthopedic surgeon John Moreland had a recording of Shirley and Gordon MacRae singing “People Will Say We’re in Love” from the 1955 classic movie musical “Oklahoma!” and turned up the volume in the OR for the benefit of the team while they prepped.  Suddenly, the medicos told Shirley’s husband, Marty Ingels, there was an “extra voice” – Shirley herself joining in, despite being in twilight sleep due to anesthesia.  Now, there’s a show-must-go-on mentality!

‘Blue Bloods” Len Cariou Making the Most of Hiatus

The “Blue Bloods” team has scattered all directions, with the  CBS series having wrapped production for the season last week.  Winnipeg native Len Cariou tells us he’s spending a week in Los Angeles.  And after that, “The wife and I are going to Europe for a week, then Canada for a couple of visits.”  The Tony-winning actor notes that there are still “some good surprises — a couple of good twists” in the last couple of shows this season — which has its finale May 11.  That last episode involves Tom Selleck’s police commissioner character learning of a biological threat to New York City — and worse than that, he can’t tell his family about it.


Donnie Wahlberg Finds Family Time Between ‘Blue Bloods’ and NKOTBSB Tour Preps

Donnie Wahlberg, man on the go, CBS photo

Donnie Walhberg has been finding personal time hard to come by in recent months, as he’s been pouring himself into preparing for the New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys tour that launches May 25 — while at the same time keeping up with his demanding “Blue Bloods” shooting schedule.

“Family time pretty much fills in the rest,” says the divorced father of 18 and nine-year-old sons, Xavier and Elijah.  He regularly spends nights and weekends with his boys, he says, and “usually they’ll tag along” on his rehearsals and band meetings.  Wahlberg says his nine-year-old, in particular, “loves to come around, be a part of the process, see the guys and talk to them.”  His favorite New Kid is apparently Jon Knight, from what Wahlberg tells us.

Will Elijah go into the entertainment realm, too?

“I hope so, I guess.  I’m not sure.  He’s in the 4th grade and has never gotten a B in his life — all A’s,” Wahlberg says.  “He’s very, very smart.  Very mature.  He’ll be going to college.”

Wahlberg has been putting his own brain power to the test with his long stint of double duty.  He notes, “With my music career, I’m one of the executive producers, I could say — like a writer-executive producer-actor all in one on the music side.  On ‘Blue Bloods,’ I’m just an actor.  I go to work, act, do what I love, and I don’ t have to be in charge of all the big decisions.  So I’m sort of like an employee on one side, a boss on the other.  I learn from each side, how to be a leader and how to be a good employee.  It’s fun and it gives me a great sense of balance and humility, quite frankly.”

Tonight’s (5/13) season finale of “Blue Bloods” has his police detective Danny Reagan and the rest of the law enforcement-filled clan headed by Police Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) finally going head to head with the group of corrupt cops responsible for the death of Danny’s brother Joe.

Wahlberg says the episode, “The Blue Templar,” is the most emotional ride yet for viewers of the acclaimed series, which has had his character on a veritable roller coaster of emotional stories for weeks.  Wahlberg — whose many credits range from the award-winning “Band of Brothers” miniseries to the grisly “Saw” films, with series work including “Boomtown” in-between — tells us he has found himself happier as an actor on “Blue Bloods” than any other acting assignment before.

EXCLUSIVE: Donnie Wahlberg, Twitter Army, Help Find New Kidney for Ailing Fan

Donnie Wahlberg in Blue Bloods CBS photo

Donnie Wahlberg has been impressed by the power of his Twitter follower army (180,000+ strong) before, but events of the past five months have taken his awe to a new level.

“I helped a fan get a kidney for a transplant.  Well, my Twitter followers did.  It’s really amazing,” the “Blue Bloods” and New Kids on the Block star tells this column exclusively.  “Some fans made sure I got a message about this woman who needed a transplant, and she ended up with three matches.  I can’t take credit.  It’s this circle of energy we have.  I’m the central figure for these followers.  It’s a shared credit with them.  I feel blessed and grateful to be a part of it.”

It all started when New Kids on the Block fan Bobbette Miller of Nashville was told that her kidney condition had reached the point she would need a transplant, and her best friend Abbie Vicknair went into action.  Abbie was not a candidate for donation herself, so “I figured I’d do what I know how to do best, and that’s talk,” she recalls with a laugh.  “I wrote a blog about Bobbette’s story.  New Kids fans started retweeting it.  The next thing I knew, it was coming off of Donnie Wahlberg’s Twitter page, too.”

That was in December of last year.  “By the beginning part of January, they already had a list of people getting tested.  I know of 20 people who said they were getting tested,” she says.  “The hospital said they’d never seen such an outpouring of people.”

The groundswell of support for Miller continued to grow.  “There were also people who decided that, while they couldn’t donate an organ, they would become blood donors or plasma donors.  While Bobbette is getting the immediate help, the impact is going beyond her,” Vicknair says.

Miller’s surgery is now scheduled for June.  Vicknair’s a long time Danny Wood NKOTB girl.  But her BFF “Bobbette is very much a Donnie girl.”

Especially now.

The news of Miller’s plight came up when we asked Wahlberg for an example of his most outstanding Twitter exchange, and he was discussing the hour he spent in a Twitter session with fans last week to help promote “Blue Bloods.”  As his Twitter followers know, however, his presence in that particular social networking arena is “nothing new.  I’m a Twitter-aholic.”

He starts tweeting in the makeup chair at five a.m. and goes ’til bedtime, some days.  “My Twitter followers are pretty amazing.  They network so well.  They’ve mastered Twitter.  Whenever they tweet something I should hear, they retweet until I get the message….When someone is sick, or loses a loved one.  If someone is stuck outside of a concert.  I’ve had people tweet me from outside my trailer, and then I’ll pop out and say hi.”

Meanwhile, Wahlberg is transitioning this week between his policeman’s badge and his microphone.

He’s just wrapping his work on this season’s production of “Blue Bloods” — and “I’m going straight into rehearsals for the New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys tour this weekend.

“It’s going to be a great way to spend the summer.  Our first date is in Chicago May 25,” says Wahlberg, referring to the upcoming concert trek by the two-boy band supergroup, whose initial round of ticket sales were so hot, they crashed both bands’ websites.

“I’m very excited for the tour, but right now, we’re doing such a big season finale episode of ‘Blue Bloods,’ I’m really compartmentalizing,” he says of the May 13 episode. “I want this to be the best episode of ‘Blue Bloods’ yet.   It’s really emotional.”

This is the end of a long stint of double duty for the star, who has been flying back and forth between L.A. planning meetings for NKOTBSB and New York filming of the series about a family of cops, in which he plays the son of Tom Selleck’s police commissioner character.  Donnie’s been doing a lot of the heavy lifting in his character of Danny Reagan, the Iraq war veteran and former marine who is now a hard-nosed NYPD detective.

“The hours on the show are pretty crazy, but I knew what I was getting into,” he tells us.  “Doing a drama series, I knew the kind of hours I’d be faced with.   What I didn’t account for was the tour.  The two, three hours I can sleep I work on music for the tour.”

He admits, “Four years ago, if someone had told me I’d be touring with New Kids on the Block, I’d have said they were crazy.  If they’d said we’d be going out as a supergroup with Backstreet Boys, I’d have told them they were insane.  But it’s happening.”

He makes it clear he’s not complaining about his long hours.  “I’ve been acting for a long time now, and this is the most happy I’ve been in terms of my cast mates, our writers.  I’m in a really great place.  It’s the most fun I’ve had as an actor my whole career,” he says.

How long has he been fitting in NKOTBSB work between camera calls?
“Pretty much the whole first season,” he says, “but it’s been really good for me. What I mean is, it may seem daunting, it may seem tiring, but I really need the balance of both.  I thrive on it actually…I just think I love both things equally.  I give them each my full commitment, but they take a different kind of energy.  I thnk have enough in the tank for both.”
Wahlberg says of the tour schedule, “We’ll go up to the start of  ‘Blue Bloods’ production for next season.  Then maybe during hiatus, go out again.”

“Blue Bloods” is aiming to finish off its Season 1 in a blue blaze of glory, with episodes coming up that get more and more intense for Danny Reagan.  The series has won critical acclaim and ardent and loyal fans, but ratings watchers and other TV pundits are murmuring about its insecure future.

“I don’t think it’s on the bubble at all.  I don’t know what that thinking is about,” says Wahlberg.  “I don’t know how a show that’s drawing 12 1/2 million viewers on a Friday is on the bubble.  After ‘CSI: New York,’ there’s nothing even close.   Nothing surprises me in any business any more, but I have to think if any show deserves a shot, it’s ‘Blue Bloods.'”