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Blue Bloods' Reagan family is known for lively family dinner scenes, but Tom Selleck says they're "miserable" to film for the CBS show. The Blue Bloods Season 10 premiere had another family dinner, this one inviting Frank Reagan's old buddy Lenny, showing a new side of Frank to the family. However, the next time you watch a Blue Bloods family dinner, keep some of these behind-the-scenes tidbits in mind. For one thing, Selleck says they take all day to film:
It’s nice to spend time with the entire cast once an episode, but filming an eating scene is miserable. Well, the eating part is. You have to eat the same foods over and over again to get all the shots. We’ll probably spend eight hours shooting this scene.
It’s the running joke that Donnie doesn’t stop eating. Even during rehearsals. They’ll tell us not to eat the food because we’re just going through the lines. But I’ll look up and see Donnie chewing on something
He's "Hangin' Tough" with craft services! (Sorry.) Donnie Wahlberg also joked with a fan about his dinner scene eating:
Donnie Wahlberg told People the first dinner scene for the new Blue Bloods Season 10 was tough because he had just gotten off a plane from his tour with the New Kids on the Block and came immediately to set.
And that scene took over five hours. Between every camera take, I took a nap on the couch. They would literally wake me up a second before the camera started rolling and I would run and take a seat at the table. I was just delirious. I don’t know how I remembered one line.
Blue Bloods prop master Jim Lillis told People the cast gets real food on camera, "but we try to keep it mildly seasoned because they have to do so many takes." Because the Reagans are Irish-Catholic New Yorkers, the meat-and-potatoes menu usually reflects that.
Donnie Wahlberg said Tom Selleck "just pretends to eat" and he himself is the only one who really chows down during those marathon dinner scenes.
I literally ate 20 pounds of asparagus today. I try to only stick to vegetables, which leads to other problems. ... Someone asked me if we get drunk because we have a lot of wine during the dinner scene, but, sadly, it’s just grape juice. Sorry, guys. And ‘Scotch’ is iced tea. I think they give us decaffeinated or we’d be bouncing off the walls.
Just once, they should really give them real Scotch for those 5-8 hour scenes and see what happens.
As much as filming the eating scenes may be "miserable," Tom Selleck did say the stars all looked forward to the family dinners to catch up and talk. Sami Gayle said Selleck recently gave her his list of 10 movies that every actor should watch (he should share that with everyone!) and she and Will Estes (Jamie Reagan) planned to watch all the movies.
So they really do sound like a family, just a family that has to repeat the same conversations and squabbles at the Sunday dinner table for about eight hours a week.
Blue Bloods just celebrated its 200th episode with the Season 10 premiere, and at least one star is hoping the show continues for 200 more episodes.