Blue Bloods Star Donnie Wahlberg Reveals Secret About Famous Dinner Table Scenes

Blue Bloods Reagan Family Dinner Season 10
(Image credit: Photo courtesy of CBS)

Blue Bloods has been on the air for years. It’s not the workplace drama that has kept characters like Frank, Danny and Erin in our hearts for the last decade as much as it is the family dynamics. There’s nothing more famous than the CBS series’ dinner table scenes and recently longtime Blue Bloods actor Donnie Wahlberg revealed there’s something the fans don’t know about the famous scenes.

It's not due to a lack of interest in the dinner table scenes. Per Donnie Wahlberg, the cast is commonly asked about filming the scenes where the whole Reagan clan comes together; the problem is those journalists and fans are not asking the right questions. What people may not know is they are a rarity and are incredibly important to the cast too.

One thing that people don’t know about the show. We do a lot of interviews about the dinner scene and we’re always asked the sillier questions like, ‘Who eats the most’ and a lot of the sort of obvious questions that you get asked. But one thing that people don’t really know is the dinner scene really is an awesome time to catch up for us as we all go about our separate jobs. When the dinner scene shows up it really is a treat for us to all check in, not only on our character’s lives but on our personal lives.

Most of the time when a show is on the air as long as Blue Bloods has been (at the time of this writing 10 seasons), you’d think the cast has to know each other and get along on some level. This is seemingly true of this cast, as during this time of quarantine they opted to get together and meet up for a special “virtual Reagan family dinner,” which is not something they had to do and is where Wahlberg’s comments come from.

The actor also elaborated that they use the dinner scenes to celebrate other personal life milestones when the cameras aren’t rolling as well.

We get to see how everyone’s been doing, we celebrate special occasions. It’s a really wonderful bonding time for all of us… It’s such a treat when we get to do it.

It should be noted not everyone on Blue Bloods is so sentimental about the dinner table scenes. Other Blue Bloods star Tom Selleck has said it’s “nice” to see everyone but that filming the dinner table scenes is brutal, noting back in 2019 it can take up to eight hours. (Selleck's also been called a "perfectionist" by his co-stars though, so maybe it's a chicken or egg situation.)

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.

All in all, it sounds like it’s probably a combination of nice to see everyone coupled with hours of grinding it out to get the scenes just right, but if Donnie Wahlberg’s attitude is any indication, he at least has the same fondness for the scenes the fanbase does. We’ll be able to catch the Reagan family dinners back in action when Blue Bloods returns for Season 11, hopefully this fall.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.