New Cop on the Block: Donnie Wahlberg

The "Blue Bloods" star takes on another district as executive producer of the TNT reality show "Boston's Finest"—and also plans a summer tour with his old band

by Ilyssa Panitz • Celebrity Reporter
donnie wahlberg image
Photograph: Danny Clinch/TNT

More: Congratulations on your new series, Boston's Finest.
Donnie Wahlberg: I am so excited and proud of this series. I wanted to make a docudrama that would focus on the real lives of police offcers both on and off the job. Before filming could even begin, we had to earn the trust of these men and women. Our goal was to have the heart-stopping drama TNT fans expect to see yet not damage any relationships the charactes spent years building.

More: This time you are stepping behind the camera and calling the shots.
DW: Yes, I serve as the executive producer of the show. This has been a true labor of love.

More: In addition to this show, you also star as Detective Danny Reagan on the CBS drama Blue Bloods. You have a real things for cops, huh?
DW: I do [Laughs}. Heck, having played a cop quite a few times, I hope I have learned from all of these experiences. Frankly, I think Blue Bloods has prepared to do this new program. I now understand the procedural world of a police officer in many situations, such as catching the bad guy and, of course, making it home safe to their families every night.

More: Blue Blood focuses a lot on the importance of family, including having real sit-down family dinners. What is Donnie's view on family?
DW: That family dinner scene was the main reason I did Blue Bloods. I got the script for the show at the same time I was reading a bunch of different pilots. When I saw how that dinner scene would be in every episode, I got hooked, because that is a slice right out of my real life.

More: Do tell...
DW: When I was growing up, there were nine kids in my house sitting down every night to have dinner. We would argue, fight, disagree, hear opinions and share what we did that day, just like you see on the show. That scene takes me right back to my childhood and feels so real.

More: Family first?
DW: For me, family is so important, both as a dad and as a sibling.

More: Was it hard being one of nine children?
DW: I am the eighth of nine kids and have always been the organizer of the family. When my parents split up, I was in the seventh grade. I immediately became the one would plan Christmas Eve and Christmas. I would always decide whose house we were going to, and then I would organize my siblings, including my brother Mark [the actor and former rapper]. I was the one telling them what the plan would be and then informing my parents as to what the arrangements were.

More: Did everyone get along?
DW: We fight and argue a lot, like most Irish Catholic families, but we love each other a lot and would die for each other.

More: Your TV family the Regans shows us how they come together during a tragedy, such as the death of your TV brother, your TV son's coma and your character's arrest for drugs. How do the Wahlberg's come together when times are bad?
DW: The episode when Danny's son is in a coma was a story I pitched to our writer. One of the things I talked about during our discussion was when my oldest sister passed away a few years ago and what that experience was like for me and my family.

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