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Donnie Wahlberg recalls meeting TV dad Tom Selleck on “Blue Bloods”: 'How am I this dude's son?'

"He’s got so much hair, his eyebrows are so bushy!"

Donnie Wahlberg is part of a storied police dynasty on Blue Bloods — but he didn’t immediately see the family resemblance.

In an interview with brothers Joey Lawrence, Matthew Lawrence, and Andrew Lawrence on their Brotherly Love podcast, the former New Kids on the Block member discussed his surprise at being cast as Danny Reagan, the son of Tom Selleck’s Francis "Frank" Reagan, on the CBS police procedural Blue Bloods. “I got hired on the show and [Selleck] was really excited, cause he was a fan of Band of Brothers, so he was like ‘Oh yeah, this guy’s good,’” Wahlberg remembered. “But I walked in the room and he’s like 6’4”, I’m like 5’11” I think.”

The height was far from the only issue in Wahlberg’s estimation. “So I walk in, and I’m like ‘He’s got so much hair, his eyebrows are so bushy,’” the actor, who has a receding hairline, said. “I didn’t even care about the mustache, I was like, ‘How am I this dude’s son?’ I was like, ‘They’re gonna fire me tomorrow.’”

<p>Vera Anderson/WireImage</p> Donnie Wahlberg and Tom Selleck

Vera Anderson/WireImage

Donnie Wahlberg and Tom Selleck

It was only after Wahlberg met the actor behind another key Reagan that his anxieties dissipated. “And then I met the grandfather, who’s played by Len Cariou, and he’s shorter than me, same hairline,” the actor said. I was like, ‘Alright, I got his genes. I’m good.’”


Wahlberg also recalled being surprised that the show was initially picked up for its first season — and that he was in the middle of a New Kids on the Block reunion cruise when he heard the news. “It was called Reagan's Law originally, the pilot, and [my agents] were like ‘It's not getting picked up’ and I was like, all right, well I'll go have a great cruise with the with my fans and the New Kids; we'll have a great time, it's all good,” he said.

"And then somewhere in the middle of the ocean on Saturday or Sunday my agent is like ‘You have to get go to your cabin, the the agent's trying to call you,’" he continued. “She said ‘Can you be in New York tomorrow? You're on a show called Blue Bloods and it's been picked up.' I was like, ‘When this boat comes into port I'm getting on the first plane. I'll be there.’”

Blue Bloods airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. You can watch the full Brotherly Love interview above.

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