Zap2it: The weekly family dinner scene is such a staple of “Blue Bloods,” what do you remember about filming the very first one?
Len Cariou: Actors are incredible beings, I think, and we thought we had to figure out a history for ourselves [as the characters]. While they were setting up shots, we were yapping about Donnie‘s (Wahlberg) and Will‘s (Estes).
We all have a wonderful relationship, and I think the show has a uniqueness because of those very scenes at the dinner table. We get to know the family as more than cops, everybody is wonderful in their roles, and it’s a very pleasant working situation.
Zap2it: Henry has gotten to draw on his police commissioner past quite a bit in recent episodes. Are you pleased with what’s been revealed?
Len Cariou: That’s the good history of the piece, and it gives the writers something to draw on. And that also makes it ongoing fun for me. New writers who come on basically know what the M.O. of the show is.
Zap2it: Though you’re now visible every week, do you find that people still mention your past stage work and your movies, such as “The Four Seasons” and “Executive Decision”?
Len Cariou: Yeah, it’s nice. What happens is that “Blue Bloods” is such a big hit, your profile goes up, and suddenly everybody thinks, “Where have I seen him?” People who show films become more aware of you, too; they say, “Wouldn’t it be interesting to show that film?” even though it’s something you might have made 30 years ago.