Blue Bloods

Filming Blue Bloods In NY Is A Totally Different Experience Than Filming In LA

It’s trite, but it’s true — sometimes New York City really is a character in and of itself. At least Tom Selleck thinks that’s true of NYC regarding his hit police procedural series “Blue Bloods.” The series’ protagonists, the Reagans, are a multi-generational family of New York’s finest, and the on-location shoots are crucial to imbuing “Blue Bloods” with its realistic, kinetic feel. “It’s really hard to argue that this isn’t a better show, shot on the streets of New York,” Selleck told Collider in 2010. “That excited me.”

Despite having acted professionally since the 1960s, “Blue Bloods” is the first time Selleck has acted in the big apple for such a long stretch. “I had never shot for an extended period of time on the streets of New York. I’ve done movies here,” the actor said in a discussion for Talks at Google. The actor couldn’t help but compare shooting in New York to Los Angeles. “In LA, you put up a tapeline to separate the crew from the spectators, and they’re held back, and everybody seems to do what they’re supposed to do.” In New York, he admitted, the crowds are less accommodating.

New Yorkers may be brash, but they’re also more discreet

Chalk it up to the agreeable weather or kowtowing to their hometown industry, but for Tom Selleck, Angelenos are a more docile bunch at film shoots. Meanwhile, New Yorkers tend to mess up filming. “They don’t listen to rope lines and tapelines,” the actor said with a smile. “We’ve done many scenes where we say, ‘Let’s just shoot it and hope they don’t stare at me and jump into the crowd along the sidewalk.’”

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Executive producer Kevin Wade added that New Yorkers bring a certain insouciance to film and television shoots, and they tend to shrug off the production once they learn it’s just a TV show or that it’s a TV show they’re not interested in. The exchange, he recalled, usually goes, “Is it a movie?” “No, it’s a TV show.” “Eh, alright.”

New York City may have a reputation for being fast-paced, but for Selleck, that results in faster and more pleasant public encounters. “The side of New York, though, which is very pleasant as a celebrity, is you’ve still gotta go to the market [or] the drugstore. Maybe you’re buying something you don’t want anybody to know you’re buying…In this era of smartphones and everything else, most New Yorkers still just want to say, ‘Hey, I like your work.’ Or, ‘How are you doing?” and they move on. Because they’re all busy, which is a good thing.”

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