Blue Bloods’ title includes a double meaning of sorts. On one hand, it points to the fact that each member of its central cast works in law enforcement. Simultaneously, it evokes the fact that each of its main characters is related to one another. Thus, “blood” refers to both the professional and familial identities of its protagonists.
The members of the Reagan family at the series’ core all work a different profession under the law enforcement umbrella. Tom Selleck’s Frank Reagan, for example, is the commissioner of the New York City Police Department. His daughter Erin Reagan (portrayed by Bridget Moynahan), meanwhile, is an assistant district attorney. Storylines that see different family members at their respective jobs ultimately coalesce at their Sunday dinners, a weekly Reagan family tradition.
Those Sunday dinner scenes are the lifeblood, so to speak, of Blue Bloods. By providing a domestic environment in which developments both personal and professional can come to a head, Blue Bloods’ family dinners unify various character and plot threads alike. While the meal therefore isn’t generally the focus, each dinner scene nevertheless allots a full serving of food to each attendant character. Among the central cast members, Moynahan is notable for her skill at feigning eating what’s on her plate rather than actually consuming the food in front of her.
A master class in fake eating
In a piece by The Virginian-Pilot, Jim Lillis, who works as the property master on Blue Bloods, revealed that the degree to which the cast members present at each family dinner eat the food in front of them varies. Lillis is responsible for, among other job duties, setting the table used in the series’ dinner scenes, so he spoke from that experience. Moynahan, the article explains, is among those who simply move the food around on their plate in order to mimic eating rather than taking actual bites of the food in front of them.
A prior interview with Moynahan sheds some light on why she may have developed this habit. As it turns out, Moynahan is on the record describing the quality of the food served during Blue Bloods’ family dinners as generally poor. Thus, Moynahan did, at one point, eat the food in front of her at family dinners. Only as the series progressed does it appear that Moynahan developed a skillset enabling her to skip the part of those scenes she found most difficult, which remains in her repertoire today.