The Reagan family dinner scenes have been a central part of Blue Bloods since the very first episode aired in 2010, and Cariou says it’s “great fun” to shoot behind the scenes.
“We must [have fun]’ Cariou shared. “We’ve been there a long time. There are nine of us, so it takes a long time to film the scene. We all sit around and joke and move on… There’s a little clapping and some jokes told and so on.
That happy, family atmosphere on set was cultivated at the dinner table in the very beginning, when the Blue Bloods cast were surprisingly asked to film this scene on their first day on set.
“When we were shooting the pilot, that was our very first scene,” said Cariou. “And I said to Leonard Goldberg, our founding executive producer, ‘Why are we doing this first? We hardly know each other.’ He said: “Well, I want there to be one of those scenes in every episode. So I thought a baptism of fire. Let’s see if it works.” He came back the next day and said, ‘It works like Gangbuster.'”
That doesn’t mean the cast wasn’t put in the hot seat. “We all had to make up a story right there and then,” revealed the veteran actor. “Who was the oldest in the family? What was our background? what was my background We came up with one and started the family business right then and there.”
The season 12 finale of Blue Bloods airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS.