As Linda Reagan, the spouse of streetwise and often edgy New York police-family member Danny, the actress often has to display as strong a will as the actor she works with most closely on the Friday CBS drama. And, she notes, that’s not always limited to the moments when the cameras are rolling.
“He’s fun to work with,” Carlson tells Zap2it. “I don’t know if it’s because he comes from Boston and I come from Chicago. We both come from working-class families, so there’s just something familiar there. When we met, we just clicked. We were those characters immediately.
“It’s funny, though,” adds Carlson, who counts “Third Watch” and daytime’s “Another World” among her earlier television credits. “Sometimes if we’re fighting in a scene, we don’t get along [as Amy and Donnie].
“Thank goodness I was never aware of his band. I don’t think I could have done what I did with him [at the ‘Blue Bloods’ audition] if I was a big New Kids on the Block fan when I was growing up. I would have been freaked out, but it was outside my perimeter of music.”
Last week, “Blue Bloods” drew what CBS reported as the biggest audience for a scripted Friday series in a decade. “That was just so nice to see,” Carlson reflects, “really fun. I was feeling good about [the prospect for a fourth year], but now, I’m feeling really good about it.”
For the first two “Blue Bloods” seasons, Carlson “shared” Wahlberg with Jennifer Esposito, who played Danny’s police-detective partner Jackie. The two actresses rarely if ever crossed paths, but Carlson laments Esposito’s exit early in the series’ current Season 3 — prompted by what Esposito has alleged was the network’s reaction to her struggle with Celiac Disease.
“I think she’s a really neat person,” Carlson says, “and I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I was never involved in any of that; it was almost like we were on two different shows. I never saw her, ever, but I just wish her well. I think she’s a fantastic actress.”