'Blue Bloods': Did the Cast Really Eat While Filming The Thanksgiving Episode?

There was an emotional Thanksgiving episode of Blue Bloods, which aired years ago. The Reagans were seen having dinner at a different location because of a family emergency. This is how the actors work through the dining scenes.

The ‘Blue Bloods’ Thanksgiving episode is dramatic

The Reagans have dinner in every episode. But Thanksgiving dinner was much more dramatic.

That’s because the episode called “Thanksgiving” back in season 2 started with Henry (Len Cariou) having a stroke right before Thanksgiving day. Luckily, Linda (Amy Carlson) was with him and got him to a hospital.

Henry had an operation to remove a blockage. He was still in hospital on Thanksgiving to recover. So the family brought dinner to him by setting up a table complete with a full turkey. He then got to say grace.

The cast does eat while filming dinner scenes

The food at the dinner table is real, and the actors eat it. But each actor approaches the job differently.

“All the actors eat to varying degrees,” Jim Lillis, the show’s property master, told The Virginian-Pilot. “Some are good at faking it. They are very good at making it look like they’re really enjoying a hearty dinner.”

Tom Selleck, who plays Frank Reagan, talked about filming dinner. “We have to shoot everybody not just in a wide shot but in close-ups, but it’s still my favorite part of the show,” he told TV Insider. “I sound like the fans, but it’s mainly because I get to see my friends. The Reagans are close, and we’re close. With a cast this big, I might not see Donnie for a month. This format is like a weekly reunion.”

He admitted that he “only eats when [cameras are] cutting to me.” The Thanksgiving episode showed the family loading up their plates so there is a good chance the actors didn’t have to eat much to make this episode.

The family recently mentioned the episode

Blue Bloods has made it to 11 seasons. The episode “In the Name of the Father” showed Joe Hill (Will Hochman) and his mother, Paula (Bonnie Somerville) having dinner with the Reagans.

They made it known that they eat dinner together every Sunday no matter what. That includes if you’re sick. You’re expected to wash your hands and eat dinner with everyone else.

“Unless it’s more serious like when grandpa had a heart attack,” Erin (Bridget Moynahan) said. “In that case family dinner comes to you,” Jamie (Will Estes) said. 

Obviously the family is very serious about eating together. The Thanksgiving ending with dinner was important to show that, and it’s still mentioned years later.

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