After “Hangin’ Tough” with the boy band New Kids on the Block, which sold millions of copies, Donnie Wahlberg has gone a long way.
He has, in reality, established a solid acting career, much like his brother Mark Wahlberg, which began in 1999 with a surprising turn in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Sixth Sense” and continued with roles in the Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks miniseries “Band of Brothers” and the “Saw” film franchise.
His most notable part has arguably been on the hit CBS series “Blue Bloods,” which he has co-starred on since 2010 with Tom Selleck, Will Estes, and Bridget Moynahan.
Donnie Wahlberg has spent 12 seasons as loose cannon NYPD detective Danny Reagan, investigating major cr1mes on the streets of New York under the mentorship of his police commissioner father Frank (Selleck) and with baby brother-turned-sergeant Jamie (Estes).
Wahlberg has maintained his excellent on-screen career while also playing with NKOTB and helping to run his family’s lucrative restaurant franchise Wahlburgers.
Has all of his good wealth gotten to him? Not according to “Blue Bloods” co-star Estes, who told Looper exclusively what he’s learned from Wahlberg over the course of their years working together on the popular police procedural program, which airs Friday evenings on CBS.
On stage and off, Donnie Wahlberg fully “engages” with people.
“Blue Bloods” frequently shoots on New York’s streets, allowing fans to congregate and witness the drama develop in real time.
While Selleck is a big draw for the concert, it’s usually Wahlberg’s adoring followers who show up in person to see their idol. “They’ll show up at the crack of dawn, in a crowd, and wait half a day, a full day, just to see him and say hi,” Estes said.
While all celebrities connect differently with their followers, Wahlberg’s interaction with those who stake out the set astounds Estes.
“Donnie [with his fans] is something that I’ve never seen or experienced before,” Estes said. “He simply engages people completely.” It’s very amazing. I had no idea you could accomplish that until I watched Donnie do it.
But, you know, he’ll go out there and talk to people, make friends with them, and he’s one of the most fascinating individuals I’ve ever seen with fans.”
That side of Wahlberg can also be found on set, as Estes admits the two always have a terrific time working together.
We laugh a lot between takes with Donnie, he says.
We’re always cracking jokes, and even when we’ve had a tough day, we’re always having fun and getting up to mischief in some way.
It’s most likely the most fun I’ve ever had as an actor. It’s always a pleasure to collaborate with Donnie.