This season of Blue Bloods saw an important milestone for Marisa Ramirez, who has starred as Donnie Wahlberg's on-screen partner Maria Baez since 2013. In the Season 11 premiere "Triumph Over Trauma," Wahlberg's Detective Danny Regan finally brought Baez to the Reagan Sunday family dinner. It was a "very emotional" moment and, at times, "nerve-racking" for Ramirez, she said in a recent interview with PopCulture.com.
In that episode, the family dinner scene came after a difficult story for Baez and Danny, as the two were trapped in a basement by a serial killer. Although the killer was not found, the two partners were eventually rescued. The killer storyline will be picked up in Friday's "More Than Meets The Eye." But the dinner scene is still the most critical part of that episode for Ramirez. Wahlberg had been "pushing for" Baez to be included in the dinner for years, Ramirez said.
"It's eight years I've been there now, and it was actually very emotional for me on so many levels, which I didn't share with anyone at the time," Ramirez said in our series, PopCulture @Home. "Because first of all, it was emotional and a little nerve-racking for me, as it was the first time I was in a room with so many people without masks on," Ramirez noted that everyone is tested for the coronavirus frequently during filming, but it was still a little worrisome to be around so many people without masks on for the first time in months.
The scene was also difficult to shoot for Ramirez because it was just two weeks after her grandmother died. She was a "huge fan" of Blue Bloods, so she was close to Ramirez's heart when she got to film a major scene with Tom Selleck.
"I so badly wanted to say something to Tom about the fact that, 'My grandmother was such a huge fan of yours,'" Ramirez said. "But I knew I wouldn't have been able to get out the words without crying." Ramirez "didn't want to look like a basket case at family dinner" because she was afraid they might not invite her back. "But I kept thinking about her while I was there," she continued. "And it almost made me feel more comfortable and calm, and just was able to really take in the surroundings and the warmth and the fact that they welcomed me there. But again, the fact that she wasn't going to be seeing that episode, it was touching a rough spot in my heart."
Ramirez relished the moment to be on the same set as Selleck, who stars as Commissioner Frank Reagan because that so rarely happens. In the eight years, she has been on the show, Ramirez recalled having just two scenes where she was on the same set as the living TV icon. However, the one actor on the show Ramirez would love to work with more often is Abigail Hawk, who stars as Frank's assistant, Abigail Baker.
"I think we sat with each other at [Jamie and Eddie's] wedding, and we just had such a good time together," Ramirez said of Hawk. "And there was that female energy that we were craving more of together. We text and we talk every now and then, but it would be really nice to kind of be able to spend the day with her again at work." She also hopes to work with Steve Schirripa, who plays Anthony Abetemarco, more often. They do have some scenes together coming up, and fans will have to tune in to Blue Bloods Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS to see them.
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