'Blue Bloods': Steve Schirripa Shares the Secrets of His First Reagan Family Dinner (Exclusive)

The Reagan family's Sunday dinner is an important part of every single Blue Bloods episode and it used to be exclusive to members of the family. The writers have loosened that rule lately, allowing important characters from the Reagans' lives to join them. During the Season 12 finale, Steve Schirripa finally got to join co-star Bridget Moynahan at the table. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Schirripa shared some surprising secrets about breaking bread with the Reagans.

Schirripa joined Blue Bloods in September 2015 for Season 6 and has been working closely with Moynahan's A.D.A. Erin Reagan ever since. During the Season 12 finale, Erin was inspired to finally invite Anthony to the family dinner after he reminded her that she is lucky to have such an attentive father. The dinner was just the second time Anthony shared a scene with Tom Selleck's Commissioner Frank Reagan, Schirripa reminded us.

"I wanted it," Schirripa said when asked if he had been trying to get a dinner invitation. "I mean, there's not much you could do whether they're going to put you in it or not." He then went on to say it was "great" and felt like a "badge of honor" to sit at the table.

The meal was all Italian food, but Schirripa said the cast never ate on camera. They only ate off to the side when cameras were not rolling. The Blue Bloods team brought in "incredible" food from a restaurant in the Bronx. "Every break that we had, some of us would go and eat that food off camera," Schirripa said. "So it was great. So I really enjoyed that very much, honestly. And I was very proud of that for real. I'm not just saying that. That was kind of a big deal. I enjoyed that."

Schirripa might get to share scenes with Selleck again soon. He briefly mentioned that he will be working with Abigail Baker (Abigail Hawk) in an upcoming Season 13 episode for the first time. Anthony also has an episode pairing him with Jamie Reagan (Will Estes) airing this week. He has already done stores with Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) and Eddie (Vanessa Ray). "I think by now I've worked with every single [main] character on the show... I think this season finishes that," Schirripa said.

Schirripa said he was making a "conscious effort" to avoid taking mobster roles after The Sopranos made him a star. Before he was on Blue Bloods, he played a suburban dad on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which "really helped" him get the Blue Bloods gig. The two shows helped Schirripa define himself as a blue-collar guy who could play any part, and not just a character actor who could only be a mobster.

"I'm a blue-collar guy, I like that better. And blue-collar guys are doctors, and chefs, and lawyers," Schirripa said. "So [it was] a conscious effort to turn down [mob roles]. And I'm very, very happy playing a detective, and they write some great stuff for me on Blue Bloods. They're terrific writers, and very, very happy."

Blue Bloods airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. Past episodes are available to stream on Paramount+.