The Blue Bloods Season 12 premiere will feature a "masterpiece" scene, thanks to input from star Tom Selleck. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture to preview the upcoming season, star Vanessa Ray gave insight into how important Selleck is to the show, not just as its lead star. Selleck took an extra interest in one of Ray's scenes with co-star Lauren Patton, which Ray teased as one of the best moments from the premiere thanks to the TV legend's suggestions.
Ray stars as Officer Eddie Janko, who didn't get many scenes with Selleck's Commissioner Frank Reagan before Eddie married Frank's son Jamie, played by Will Estes. Now that she is a member of the Reagans, Ray shares at least one scene with Selleck in every episode at the dinner table. However, Selleck is far more than just another co-star. "He's a total actor's actor," Ray said of Selleck. "So he would never give anybody notes, but he'll give you like a, 'You know, I was thinking that I was going to do it this way, and I wonder how your character would react if I did something this way.' Sort of like leading the way. And you're like, 'Oh yeah. A better idea than I had. Much better idea than I had. Okay. You're right. You're right.' So he's fun to work with."
While filming the Season 12 premiere, titled "Hate is Hate," Ray got to see Selleck's impact on scenes he's not even in up close. Selleck has a "real interest" in Ray's scenes with Patton, who stars as Eddie's partner Officer Rachel Witten. The Magnum P.I. star read the scene the two stars shared and made suggestions to director Dave Barrett, who then relayed them to Ray and Patton. Selleck was on the set though, so they asked him if he would read through the scene with them.
"He lovingly sat, read through the scene with us, gave us different ideas and different things," Ray recalled. "Then Barrett was cool, and he let us go and stage the whole thing, block the whole scene without anybody else. So just the two of us got to do it. And then Tom was the one who edited that scene together. So I feel like this one scene in the first episode of Season 12 is like a masterpiece. It's so fun."
Although Blue Bloods often has characters going in different directions in their stories each episode, the show still has some cohesion to it because of the collaborations between the stars. Even though Ray doesn't usually get scenes with Bridget Moynahan's Erin Reagan outside the dinner table, Ray said she'll ask Moynahan for advice all the time. Ray noted how "rare" it is for any show to have a cast and crew working together so closely.
All that teamwork will result in a season that's sure to keep fans surprised, Ray teased. "There are a lot of surprising things that happen in this first half of the season. Very surprising things. Shocking. And get your Kleenex out," Ray told PopCulture. "It's good. This is a strong season so far." Blue Bloods premieres on CBS on Friday, Oct. 1 at 10 p.m. ET, and past episodes are available to stream on Paramount+.