Steve Schirripa is opening up about how it feels to be part of the Blue Bloods family.
The actor who plays investigator Anthony Abetemarco has spoken on how it felt to be playing a cop after his fame on the classic mob show The Sopranos.
This touched on his attempts to avoid being typecast, some of the antics on set, and how it felt to join the famous Reagan family dinners finally.
That included how he feels honored that real cops have spoken to him about playing a fictional detective.
Schirripa also talked about the possible idea of a romance between Anthony and Erin, although his feeling about that may disappoint a few fans.
The actor is enjoying his time in this role as much as fans are and hoping to show more facets of Anthony as Blue Bloods continues a new season.
Steve Schirripa on avoiding typecasting
Born in Brooklyn and a true New York native, Steve Schirripa started working in entertainment in Las Vegas.
His big break was being cast as Bobby Baccalieri in the classic HBO drama The Sopranos. Speaking to Looper, Schirripa said that while he was grateful for the success, he wanted to avoid being typecast in mobster-themed projects for his career.
“I’m a realist. I know I’m not going to play an English professor. I’m not going to get lost in the roles. I’m a blue-collar guy. I’m not Christian Bale or Gary Oldman, where they play a different guy every time. But I wanted to get out of the mob thing, as I’ve yet to see anything done as well as The Sopranos.”
Schirripa worked to break that image by playing a good-natured dad on the series The Secret Life Of The American Teenager. This led to him being cast as Anthony in Season 6 of Blue Bloods, which he has since become a regular.
“This role of Anthony Abetemarco had some legs. They obviously liked what I did, and they started writing for me. They had Arthur Nascarella on, and I worked with him. He played Carlo [on The Sopranos]. That was fun, to work with him again. With Michael Imperioli, I was hoping somewhere along the line we’d work together, but that hasn’t happened yet.”
The actor has enjoyed his time in the role, mentioning how good it feels to be recognized by cops “So when detectives and cops or police captains say, ‘I believe every second that you’re playing a police officer,’ I like that. That’s the whole point.”
Could an Erin-Anthony romance happen?
That good performance has made Anthony a favorite of fans, including his fun chemistry with Erin (Bridget Moynahan). While Season 12 had Anthony saying they need professional boundaries, the pair remain good friends.
This has led to fans speculating on a possible romance between the pair. However, Schirripa laughs as that’s unlikely to happen.
“First of all, Erin is out of his league. Second, it would ruin the whole chemistry and relationship. What are they going to do? Go out on dates? Move in together? Then what’s going to happen? I’ll tell you what’ll happen. They won’t work together anymore, and then we lose the whole thing. So I don’t see it ever happening, and I don’t think it should.
Storyline-wise, that’s not a great idea. It worked with Will and Vanessa’s characters. I think that had to go there. They were partners. But this is a little different. She’s the boss. Anthony works for her, watches out for her, protects her the best he can, and I think that’s what makes it good.”
The actor added that while Anthony and Danny may bicker, he and Donnie Wahlberg are good friends. However, he said Wahlberg might regret the fat jokes Danny used to make at Anthony’s expense.
“Donnie feels bad. He’s a good guy. I don’t mind making fun of him, but I don’t think he wanted to make fun of me so much. He’s a terrific guy, a lot of fun. He’s the life of the party, a very smart, very good guy. He knows his stuff.”
Schirripa did share that he felt honored that the Season 12 finale had Anthony finally joining the Regan family dinners. Interestingly, this was only the second scene in the entire series he shared with Tom Selleck, who plays family patriarch Frank.
“Honestly, I never thought it would happen. How are they going to fit that in? I said, “Hey, maybe Anthony’s in the neighborhood. He’s going to bring some cannolis over.” Then when I found out that it was going to happen, I was very flattered.”
While Schirripa is tight-lipped on details for Season 13, his words show how happy he is to be part of the Blue Bloods family and as eager as fans to see how Anthony’s journey develops.
Blue Bloods Season 13 airs Fridays at 10/9c on CBS.More: Blue Bloods