NOC Interview: Will Estes Previews Season 12 of ‘Blue Bloods’

Will Estes stars as Jamie Reagan in CBS’ Blue Bloods. The series, which originally premiered back in 2010, will begin its 12th season on Friday, October 1. New episodes of the hit drama will then continue to air Fridays at 10PM ET/PT.

Blue Bloods is a drama about a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement. Frank Reagan is the New York Police Commissioner, and heads both the police force and the Reagan brood. He runs his department as diplomatically as he runs his family, even when dealing with the politics that plagued his unapologetically bold father, Henry, during his stint as Chief. A source of pride and concern for Frank is his eldest son, Danny, a seasoned detective, family man and Iraq War vet who on occasion uses dubious tactics to solve cases with his partner, Detective Maria Baez. Erin, the middle daughter, is a New York Assistant D.A. who serves as the legal compass for her siblings and father. Jamie is the youngest Reagan, a Harvard Law graduate and the family’s “golden boy.” Unable to deny the family tradition, Jamie decided to give up a lucrative future in law and follow in the family footsteps as a cop. He’s found a friend and ally in his wife, Eddie, who keeps him on his toes, and has very different reasons than the Reagans for joining the police force.

I had the opportunity to ask the actor about seeing his character evolve throughout 12 seasons, Jamie and Eddie’s relationship, tackling real world issues on the show, the idea for a musical episode, what scenes are most challenging to do, and much more. Keep reading to find out what he shared!


What originally attracted you to the role of Jamie and what has it been like getting to see the character grow throughout the series?
Will Estes: Blue Bloods was the best script I had read in a long time, certainly that entire pilot season. It was created by the late Mr. Leonard Goldberg, Mitch Burgess, and Robin Green, who created The Sopranos. It was about a family of cops in New York and it was just more alive and had more potential than anything else I’d read. It’s been great to watch Jamie mature along with my own maturation as an actor. Jaime started as a rookie and I was a rookie at playing Jaime… so I guess we grew together.

What is one thing you’d like to delve deeper with when it comes to Jamie’s storylines?
I like the gray areas. Jamie is a good person with a strong moral core, but the world is not black-and-white. A lot of discretion is left up to the officer in our justice system, for better or worse… but these are parts of the show that can become very real. They can be relevant because they shine light on parts of us or our society that are difficult to look at. There are limitations on police officers and on people in terms of what they can do to help. So I like seeing Jamie in challenging situations. He’s driven to “get it right” but sometimes that’s just not possible.

Is there a member of the cast you wish you had more scenes with? If so, what sort of storylines and scenes would you like to do?
I love working with everybody, it would be hard to single someone out. It’s just a tremendous cast and whenever anyone gets a good piece of story, I think they always tend to smash it. I remember a scene recently when we didn’t know if Joe Hill, our brother’s son that he never knew, was in danger or not and Len Cariou had a moment where he told us to bring him back alive, whatever it took and he smashed it. He’s so so good.

John Paul Filo/CBS

What is one piece of advice you think season 12 Jamie would give to season 1 Jamie?
Stay flexible, have fun, don’t hold on too tight, do the work, find the joy.

Anything you can tease about what’s ahead for Jamie and Eddie this season?
I’m never any good at teasing stories. It’s an evolving relationship…

What has been your favorite part of seeing their journey together on the show and where they are now?
Jamie and Eddie are two people who’ve figured out how to make it work. That’s a rarity anymore… I think they’ve been able to work through problems that everybody has but not everybody can figure out how to deal with. There’s a lot of love there on and off screen. I’m grateful I get to do it with Vanessa Ray.

John Paul Filo/CBS

How did it feel getting to return for season 12?
Great. It’s been some run.

What would you like to say to the fans who have been watching since season 1 and are still tuning in?
Thank you. You are the only reason we’re on. The show is for you.

What are the most challenging scenes for you to film, whether that’s emotionally or physically?
The complicated scenes are probably the hardest. Some of the scenes that I thought I executed poorly, that I didn’t like shooting at all and that “didn’t go well,” ended up being my best work when I saw the final product. And conversely, when I’ve liked something I got to do a lot going in, it ended up not being quite what I thought it was going to be… funny how that works. Be careful about liking or hating anything too much.

John Paul Filo/CBS

The show tackles many real world issues, what do you personally like about this?
I love when we tackle real world issues and involve current debates and events in the show. I think Blue Bloods lives and breathes in these spaces. A lot of people are taking issue with policing methods, policies, and practices in the United States today. Blue Bloods is a story about a family of cops and an ADA who do their best to get it right, who are good people even if flawed.

If Blue Bloods could do a crossover with any show you’re personally a fan of, which would you pick?
That’s a really great question! We’ve all talked about doing a musical episode that’s “all a dream“ at the end of it. As in one of the characters wakes up and has dreamed a musical version of a Blue Bloods episode. I don’t really think it’s gonna happen though. Ha!

What can you tease about this new season?
I think we’re making great shows this season… I never know how to tease.

Is there something you’d like to take from set when the show does officially end (hopefully not any time soon)?
Yeah, Jaime’s pants all fit me like a glove.