INTERVIEW: Will Estes on the New Season of CBS’ ‘Blue Bloods,’ Jamie and Eddie’s Relationship, His Journey on the Show, and More
Will Estes plays the youngest Reagan on the hit CBS series and opened up about Jamie’s evolution throughout the years.
Blue Bloods premiered its’ 11th season on December 4 on CBS and continues to air new episodes Fridays. The series premiered back in 2010 and is a drama about a multi-generational family of law enforcement dedicated to justice in New York City.
Jamie is often referred to as the Reagans’ “golden boy.” Although he was initially seeking a law career, he decides to continue the family legacy and become a cop. He recently was promoted to sergeant and married his former partner, Eddie, who always keeps him guessing and never fails to have his back.
Read our exclusive interview with Will Estes to find out more on season 11, similarities he shares with Jamie, New York, isolation, and self-love.
GLITTER: What made you want to start acting?
WILL: It was an option in my life offered up from the city itself. It chose me more than anything else.
GLITTER: Blue Bloods is now in its 11th season; how would you describe your journey on the show?
WILL: Long. It’s been a blessing. I’m very grateful to have called Blue Bloods home for the past decade. The character has evolved too from rookie to veteran and now sergeant. And the synergistic creative process between actors and writers (and producers and directors and crew) continues to make Blue Bloods what it is. I personally appreciate the feedback from crew members a lot. I find a compliment from a crew member to be both the most honest and infrequent. They aren’t easily impressed from that ground floor vantage point.
GLITTER: How would you compare season 1 Jamie to season 11 Jamie?
WILL: I would use words like young, hopeful, idealistic, and naive to describe him in season 1. In season 11, I would use words like experienced, tested, capable, humbled, and persistent. I think he’s funnier now, too- if I dare say so.
GLITTER: Do you share any similarities with Jamie?
WILL: I think we both care about justice. Morally, ethically, pragmatically. How can we not care about real justice?
GLITTER: What can fans expect from his storyline this season? Any big moments you can tease?
WILL: I think it will be the continued evolution of his path up through the ranks. He also has the very surprising appearance of his nephew—the previously unknown son of his deceased older brother, Joe, to contend with.
GLITTER: What is your favorite thing about Jamie and Eddie’s relationship? Was there a moment you started rooting for them to end up together?
WILL: I never wanted them to get together. I hated the idea. I thought it would be the end of the storyline, and we would be missing the lesson from shows like The X-Files– where the two characters wanting to be together but not wanting to cross the line provided tension and drama to explore. But I don’t think that now. And working with Vanessa is one of my favorite things about Blue Bloods. We are fast friends, we laugh all the time between takes (sometimes during), we have an incredible shorthand, and I love her. I just realized- I think I’ve spent vastly more time in front of the camera with Vanessa Ray than any other actor ever..
GLITTER: What is filming in New York like?
WILL: Cold. Oh, and then really hot and humid. Also, really fun- NY can be like a playground for creative adults.
GLITTER: What is your favorite thing to do in New York in your spare time?
WILL: I’m not sure I remember on account of the pandemic. Cabin fever sets in. I’m making a concerted effort to figure that out now, to be honest. I’ve been attaching things to my walls to hang from… But I always return to getting outside, the sun, the ocean. I think happiness is a strong espresso, a newspaper, and good conversation all in the same day.
GLITTER: Any fun behind the scenes stories you can share?
WILL: I never remember any that should actually be shared…
GLITTER: Every episode, regardless of what’s happening, the Reagan family always has a Sunday dinner together. What do you hope that scene gives to families watching the show together?
WILL: I don’t know. That’s a great question. I think that scene is a real centerpiece for the show. I’d like to think it symbolizes family, strong community, unity in the face of differences (sometimes profound), discord and disagreement, a place to be yourself while being understood deeply enough to be wrong, misstep, and still be loved. If that is the experience viewers have from those scenes then maybe it is “comfort food tv” as it’s been called. Escapism for those moments. Maybe it is a poetic metaphor about what many of us wish our families could be more like. Either that or a bunch of actors making faces.
GLITTER: What is your favorite lesson from the show?
WILL: Work hard. Don’t eat too much raw chocolate too early in the day.
GLITTER: Was there a particularly challenging episode or scene for you to film that you ended up being proud of after you finished?
GLITTER: Do you have any memorable fan encounters?
WILL: My favorite is probably when a big fellow came up and stood about 6 feet from us as we were about to shoot. He was talking loudly on his cell phone in what I would call a strong New York meets Gonzo from Sesame Street accent, and he said something like, “Yeah, I’m standing right here in front of them… Yeah. Yeah, it’s Jamie Reagan and his partner… I can’t remember her name.” Which was, obviously, a crumby thing to say so loud about an actor right in front of them, so Vanessa and I got a big kick out of that, and as I was ceremoniously consoling Vanessa (which she didn’t really need), he had sidestepped around and come right up next to us- as I turned he said to me loud enough for everyone “You’re a lot smaller in person.” And then it was Vanessa’s turn at the schadenfreude and me who needed the bruised ego tended. Anyway, we still laugh about it. I think he was genuine and completely oblivious, which is why it was so funny.
GLITTER: How has filming changed with all of the necessary COVID-19 safety precautions?
WILL: It was a lot when we started. Very intense and challenging. Now I actually think we are hitting our stride in terms of the precautionary requirements. It’s a lot, but we feel privileged to be working.
GLITTER: What was a day in social isolation like for you?
WILL: Boredom is my kryptonite. Freedom of movement sweet salvation.
GLITTER: What did you use all of the extra time in quarantine to do?
WILL: Go crazy.
GLITTER: Is there any aspect of the entertainment industry that you want to explore more in the future?
WILL: I’m only interested in acting right now in terms of the entertainment industry.
GLITTER: What do you look for in a script?
WILL: I think it was Spencer Tracy that said “Days off.” But seriously, folks, good story, first, people attached, good character arc, location- probably in about that order.
GLITTER: Last show you binge-watched?
WILL: I like the “A closer look” segment of Seth Meyers’ Late Night show. Or gimme Dave Chappelle.
GLITTER: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
WILL: Home. Los Angeles. Or Italy. Because… Italy.
GLITTER: Glitter has a celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign. What does self-love mean to you?
WILL: Though I completely appreciate the concept as I understand it, I am also interested in some terms I am just starting to learn about, like un-selfing and group effervescence as approaches to honoring the self.
“Beauty is the convenient and traditional name of something which art and nature share, and which gives a fairly clear sense to the idea of quality of experience and change of consciousness. I am looking out of my window in an anxious and resentful state of mind, oblivious of my surroundings, brooding perhaps on some damage done to my prestige. Then suddenly I observe a hovering kestrel. In a moment everything is altered. The brooding self with its hurt vanity has disappeared. There is nothing now but kestrel. And when I return to thinking of the other matter it seems less important. And of course this is something which we may also do deliberately: give attention to nature in order to clear our minds of selfish care.” -Iris Murdoch
GLITTER: Do you have any new projects coming up that you can share?
WILL: Nothing beyond Blue Bloods at this time.
GLITTER: What are the best social media platforms for fans to follow you?
WILL: I’m only on Instagram @Willestes101.