Craig Blankenhorn/ CBS
As the youngest cop in the Reagan family on "Blue Bloods," Will Estes brings heat to the role of Jamie Reagan, the Harvard law-school graduate who became a cop and whose character is asked to investigate a secret society that may be responsible for his brother's death.
Now, ETonline talks to the hot young actor, who previously starred in "American Dreams" and "Reunion," about his new role, his move to New York City, how he avoided the pitfalls of Hollywood and more.
ETonline: Is this your first time playing a police officer?
Will Estes: No, I had a wonderful opportunity recently to work with Scott Glenn in a film called 'Magic Valley,' due to hit the festival circuit this year. He plays an eccentric small-town sheriff in Idaho and I play one of his deputies. It was great fun.
ETonline: What is your favorite thing about Jamie?
Will Estes: Robin Greene and Mitch Burgess wrote for "The Sopranos" before "Blue Bloods." They sort of expressed that after doing a show about mobsters for so long they wanted to explore what it was to be a hero. Jaime is a guy who was lucky enough and smart enough to go to Harvard and graduate with a law degree. Then wise enough to realize that what he always wanted to do was be a cop like his older brothers and his dad and grandfather before him and to serve the city of New York. He's someone that under great pressure chose the life he wanted for his own reasons.
ETonline: The show is shot in New York. Did you have to relocate? How are you acclimating?
Will Estes: Yeah, we relocated out here and are very glad for it. There's nothing like shooting in New York City. It's probably the biggest, fastest city in the world and it's hard to fake it filming somewhere else. I've always wanted to live and work here so it really is thrilling.
ETonline: How cool is it to work with Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg?
Will Estes: It's great. Tom Selleck is one of the smartest guys I've ever worked with. He is very studied, knows his character extremely well and works very hard. He's also very generous with the actors around him. I'm as excited as anyone to see him bring Frank Reagan, NYC Police Commissioner to life.
Donnie is a lot of fun. I almost felt like I knew him before I met him because I know his work and friends of mine have worked with him. I'm excited to play his brother at home and brother on the force. A lot of the scenes are with Nick Turturro, as well, who every one is loving as "Sergeant Renzulli."
ETonline: Being a dog lover, I have to ask. You have talked a lot in the past about your dogs. Do you still have them, and if so, did they move with you?
Will Estes: I do have them, yes. They are with my family in Los Angeles. I miss them but I have to decide if I can subject them to the NY life style. They're not spring chickens and the winter and walk ups might be tough for them.
ETonline: You've been acting since you were very young, how did you know at such a young age what you wanted to do with your life?
Will Estes: That's funny, I didn't. It wasn't a life goal of mine as a kid. I sort of fell into it and had fun once I was there. It was only later that I began to view it as a craft and something that had value as a career. Ultimately, it's just art and entertainment. If people enjoy your work, then you've contributed something... It's so intangible and play-like sometimes that it seems absurd to receive a paycheck for it.
ETonline: If you couldn't act, what would you do?
Will Estes: Ah, I knew you'd ask. No idea. I like to build stuff, so maybe I'd build things.
ETonline: How have you managed to avoid the pitfalls other child actors have experienced?
Will Estes: I'm not sure. All I know is that I grew up in Los Angeles so I was always home. Other kids would come out and, if they had a hard time, they would go home to another state, or stay and have an even harder time alone. I had the support of family and friends ... and if it got difficult, I had no where to run to because I was already home. Acting was an opportunity offered by the geography.
ETonline: Do people think you are related to Rob Estes?
Will Estes: People ask, yeah. I met Rob once briefly. I don't know him, but I consider it a compliment.
ETonline: What do you do to chill out when you are not working?
Will Estes: When I can, I like to watch the late-night news parodies with a dog in my lap. That and going for a drive. I really miss my car living here in New York. My dogs come with me on the drives, too.
"Blue Bloods" airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on CBS.