Steve Schirripa talks about his time in Blue Bloods and The Sopranos
The “Blue Bloods” and “Sopranos” connection runs even deeper than you on the show because “Blue Bloods” was created by two people. [Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess] who contributed to the success of “The Sopranos”. Additionally, a few other “Sopranos” actors have guest-starred on the show. Does this connection make you sentimental?
Believe it or not, I couldn’t be on the show when [Green and Burgess] were on the show. I don’t know what that reason was. I know them and I love them. I respect them. But for some reason they didn’t want to give me a role. So does this make me sentimental? No.
I met them, Mitch and Robin, after being on the show for about a year. I passed them on the street and they said they liked what I was doing. It was a good thing to hear. But I couldn’t be on the show for the first six years, and it was a show in New York, so I always thought it was a little weird. Looking back, though, it’s a good thing I didn’t [get on] because it would have been one and done. You come as a guest star and you are eliminated.
This role of Anthony Abetemarco had legs. They obviously liked what I was doing and they started writing for me. They had Arthur Nascarella, and I worked with him. He played Carlo [on “The Sopranos”]. It was fun working with him again. With Michel Imperioli [appearing on “Blue Bloods”]I was hoping somewhere along the line that we would work together, but it hasn’t happened yet.
I am realistic. I know I’m not going to play an English teacher. I’m not going to get lost in the roles. I am blue collar. I’m not Christian Bale or Gary Oldman, where they play a different guy every time. But I wanted out of the mafia, because I haven’t seen anything but “The Sopranos” yet.
I played a suburban dad on “The Secret Life of America’s Teenager” for five years, and it was great to step out of all the crowds and play this blue-collar sausage king. The show was terrific. It was a big hit and put ABC Family on the map. Because of that, I got out of the mafia and into other stuff. Unless something incredible happens, the mafia stuff doesn’t interest me anymore. It’s like, we did it, it was awesome, and I don’t think you’re going to do it too.
I’ve never watched “Blue Bloods” before. [starring on the show]. I have never seen an episode. But I went back and watched a few of them, and it’s a really well-written and well-acted show. The whole cast is great. Bridget Moynahan is as good as any actress I’ve worked with. Very underrated. Tom and Donny [Wahlberg] and go [Estes] and vanessa [Ray] and Marissa [Ramirez] – tremendous. Len Cariou too.