Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own articles.Len Cariou didn't have many kind words to say to producers who asked the 71-year-old veteran of stage, screen, and television to come back for a third audition to clinch his role as just the right kind of cantankerous grandpa on "Blue Bloods."
"I said, go [expletive] yourself," Cariou recalls with a chuckle, "I told my agent, "There's nothing that they could possibly throw at me that I couldn't do, and if they can't figure that out from what they've already seen, there's no point in pursuing it.'"
To a lesser accomplished talent, such words might seem braggadocios, but Len Cariou has the acting clout to back up the backbone and balance he brings to the table as Henry Reagan. Fans eat up his reminiscences of old-school cop justice even if they know it doesn't jive with current politics, and feel part of the dinnertime discussions that are staple at the Reagan's. "People will come up to me and say, 'Hey, I had dinner with you the other night. What did you think the meatloaf '"
Cariou playfully retorts, admittedly saying his first reaction was "I've never met you before," before realizing that the dinner scenes with the Reagan family galvanize a unique relationship between fans and the family that continued to build ratings throughout the first season. Cariou says people love to talk about the dinner scenes because they "feel real," and the love is mutual. The actor says the 15 million people who are with the Reagan's every week now far exceed those that have seen the actor's rich resume of stage performances.
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Cariou was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2004. He won the Tony award for the 1979 production of "Sweeney Todd," and has had multiple nominations. He has acted opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Johnny Depp in film roles, and received an Emmy nomination for his role as Franklin D Roosevelt in the HBO series, "Into the Storm." "Blue Bloods" executive producer, Leonard Goldberg declares "Len is used to commanding the room, and we needed that strong presence." The battle between Tom Selleck's Francis Reagan and his dad on moral and meaningful ground while gathered around the family table is often mesmerizing, as both these actors have the ability and persona to speak volumes without uttering a word! By the way, that third audition was never needed!
- Len Cariou
- Leonard Goldberg
- Elizabeth Taylor
- Sweeney Todd
- Tony award