Tom Selleck is very much a family man on "Blue Bloods," so it makes sense that he'd welcome newcomers to the show's "family."
Vanessa Ray discovered that to be very much the case when she joined the CBS Friday drama at the start of its current season. She hasn't been invited to one of the weekly on-camera dinners -- at least not yet -- as Jamie Reagan's ( Will Estes) new NYPD partner Eddie Janko, but she's found Emmy winner Selleck just as paternal and protective as his alter ego, Commissioner Frank Reagan.
"I was very nervous and excited to meet him," the good-humored Ray tells Zap2it. "I've worked with a couple of these really cool, great actors like Ted Danson and Glenn Close [on 'Damages']. They all have their own presence when they walk into a room, and I was excited to see what Tom Selleck's 'space' was going to be like.
"I should also say that every woman in my family is a gigantic fan of his," adds Ray. "My grandmother had a framed picture of him in her bathroom, so I was like, 'Just who is this guy?' My first day on the set, I got there and he was sitting outside with a couple of his buddies and co-stars, smoking a cigar. And I was like, 'That is exactly what Tom Selleck should be doing.' It was perfect, and I was very pleasantly surprised. He's so warm, and also just so cool."
Commissioner Reagan backed Eddie in a recent story that put her professional standing in jeopardy. Though Jamie held back from giving her his overt support then, she has a chance to lend him hers in Friday's (Nov. 1) episode, as his pursuit leads to a suspect's death and threatens his own job.
Ray's enchantment with Selleck goes well beyond observing him during breaks: "There was a scene where he said to me, 'Are you eyeballing me, Janko?,' and he asked me, 'Hey, Vanessa, have you ever been in the military?' I said, 'No,' and he said, 'Well, have you ever stood at attention?' I said, 'No.'
"Then he said, 'Do you want to practice?' And I was like, 'Um ... absolutely, Tom Selleck! I would absolutely love to practice with you.' He taught me how my feet are supposed to look and where my thumbs are supposed to go, and he just kept running the scene with me, over and over."
Selleck also has given valuable career advice to Ray, who will do double duty by reprising her "Pretty Little Liars" role as CeCe Drake when the ABC Family series resumes its fourth season Tuesday, Jan. 7.
"He said, 'Don't ever act. Just think. If you think, it will lead you where you need to go.' And I was like, 'That's such good advice! You're, like, this guru of wonderfulness.'"
Photo/Video credit: CBS