LOS ANGELES — Tom Selleck returns to series television with Blue Bloods as a New York police commissioner and the patriarch of a cop family. And while the surprisingly youthful-looking veteran has been keeping busy on television, he freely admits he’s still most recognized for Magnum P.I. Metro spoke with Selleck during a break from filming Blue Bloods.
You don't seem to age. Any reason for that?
I don't know. I'm truly not very grey. And for the show, I spend 20 minutes in the chair every morning greying my hair and greying my moustache a little and I'm going, "If the show goes eight years, that's nine months a year, 20 minutes a day. I just wish I would get a little greyer."
And then sometimes you can't see it because when they shoot in the high def, it's very contrasty sometimes and I go, "I put grey in my hair and it doesn't show." So that's my lot in life right now. It's not a bad problem, but thank you for that.
What drew you to Blue Bloods?
The script first. I wasn't really looking for a series. I was concerned that I liked it because I do a series of movies for CBS called Jesse Stone. I love that character and it's really successful. So the first thing I said when I went in was, "I'm not doing this at the expense of Jesse Stone," and they said, "We don't want you to. Jesse is a home run for us." So that was nice.
Do you mind that people still recognize you most from Magnum P.I.?
No. I have never minded talking about that show. If I did my job right as an actor, when I left Magnum, it was my main credit. I have done westerns. I've done comedies, and people are aware that I have broader appetites than they might suspect, but Magnum will always be a big part it and I think it's in a hundred countries still, something like that. So it has never been a problem. But, you know, that being said, it's kind of in the past. He's very different. I see some episodes and I go, "Did I do that? I can't remember."
What about making it into a movie?
Magnum won't work. Magnum is a little more like Star Trek, and I'm not just kind of gilding the lily on that. The fans of Magnum remember more lines than I can remember. I mean, the show is in the Smithsonian as the show that first recognized Vietnam veterans in a positive light in the States. And you can't just buy a title, spend a hundred million dollars on explosions and trivialize it, which they do. They always make fun of these shows and that won't work for the Magnum fans, and there's just too many fans for them to ignore. I hear about it every two years or so, but I haven't seen anybody do it yet.
Is your daughter in the business?
No, he said gratefully. [laughs] She doesn't want to. I think she got a dose of fame. I think she discounts it. In a culture and in a world where some people just want to be famous, she doesn't. She just wants to be good at what she does. She's an accomplished equestrian. She's jumping grand prix-height fences, which is enough to give her dad a heart attack.