Born in Binghamton, New York, and raised in Longmeadow, actress Bridget Moynahan, 45, graduated from Longmeadow High School before pursuing a career in modeling while studying acting. Her breakthrough roles came as Natasha, wife of Mr. Big on Sex and the City, and in the film Coyote Ugly. Film roles in Battle: Los Angeles, Gray Matters, Ramona and Beezus, The Recruit, The Sum of All Fears and I, Robot followed, as did a starring role in the ABC drama Six Degrees. She can currently be seen on the seventh season of the hit CBS drama Blue Bloods, on which she plays an assistant district attorney, and in John Wick: Chapter 2 opposite Keanu Reeves. Her upcoming films include Drunk Parents, in which she appears opposite Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek. She lives with her husband, businessman Andrew Frankel, and son in New York.
Jonathan Soroff: Something most people don’t know about Longmeadow?
Bridget Moynahan: I think that a lot of successful people have come out of Longmeadow High School. Aaron Lewis from Staind. Joey Santiago of the Pixies. The Broadway actress Meghann Fahy. Joe Philbin, who coached the Miami Dolphins. It’s not like Longmeadow is Manhattan, but what I love about it is that it’s an amazing town with a school system that’s one of the best in the state. It’s really great.
If I’d told you seven years ago that Blue Bloods was going to be so huge, what would you have said to me? I don’t think any of us imagined it would have these legs. I guess because Tom Selleck was attached, and he’s had success after success, that we could have guessed, but we had no idea. And it’s gotten better every season.
Off-camera, does Tom Selleck secretly wear Magnum, P.I. booty shorts? No. But he makes the rest of us wear them, which can get awkward.
After working with Donnie for so many years, are you an honorary Wahlberg? I think he might be an honorary Moynahan.
How much do you know about law? Could you represent me in court battling a speeding ticket? Yeah. You ready? “He totally didn’t do it!”
How about a murder case? Sure. Why not? [Laughs.] I love the law. I love law enforcement. I would love to be a detective or a cop. I think it’s so cool, and I really appreciate what they do. I actually bought the LSAT book one time, thinking, “I’m going to look into this.” And then once I did, I was like, “Yeah, maybe not. Maybe I’m good just playing one on TV.”
I love the Sunday night family dinners on Blue Bloods. What’s your take on that kind of tradition or ritual? I think it’s great, whether it’s Sunday night, or Friday, or monthly or whatever. If you can get together with your family and friends regularly and have that coming together, and make it a ritual, I think that is so important. Just to touch base with your tribe. And I do think that’s what brings people back to the show every week. It’s the conversations around the table that people are attached to—having a moral or ethical question raised and discussed through different lenses. The show touches upon some pretty significant subjects that are relevant to everyone, and to have the conversation around a table, through characters you feel you know on an intimate level, as opposed to hearing it from the news or wherever, you get to see it from different angles and perspectives. And I think that’s important.
Drunk Parents—is that a movie anyone can relate to? Umm…[Laughs.] It was one of those scripts that when I was reading it, I was laughing to the point of tears, and I had to put it down, take some breaths and then go back to it. So hopefully, that was translated to the screen. It was a project that, even though I’m only in like two scenes, I felt just a little bit out of my comfort zone, because it was a comedy. I haven’t done that many. And there were such heavy hitters. Jim Gaffigan. Alec Baldwin. Salma Hayek. These are all seasoned comedians or people who have done a lot of comedy.
I hear the new installment of John Wick is incredible. Tell me one secret. I like to hear that. Let’s see. A secret. Well, my character died in John Wick 1. So the fact that I’m in John Wick 2 is incredible and amazing and a miracle. I’m so happy they brought me back. But you know, John Wick has a temper, and he takes it out on a lot of people. And the ending is kinda great, because it pulls you in, and you can’t wait for John Wick 3.
Favorite movie you’ve ever been in? Oh, that’s so tough. Right away, Coyote Ugly comes to mind, because it was the first major movie I was in, and it was the beginning of my career. I think I was doing Sex and the City at the same time, and it was this small indie film, where I was like Girl Number Three on the bench. I didn’t even have a name in that movie. And then it did really well. It turned out to be a huge, huge deal. But we got to learn to dance. It was a full-on experience. To be able to do a film like that, where you learn all these new skills and you’re really going out of your comfort zone in so many different ways, is such a gift. It’s something I’ll never forget.
Favorite TV show you were on? Blue Bloods. What else am I going to say? I’ve only been on a couple. I was on Sex and the City. And I did a show called Six Degrees that didn’t do that well. It ran for like a year. It was a great show, and I was surprised that it didn’t do better. We had an amazing cast. I think it was a little ahead of its time conceptually.
You were Carrie’s rival on Sex and the City. Do fans hate you because of that? I still get it a little bit now, but when it was on, it was crazy. I always found that fascinating. That’s how deep their love for Carrie Bradshaw was. They were actually mad at me for being a really good wife, and my husband was cheating on me with Sarah Jessica Parker. You don’t normally root for the person who’s doing the cheating. She still has such a strong fan base from that show.
Favorite leading man? I loved working with Will Smith, and I would love to work with him again. He’s such a great guy. So generous. A hard worker. A very loyal person. He’s good peeps.
Role you wish you’d done but didn’t? Bruce Willis’ role in Die Hard. Or I’d love to have been Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games. That is such a great, great role. Not like I tried out for those or anything. But they’re fantasies. Hunger Games is such a fun series and a great role. Anything real action-y. The next one I’m having a fantasy about is Hugh Jackman’s new Wolverine movie, Logan.
Anything on your acting resume you wish you could erase? I don’t think so. Is there something that you think I should? [Laughs.]
No, but most actors have a Sharknado or Chuckie 12 they wish they could forget. No. It’s all a moment. It’s all an experience. I’m sure the Sharknado thing was leading to another opportunity for whomever was in it, and you can’t regret that. You also sign on to things sometimes thinking that they’ll be great. You have an idea of what it will be and it doesn’t turn out that way. That’s just the nature of the beast.
What’s the one thing you wish you could tell your 15-year-old self? Don’t sweat it so much. Relationships don’t have to be so hard. That, and to trust your gut. I can remember being up for a part, and I knew what I was supposed to be doing and what felt right. Everybody involved wanted me for the role. And I listened to this actor, and I took his advice, even though it didn’t feel right. And I didn’t get that job. I’m 100 percent sure it’s because I didn’t listen to my gut and trust my instincts.
Photo: Patric Shaw; Styling: Martina Gordon, Rebecca Klein; Hair: Alberto Guzman; Makeup: Tina Turnbrow; Wardrobe: Rag & Bone top, Alice + Olivia pants, NOIR earrings, NOIR and I’m Jewel rings