Amy Carlson breaks silence on Blue Bloods exit
Amy Carlson spoke at length about her exit from Blue Bloods for the first time on Tuesday and criticized the way her character's departure was handled.
Speaking with Deadline, the actress, who starred as Linda Reagan on the CBS procedural for its first seven seasons, confirmed that it was her decision to leave the show but added that she was not invited to return for the season 8 premiere to effectively wrap up Linda's story. In the episode, it's revealed that the character died in a helicopter crash off-screen; season 8 has since followed her husband, Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), as he grieves and tries to move on.
"I feel badly that she dies the way she dies," Carlson told Deadline. "I did not know they would do that, I was surprised. I wouldn't have done that."
When pressed to elaborate on how she would have handled the exit, Carlson indicated she wished viewers could have seen "the death" and "her demise," acknowledging that there's been a widespread outcry from fans of the show. "It would've been nice for the fans…to be a participant in it," she explained. "I'm not sure how I would've chosen it but I just know that for the fans to have a way to grieve, to move through it, I think it would've been nice for them."
Carlson repeatedly referenced her ongoing friendship with Wahlberg and how he's been "so generous and sweet" in the month since her exit from the show became public. She did not name anyone else involved in the show. When Deadline asked about the comments from "a Blue Bloods colleague" that her exit was a surprise to most on the show, "which led to the unfortunate way Linda was killed off off-screen," Carlson responded, "If someone had said they were surprised and they didn't know I was leaving I would just respond to them and say it's standard to have conversations with actors whose contracts are up prior to the season-ending."
At a panel discussion as part of New York's PaleyFest last month, Bridget Moynahan, who costarred with Carlson as her sister-in-law in Blue Bloods, told EW that she and the cast were "disappointed to see [Carlson] was going," adding, "It was unfortunate that she made that decision at the end of season 7, so we were stuck with the storyline as we could get it." The next day, Carlson tweeted that she was "appalled and sad about comments made @paleycenter about Linda's demise," calling them "inaccurate" without naming names or elaborating further.
Carlson later told Deadline that she enjoyed her time with CBS and on Blue Bloods and that she's been moved and humbled by the show of support from fans. "I hear them, and I appreciate them so much, and I'm so grateful that they love this character that I created," she said. "I'm honored to have had the chance to portray her for as long as I did. It was seven great years, that's a longer run than most shows get."
She was also asked about her favorite scenes from the show. Watch one of the scenes she chose above.
Blue Bloods airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on CBS.