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Why Chief Paul Gallagher From Blue Bloods Looks So Familiar

When "Blue Bloods" premiered on CBS back in 2010, showrunners Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess of "The Sopranos," scored a network TV hit. Instead of exploring morally conflicted mobsters and modern psychiatry, the duo turned their attention to the fictional Reagan family of law enforcement officials. Maintaining the same level of authentic storytelling from their work on the HBO drama, the program brought a grittier and more complex level of screenwriting to the procedural police drama format (via The New York Times). In addition to its stellar writing across 13 years, its large cast of characters has been equally as dynamic.

The series is led by veteran actor Tom Selleck as the Reagan family patriarch –  Commissioner Frank Reagan. Donnie Wahlberg (Detective Danny Reagan), Bridget Moynahan (ADA Erin Reagan), Will Estes (Sergeant Jamie Reagan), and Len Cariou (Henry Reagan) round out the rest of the main cast. Now in its 13th season, the program has also featured a strong repertoire of recurring and guest stars over the years. One familiar face introduced midway through the latest season is Chief Paul Gallagher, who is played by an actor who may be familiar to large- and small-screen viewers alike. Here is where you may have seen the special guest star before.

Cahill had a recurring role in the 7th season of Friends as Tag Jones

Paul Gallagher is played by American actor Eddie Cahill. Cahill started his acting career on the stage before landing guest starring spots on "Sex and the City," "Charmed," "Felicity," "Law & Order: SVU," and in what would become a recurring part on the 7th season of "Friends," the character of Tag Jones, Rachel Green's (Jennifer Aniston) assistant at Polo Ralph Lauren. Rachel eventually develops a crush on Tag, and the ensuing back-and-forth between the two as they navigate some complex co-worker boundary issues created some engaging comedy. His character was only around for seven total episodes, but it was enough to earn him credit as a recurring player that season.

In a 2020 retrospective interview with The Latch, the actor shared his recollections of the experience playing Tag Jones. He commented, "I was starting out. It was my first time in Los Angeles. The day I booked the job, I was scheduled to fly back home to New York. I think the character and I were having very similar experiences, and I didn't know that then." The "Lords of Dogtown" star then added how he wished he had added some of his bewildered experiences in trying to break into acting to the part of Tag.

He played Olympic Gold Medal winner Jim Craig in 2004's Miracle

After gaining exposure on "Friends" and his other TV guest roles, Eddie Cahill landed the part of the U.S. Olympic Gold Medal winner Jim Craig in "Miracle" who became a champion of the American hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Moscow. Russia. The movie was produced and distributed by the Walt Disney Company and went on to become a moderate hit at the U.S. box office. The film and the opportunity to play a real-life sports champion stuck with the actor as he praised the feature in a 2007 interview with ESPN.

When asked what the highlight of his career so far was, Cahill replied, "I think I'd have to say 'Miracle.' That group of guys was great to work with. It was a good transition for me." The actor then shared how he loved being a regular on "CSI: NY," but nothing has yet compared to his time spent filming "Miracle" at that point. "I mean, getting to live out my fantasy hockey career was pretty cool," he continued, before talking about how his experience shooting the film gave him his moment of realization that he has actually made it in the entertainment industry.

The actor starred as Detective Don Flack on CSI: NY

In 2002, Eddie Cahill starred as the lead character in The WB's "Glory Days" – a supernatural thriller series that was canceled after only 13 episodes. But the actor would soon land steady TV work as part of the main cast of CBS's "CSI: NY" starting in the premiere season in 2004. The program was a spin-off from "CSI: Miami," which was itself a spin-off from the original "CSI" on the network. Cahill's character, Detective Don Flack, was his first major role after "Miracle" and would go on to become one of his most well-known performances.

Speaking to American Profile about his favorite moment while filming the procedural, which ran for nine seasons, Cahill shared that one of his favorite episodes was Season 1's "The Fall" and then added, "It was the first time I had a chance to engage Don Flack outside of procedure," the actor said. "It told the story of how Flack had a mentor, who did something that got him into trouble. It gave me the chance to do something different. It was one of the first doorways I had into his life, so that episode stands out." 

After "CSI: NY," Cahill would turn his attention next to a popular adaptation of a Stephen King novel.

Eddie Cahill was featured as the mysterious EMT Sam Verdreaux in Under the Dome

From 2014-2015, Eddie Cahill portrayed EMT Sam Verdreaux in CBS's series adaptation of Stephen King's 2009 novel "Under the Dome." The program told the story of a small town in Maine that suddenly becomes cut off from the rest of the planet after an indestructible and transparent dome encloses the city. The series ran for three seasons, with Cahill joining it for its second and final installments. The actor's role as Sam, who is equal parts reclusive and endearing at the same time, allowed him to experience serialized television as opposed to the procedural format.

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald in 2014, Cahill was asked how "Under the Dome" differed from "CSI: NY." He replied, "I think television is changing in exciting ways. The 13-episode model lends itself to a more serialized format, which is nice and gives writers a chance to breathe some space into it. The actor then added how filming 20-something episodes per year isn't an easy job. Despite its breezy 13 episodes per year, when the show ended in 2015, Cahill decided to return to broadcast television and the procedural format.

The actor was part of the cast of the short-lived ABC legal drama Conviction

In 2016, Eddie Cahill returned to the familiar world of procedural television dramas, but this time within the legal profession in the short-lived dramedy "Conviction" on ABC. He played New York County District Attorney Conner Wallace, the sometimes love interest of lead character Hayes Morrison, played by "Agent Carter" star Hayley Atwell. Unfortunately, the series could not retain a large enough audience to continue past its initial order of 13 episodes and was canceled after one short season.

Unfortunately, the legal drama would also suffer from numerous negative reviews seeing it net a 20% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Many of the critical assessments of the show pointed to its unoriginality within a sea of legal procedures on broadcast TV. Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times wrote about the show, "Television's efforts to wring every possible permutation out of the crime-and-punishment genre results in another bland series with Conviction." 

Although he joined the show late in its run, Eddie Cahill's guest-starring run on "Blue Bloods" may be an exception as the show has helped define what is great about the genre for over a decade.