Steve Schirripa is undoubtedly best known to most audiences as Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri, Tony Soprano's (Jimmy Gandolfini) brother-in-law and fellow gangster, but the actor's been part of two long-running successful shows beyond HBO's "The Sopranos."
Schirripa appeared on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" from 2008-2013, and eventually joined the large ensemble of "Blue Bloods" as Anthony Abetemarco, a retired NYPD detective who now works as an investigator for the district attorney's office. His work with prosecutors means he primarily works with Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan).
Shirripa is just one of a number of "Sopranos" actors to pop up on "Blue Bloods," with others like Michael Imperioli, Lorraine Bracco, and John Ventimiglia. Schirripa has had the biggest presence, though, and managed to stand out in a cast where nearly every character has the last name Reagan, as the CBS drama follows the various cops and civil servants in the family, all under NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck).
Anthony and Erin are an odd pairing, but the two quickly become close partners. And even though Anthony doesn't have the last name Reagan, Schirripa believes Erin still views her investigator as family — even if he is a tad rough around the edges and not exactly schooled in the game of politics.
According to Steve Schirripa, Anthony acts in a big brother capacity to Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan) – a fitting theory, as Anthony often acts as a protector and trusted advisor to Erin. While he's deeply loyal, he's also willing to tell her when she's wrong, and she respects him enough to listen. Schirripa shared his theory in an October 2022 interview with Pop Culture, and he also revealed he believes Anthony and Erin are such good partners because of their completely different backgrounds and skill sets.
"He might be an old-school guy, but he knows his business. I think she very much values what he has to say, even though they fight and they argue because Anthony's not going to take her crap. I mean, as a lot of people would. They come from completely different places," the actor said.
Schirripa had nothing but good things to say about Moynahan in the same interview, praising her as one the best he's ever worked with — which is high praise considering he's worked with plenty of talented actresses, like "Sopranos" alums Edie Falco and Aida Turturro.
"I've worked with a lot of great actresses. A lot. And she's as good as any of them. I mean, she's a very underrated actress as far as I'm concerned," he said of his co-star.