How A Real-Life EMT Wound Up Playing A Background Character On Blue Bloods

Hollywood is indebted to its unsung heroes: the thousands of extras who populate movies and television series to make them look more realistic — especially with a complicated show like “Blue Bloods.” Sometimes being an extra can be a breakthrough point for a budding young actor.

Such is the case for Adrian Matilla, a New Jersey native and former EMT for Jersey City Medical Center, who now has over 30 acting credits on IMDb. Matilla was an extra and background player in many episodes in the first few seasons of “Blue Bloods,” including its pilot, according to He eventually parlayed that experience into a speaking role as a low-level drug dealer, and became very comfortable working with cast members Donnie Wahlberg and Marisa Ramirez. “I had been in parts with them so many times before that it felt so flawless to work [with them],” Matilla said. “It was like being home again.” 

Matilla’s other acting experiences include playing lots of cops in shows like HBO’s “The Leftovers,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and “Chicago PD,” a bodyguard in “The Mysteries of Laura,” and an uncredited role on the Ava DuVernay Netflix series “When They See Us,” per his Instagram. He also did stunts in Marvel’s “Luke Cage” and “Daredevil.” “Playing these roles gives me a good sign I’m going in the right direction,” Matilla said.

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