In February 2017, Tom Selleck sat down withto discuss his illustrious acting career. Naturally, both “Blue Bloods” and “Magnum PI” came up, leading to an interesting analysis of the similarities between Thomas Magnum and Frank Reagan. Aside from their signature mustaches, Selleck notes that the two characters are defined by their loneliness. They’re also committed to wives we either never see or have passed away. “There is a certain common denominator. Maybe it’s just the audience must, in a character-driven show, want to see the story unfold through your eyes,” Selleck said of each character’s impact on viewers.
Building on that last point, Selleck adds that the human elements of characters like Frank Reagan and Thomas Magnum go a long way in making them so engaging. They make it easier for audiences to connect with them since they’re going through real-world struggles many people face. Especially with Magnum, Selleck worked very hard to make him a down-to-earth, accessible character. As he told, the original concept for the character saw him act more like James Bond, but Selleck didn’t see this working. Instead, he made played him as relatable as possible — even with all of his flaws on display.
Frank Reagan and Thomas Magnum — two characters who aren’t so different after all — are undoubtedly television legends, and it’s all thanks to Tom Selleck.