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Edie Falco on Nurse Jackie

Published March 8, 2010 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of Showtime
Nurse Jackie Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie has become an angel of salvation to viewers. Edie Falco plays the ER savior who can handle our business and get things done. She’s got higher pressures than most of us, and coping mechanisms that hopefully we don’t resort to. Season two will find Jackie facing off against a recovering addict, while she remains addicted to pills.

Edie Falco is Nurse Jackie

“It is just this constant reminder of there's probably a better way to be going about this,” Falco said. “But I also think when you're deep in the addict thing, I don't think she thinks there's a whole lot of validity to this whole AA shtick. I think she just finds it annoying. He's a lovely guy to be with, and he's a great actor, so we did good.”

Meanwhile, Jackie is maintaining her status quo. She’s surprisingly functional, considering all the chemicals she ingests. “You know, look at a lot of these addicts you see that are at this for a long time. You walk around Manhattan; you see these junkies and somehow or other, they're able to get up and do it again. It's amazing. On some level it's almost like they're being looked out for by something higher, the fact that they're able to get up every morning and do it again.”

The job is certainly conducive to Jackie’s habit, but in Falco’s conception, the job was incidental. “She would have been an addict if she was a circus performer or a plumber or a lawyer. It's not the pressures of her job. It's the pressure of her mind. She was born with this, as all addicts are, I believe. At least born with the predisposition for addition. So I think it makes it easier and harder because the drugs are so readily available. But, it's about this woman, and she would be who she is regardless of where she is.”

A recovering addict herself, Falco actually considers Jackie dangerous. However, that doesn’t mean she’s not fun. “I wouldn't go anywhere near her, to be honest with you. But the fun factor is very large for me. I would have to say the main reason is that she spends no time concerned with the ramifications of the things that she says and does. She has one goal in mind, and I think that's for the most part, to help people. Certainly in her job. I think she wants to be a good person. She spends really very little time trying to figure out what other people will think about what she does, what she says. I spend entirely too much time, and it feels lovely to just imagine what that would be like, to just go from that place and let the chips fall where they may.”

Nurse Jackie returns March 22 on Showtime.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Showtime

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