LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - With three Emmys already to her credit, Edie Falco is a television powerhouse. Celebrating her eighth nomination this year for her work as Jackie Peyton in the Showtime original comedy series “Nurse Jackie,” Falco proves she’s the queen of the small screen and she’s here to stay.
Falco opens up to The Hollywood Reporter’s Leslie Bruce about preparing for this character, spending less time in the makeup chair and the possibility of a “Sopranos” movie.
The Hollywood Reporter: Congratulations on yet another nomination. How will representing “Nurse Jackie” at the Emmys be a different experience than you’ve had in the past?
Edie Falco: With “The Sopranos,” I knew these people for 10 years, so it really was just a chance to hang out with longtime friends. I’ve only worked with the “Jackie” crowd for a few years. We work together for a few months, and then we’re off for a few months. We don’t know each other as well. This is the first time we get to do something like this as a group. More awards coverage.
THR: Jackie is a raw, no-frills woman. What is it like to play someone who is such a polar opposite of Carmela Soprano?
Falco: They couldn’t be more different, and I love it. It’s thrilling to run the gamut as far as characters are concerned. Jackie is someone I hadn’t explored before. Luckily, there’s still plenty more to discover, and it’s a luxury many actors don’t get. With a TV series, you get to be this person over a long period of time. I’ve grown very fond of series acting for that reason. And I do love that I’m spending less time in hair and makeup. It’s a bit more comfortable.
THR: While preparing to be a no-nonsense emergency room nurse, what kind of research did you do?
Falco: I went to Bellevue and spent time in their ER. It was intense, you learn a lot in a short period of time. I was very taken with how calm everyone is, because you see these television shows where doctors are running around the ER, but that’s not really the case. These professionals remain calm in the face of chaos. They go about their business as if it’s run-of-the-mill. For the rest of us, it’s shocking, but for them it’s just another day at the office.
THR: Being a veteran of this awards show, what do you consider your best memory?
Falco: The last Emmys with “The Sopranos.” We did a tribute to the series where we all stood on the stage and they featured show clips behind us and the Jersey Boys performed. It was such a profound honor to be there honoring this thing we had done for 10 years. It was over and I was so lucky to be a part of it. It wasn’t about competing. I was exceedingly proud.
THR: A “Sopranos” feature film is practically a Hollywood myth at this point. What insider knowledge can you bestow on fans?
Falco: Frankly, I think it’s not going to materialize, but stranger things have happened. I would definitely be interested in being involved; I’m pretty good at rolling with the punches. I would be fine if it never happened, but I would also love to go back there and see all the people I love again. Who knows? I’m not the one making the decisions and I would jump at the chance to participate.
THR: If you could step into the character of any of your fellow lead actress nominees, comedy or drama, who would it be?
Falco: Tina Fey as Liz Lemon. She is such an immense talent. I just want to be on that set. There is this great goofing around that goes on between Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin. I’ve spent time there and it’s just ridiculously fun. Everyone laughs and that’s such a nice thing to have during the workday.
THR: Former “Sopranos” producer Matt Weiner has garnered a tremendous following for his show “Mad Men.” Are you a fan of the series?
Falco: I’m embarrassed to admit that I have never seen it. I’ve actually spoken to Matt a couple of times congratulating him on the success and I’ve been embarrassed to tell him that I haven’t seen the damn show. I don’t ever watch television, I’m just not a television person, and it’s crazy because I work in TV!
Edie Falco’s TV highlights 1993: Falco heads to the courtroom for four episodes as defense attorney Sally Bell on NBC’s “Law & Order.” 1993: Falco plays the wife of injured officer Chris Thormann (Lee Tergesen) on NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street.” 1995: Falco finds herself on the right side of the law as Sgt. Kelly on Fox’s cop drama “New York Undercover.” 1997: Falco plays correctional officer Diane Whittlesey who is sleeping with her boss, Tim McManus (Terry Kinney), on HBO’s “Oz.” 1999-2007: Jumping over to the dark side, Falco earns three Emmys for her turn as Carmela, the wife of New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) on HBO’s “The Sopranos.” 2007: Garnering another Emmy nomination for her guest spot on NBC’s “30 Rock,” Falco channeled Democratic congresswoman Celeste Cunningham who has an affair with ultra-conservative Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin).
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte