Emmy contenders: Behind the scenes with 'Nurse Jackie' and Peter Facinelli
Upon occasion, we here at Awards tracker will check in with a show’s cast members to get their responses to some random questions. Today we spotlight Showtime’s "Nurse Jackie," in which Emmy winner Edie Falco plays a drug-addicted nurse who shares a workplace with idealistic nurse Zoey Barkow (Merritt Wever), narcissistic Dr. Fitch Cooper (Peter Facinelli) and pharmacist Eddie Walzer (Paul Schulze), who also happens to be Jackie’s lover. Up first, Facinelli. Check back later this evening for Q&As with Schulze and Wever.
What has been your favorite scene to shoot?
“I would have to narrow it down to two. The first being the scene with Anna Deavere Smith’s nursing manager, Gloria Akalitus in Season 2, where I go in and complain to her about Nurse Jackie’s attitude and end up crying. It wasn’t written that way, and while we were shooting it, as I was venting, I just broke down and starting crying. The showrunners thought it was hysterical and left it in. I list it as one of my favorites because I love when the scene takes me for a ride and what happens is completely unplanned because I’m in the moment. The second would be this season, finding out my parents got a divorce. I loved working with Judith Light and Swoosie Kurtz. I loved how Coop was all excited to be with his moms and then got this bomb dropped on him. And the way he dealt with it in such a childlike manner was fun to play.”
What is your favorite off-camera moment on set?
“I was asked by Showtime to do Dr. Coop Video Diaries. I’ve done it for two seasons now. It has been fun being able to capture some of those fun off-camera video moments. So instead of me listing them, you can check some out here. I promise some will make you laugh out loud.”
In what way do you hope your character grows?
“Coop is kind of a boy trapped in a man’s body. It’s this egocentric, non-filtered, harmless, boyish quality that makes him fun to watch. So, I guess I hope he doesn’t ‘grow up’ as much as I would love to see what new situations the writers put him in to really take this character for a ride, and see how he responds."
Tell us something about one of your cast mates that most people don’t know.
“Stephen Wallem, who plays Thor, is Linda Wallem’s brother; Linda is the co-creator of the show. Lot of talent in that family.”
What do you hope audiences get from “Nurse Jackie”?
“The tone of ‘Nurse Jackie’ is unlike any other show. It’s a quirky comedy that hits some hard dramatic notes as well. So I hope audiences are moved dramatically, as well as get to laugh a lot too. All in a half hour."
-- Elena Howe
Photo: Peter Facinelli in "Nurse Jackie." Credit: Showtime