Jackie Peyton, on the other hand, a New York City emergency room nurse at the centre of the dark new comedy drama Nurse Jackie, couldn't be less saintly. boom, boom."), Jackie isn't above having functional sex with the hospital pharmacist in return for her regular fix of pills. She's complex and flawed, and no prizes for guessing which nurse critics and viewers have taken to their hearts.
Addicted to painkillers ("What do you call a nurse with a bad back? Nurse Jackie is up for a Golden Globe later this month – or, to be precise, its star, Edie Falco, has been nominated as Best Actress.
"Had this happened to me 15 years ago, that would not be good. She's been dry for 17 years now, which made hanging out with The Sopranos cast – notorious party animals, by all accounts – more of a chore than a blast.
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Falco was herself diagnosed with the disease in 2003, but seems to have made a full recovery. Treat the audience like they're smart," she has said of her creative philosophy.
Naturally shy (like many a hard drinker, or ex-hard drinker) and private, she is one of those actresses who let their performances speak for themselves. "Having Edie – it's like watching Tiger Woods play golf.
It's more exciting if he has a really hard course," says Wallem.
"Nine times out of 10, [Falco's feedback is] 'This is a little too much.
After graduating in 1986, Falco moved to New York City to pursue an acting career.