Tag Archives: Edie Falco

Edie Falco: ‘Nurse Jackie’ Hiatus Might Be Prime Time for Family

Edie Falco’s acclaimed “Nurse Jackie” returns to the Showtime lineup Sunday (4/8), while in real life, the actress is weighing whether to take on another role — or focus on her role as a mom during her hiatus this year.     “I’m looking at a whole bunch of stuff.  I’m sort of excited by the potential of some things coming up,” she tells us.  On the other hand, “It might not be the worst thing for me to take some time off.  It would actually be nice to be home for the kids and do some things.”

Her kids — adopted son and daughter Anderson and Macy — are now eight and four years old, respectively.  Edie has found that balancing work and motherhood, now that they’re a little older, “Is actually easier.  They come with me a lot.  They seem to enjoy themselves.  They run up and down the halls of the studio where I work. They know the people, play with the guys.  And when they don’t come with me, they understand when I say, ‘I’m going to be late tonight.’  I can actually sort of explain myself, and talk about it when they feel disappointed.”

Contrary to her real-life happy home, things are anything but healthy, smooth or fun for her pill-popping Nurse Jackie Peyton.  The beginning of the new season will find her “still fumbling around to find out exactly what her bottom is — what her last straw will be,” as Edie puts it.  As for Jackie’s work mates and loved ones, “Everybody’s tolerance for the insanity of addiction is different.”  Expect some big changes for Jackie this season.

Edie Falco Talks ‘Nurse Jackie’s’ Arrival On the Road to Ruin

Edie Falco Showtime photo

How much longer can Edie Falco’s “Nurse Jackie” remain on the road to ruin without arriving?  For three entertaining seasons now, viewers have seen Jackie’s pill addiction leading her into more and more lies and worse and worse problems, personally and professionally.  So, with Season 4 of the Showtime series ready to be unveiled April 8, one wonders, how much longer can she keep going?

“Everybody’s tolerance for the insanity of addiction is different,” points out the Emmy-winning star.  “We’ll see her still fumbling around to find out exactly what her bottom is, what her last straw is.”

But if she rehabs or overdoses, the show is over, right?

Not at all, assures Falco, 20 years sober this year and a long-time proponent of 12-step programs.  “I’m living proof of life after addiction,” she says.  “Actually, for a lot of people, the real insanity of life is when they quit drugs.  What they get to is what was underneath it all the time, and they have to deal with that without anesthetizing themselves.”

In the wake of Whitney Houston’s death, Falco is all the more mindful of how much she values her sobriety.  “As I’ve spoken to a lot of other recovering people, I feel tremendous gratitude,” she tells us. “Why can some of us make it out of the quicksand, and others can’t?  I don’t know.  Like many people, I have some friends who still can’t quite pull themselves out.”

She’s talked before about the necessity of “getting out of your own way” to survive and thrive.  What does that mean?  How does a person get out of his or her own way?

“It involves a great deal of relaxation, a great deal of trust and faith,” she replies.  “It’s not much more than a decision, really.  You don’t have to have proof that it works, you have to decide ‘This will work.’  What needs to get done will get done.  You will be given the impulses you will need to get through your life.  And the muscles to do that get stronger and stronger the more you do it.”

For those who wish to catch up, Season 3 of “Nurse Jackie” is newly out on DVD.

George Clooney, Al Pacino, Kyra Sedgwick, Eric Stonestreet and More – Backstage From the Emmy Winners’ Circle

George Clooney

George Clooney proved again how utterly charming he is, Al Pacino quoted Michelangelo, and Kyra Sedgwick talked the fifth time being the charm backstage at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

Maybe it was that First Amendment question that got things rolling.   George Clooney, honored with the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award for his fund-raising work including this year’s multi-network telethon for Haiti earthquake relief, was asked about the conflict between wanting to maintain some kind of privacy in his life and his belief in the First Amendment.

He said firmly that, as the son of a newsman, “I always felt that the inconveniences I have are worth it rather than infringing on anyone else’s rights.”

Alrighty then, open season!

Clooney quickly deflected a question about his date – girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis — noting that “She picked me up in Italy” and yes, she was around.

He said he’d spent part of his day shooting hoops:  “John Krasinski came over to my house with a bunch of guys to play basketball.  If you see him later, well, he’s limping.”

Illustrating anew that the stars’ biggest fans are other stars, Clooney confessed to a moment of that star-struck feeling when he found himself with Al Pacino and Tom Selleck in the green room, and “suddenly I’m 14 years old.  It’s very funny.”

He also gave the telecast its first glowing review:  “The show is really good tonight.  Jimmy Fallon is just really killing it.  He’s just really funny.”

George on Prop 8 being lifted:  “I think it’s terrific.  Now it’s unlifted again…These are things that take a long time to change…People will look back on this period of history and think of it as an archaic time.”

George on his “ER” leading lady, Julianna Margulies, presenting his award:  “It’s pretty great. We’ve stayed in touch.  We’re good friends.”

Clooney talked about the namesake of his award, Bob Hope, noting, “It wasn’t just the USO shows.  That’s something everybody remembers him for 50 years.  He was one of the great charitable actors.  He did it all, always a great sense of humor.  He was fun.  He’d just show up and do something.”  Asked what he learned from Hope, Clooney, who knew the iconic comedian personally as a young man, recalled that “What you learn from him was, he didn’t take himself seriously.  I really appreciated that.”  Clooney recalled that Hope’s wife Dolores sang with his aunt, Rosemary Clooney, on her “Salute” show, and “she was great.  She’s 101 now and really doing great.”

Noting several times that he felt a little awkward to be getting an award for doing the right thing, Clooney insisted, “I don’t particularly do more than anybody else in the position I’m in.”

Well, not everyone organizes record-breaking, multi-network telethons full of A- List celebrities to help victims of the Haiti earthquake, the South Asia tsunami and Sept. 11 — raises hundreds of millions of dollars, and then follows up to ensure that the money is being used properly as Clooney does.  But anyway, he went on, “If you have a tremendous amount of heat from the spotlight, you’re able to deflect some of it onto people who could really use it.  My dad calls it a ‘Celebrity Credit Card’ that you can try to cash in other places.”

Al Pacino

Al Pacino, who won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his portrayal of Dr. Jack Kevorkian in “You Don’t Know Jack,” admitted that he felt a bit out of place at the TV honors.  “I’m just so used to movies,” he said, noting that he considered his HBO “You Don’t Know Jack” to be a movie, though it was shown on small screen.

“You’re a little lost.  You’re in the midst of all these TV people and you feel a little like you don’t belong.  You still feel like a movie person,” said Al.

Holding an Emmy had to have helped.

Pacino talked about the controversial medico known as Dr. Death for assisting suicides of terminally ill patients, saying he only got to know Kevorkian after making the movie, but “I’m so glad I got to know him.  He’s got that kind of intelligence where you can ask him anything and he’ll come up with something different from what you expected.”

Pacino lost weight to play Kevorkian, a notoriously finicky eater who has impassioned feelings against fat – yet is known to sneak sweets, according to Al.  He joked, “Gaining weight is much easier.  I wish I had to gain weight for a part.  Losing weight requires exercise, and “I’m from the Oscar Wilde school…Whenever I get the urge to exercise, I lie down until it passes.”

He told press he considers it a plus to play a real-life character:  “It’s great when you know somebody exists…It sort of frees you.  As Michelangelo said: ‘Free me of myself, Lord, so I can please you.’  I had that with Frank Serpico when I played him.  Actors like it, it’s very nourishing.”

Kyra Sedgwick

Kyra Sedgwick, who took home her first Emmy (outstanding Lead Actress for “The Closer”) in five nominations, was asked whether she’d been afraid of turning into another Susan Lucci, notorious for always being nominated but never winning.  “I love Susan Lucci,” she said.  “I kind of think you think you haven’t got a chance in hell after five times, but it’s always such a gift to be invited to the party.”

Looking amazing in her purple Monique Lhuillier gown, Kyra added that she reached the point, “I started to placate myself” with remembering that a lot of great actors never won Emmys – Martin Sheen, for instance, never won for “The West Wing.”  “I’d find solace in such things.”

With hubby Kevin Bacon in the press room nearby, sipping champagne while she fielded questions, Kyra was asked about competition between the famous couple.

“I think Kev’s won more….We don’t play the same roles…Of course there’s no rivalry.”  She says they always joke around about whether there’s enough room for another award.

Eric Stonestreet

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series winner Eric Stonestreet talked eloquently and movingly about reaction to his portrayal of a dad with a same-sex partner on “Modern Family.”  “I can tell you what people say to me – I get amazing compliments from kids of same sex families.”  He cited a “gentleman who was raised by two moms” who had recently adopted another daughter.  He thanked Stonestreet, saying that now, if bullies ever taunt his sister, “she can say, ‘Look at Mitch and Cam – you like them.”

Mitch and Cam, of course, are the couple played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and himself.   Ferguson and cast mate Ty Burrell were also nominated in the same category, so one reporter wondered whether there’d be awkwardness on the set Monday.

“No, not at all, we had all joked around abut that before — if any one of us won whether it would be fun to punch each other in the stomach or walk out.”  However, “This was a win for the show…We love our job, so it won’t be awkward at all.”

Stonestreet and “Modern Family” executive producer Steve Levitan – who came into the press room after the show won Outstanding Comedy Series honors – both stressed that the upcoming episode in which Cam and Mitch kiss was planned a long time ago.   That is, before the controversy grew over their lack of physicality on the series.  Although, as Stonestreet acknowledged, it’s going “to look like we caved to public pressure, it was planned before.”

Asked about where he found inspiration for his portrayal, Stonestreet pointed to his mom – “spell it right” – Jamey and her excitable, emotional, passionately caring ways.  After he keeps it for a couple of weeks, he’s sending his Emmy to her and his father Vince to keep, he says.

He’s had a lot of women tell him that they identify with Cam.

Edie Falco

“Nurse Jackie’s” Edie Falco came right out and said what a lot of people were thinking about her winning as Outsanding Actress in a Comedy – over a group of funny ladies that included Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Lea Michele, Toni Collette, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.   Said Falco:  “Tina Fey, for heaven’s sake.  It’s ridiculous!”  She also said, “The women I was up against are hysterically funny, talented comedians.  I’m not playing coy here.  I’m just dumbfounded by the events of the evening.”  She added, “But I’m happy to be here nonetheless.”

As for what she planned to do to celebrate?  “I hadn’t planned on celebrating.  I’d planned on going home and ordering room service,” Falco said.  But she was glad to make a change in her plans.

Tom Hanks

For those die-hards who care about the coarsening of public discourse in America today, Betty White’s “What the hell are you looking at” during the opening number of the Emmy show this year no doubt felt like a let down.  Et tu, Betty?  Later, after his “The Pacific” won the Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries, Tom Hanks dropped the F-bomb backstage.  At least he apologized right away.  He got carried away when a reporter mentioned how HBO and his Playtone production company continue to be winners, and Tom answered with “$#%-in’ A!”

Hanks also talked about the fact he was sorry there were only two nominees in the category, since there are certain stories that so well suited to the form.  He hopes “The Pacific” serves as a model.  As for what will come next from the firm that has gifted the public with a phenomenal string of artistically, intellectually and emotionally satisfying productions (“From the Earth to the Moon,” “John Adams,” “Band of Brothers” to name three), Hanks said they’re still three or four years away from unveiling any new projects.

Padma Lakshmi

When it comes to the night’s most overtly competitive personality, honors have to go to “Top Chef’s” Padma Lakshmi.  She made it clear that she’d had enough of “Amazing Race” winning “Outstanding Reality – Competition” honors year after year.  “I was really mean to the host on the red carpet.  I think I hit him twice with my purse,” she said.  “I said, ‘You’re going down.’”  And so they did – and “Top Chef” got the Emmy.

Claire Danes

“It’s always nice to see someone who is getting old with you,” said Anthony Edwards, asked about his former “ER” cast mate George Clooney being honored the same night that Edwards’ “Temple Grandin” won seven out of 15 Emmy nominations, becoming one of the huge winners of this year’s awards.

Edwards is one of the executive producers of the telefilm that won Emmys for Made for Television Movie, Outstanding Lead Actress for Claire Danes, Outstanding Director for Mick Jackson, and Supporting Actor and Actress Emmys for David Strathairn and Julia Ormond.  Getting the bio-pic made was a ten-year effort.  “I was very involved from an early part of the journey…Trying to sell a movie about a woman who is autistic and designs slaughterhouses – it’s not the easiest sell,” Edwards admitted.

Clearly, however, it was worth it.  Grandin herself was in the press room, and pointed out that the telefilm has a lot to say about autism and clearing up misconceptions about the nature of the malady.  She noted that autistics range from “Silicon Valley geniuses” to severely afflicted persons who can’t even speak.

She also said she had faith in Emily Gerson Saines, the lead Exec producer and driving force behind the film of “Temple Grandin.”  Saines’ own son is autistic, and she founded the Autism Coalition for Research and Education that’s now a part of Autism Speaks.

Said Grandin, “I knew a mom would get it right.”

Asked what made this win special, Claire Danes declared, “I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder on a performance. It was epic in its scope.  And I don’t think I’ve ever been as inspired by any part I’ve played.”  She feels that Grandin and the film of her story “encourage positive change in the world. That’s wonderful.  I don’t expect to have another opportunity like this.”

Danes admitted that her shimmery golden Armani Prive gown was “not as uncomfortable as it could be.”  She wasn’t complaining.  After all, “It’s a party dress and we’re gonna party!”

Dominic Fumusa: ‘Nurse Jackie’ Secrets Beginning to Unravel

Paul Schultze, Edie Falco and Dominic Fumusa Showtime photo

Look for bombshells to start dropping on Edie Falco’s “Nurse Jackie” as the Showtime show heads toward its June 7 season finale.  “It gets even more intense, building up to a reveal of some of the secrets.  You know, she has so many, you have to take them one at a time,” informs Falco’s series husband, Dominic Fumusa.  “But you don’t want to get there too quickly,” adds the actor with delight.

His character, Kevin, spent the entire first season “100 per cent oblivious” to his wife’s drug addictions and affair with a hospital pharmacist (Paul Schultze).   Now, “I love it because I there are so many more colors to play with.  I got to go darker.”

Playing the cuckold has won him “interesting reactions” from fans.  “A lot of people are very kind to Kevin.  They say, ‘This is crazy.  How can she be doing this?’  Other people’s reactions are more like, ‘How can he possibly be so clueless about his wife?’  Hey, there are people out there who ARE that clueless” when it comes to their partners cheating on them, he points out.  “With Kevin, they had to establish the domestic bliss to counter balance Jackie’s life at the hospital, her addiction to drugs.  He’s not a doormat, not stupid…I think what’s really fascinating is, obviously, Jackie has a great life at home.  The addiction is only the covering up of something that lies beneath, something that’s painful and interesting.  It makes for good drama, good acting,” he says.  “What is that something?”

He won’t be getting the answer to that question any time soon.  Right now, Fumusa is busy with Sarah Ruhl’s “Passion Play” on the New York stage.  The “Nurse Jackie” troops won’t be mustering for production again ‘til September.

With Adopted Daughter, Joely Gets Used to Mothering Five

Joely Fisher was relieved when she learned that her Fox sitcom “Til Death” had been granted a fourth season — but she’s certainly had plenty of other things happening at home to keep her mind off business.  For one, she’s got five kids to look after, including a recently adopted daughter named Luna.

Joely Fisher and Brad Garrett in "Til Death" (photo from Fox)

Joely Fisher and Brad Garrett in "Til Death" (photo from Fox)

“I have two stepsons who are 23 and 21.  Skylar, who I gave birth to, just turned eight.  I have a 3½-year-old daughter, True, who I gave birth to as well, and I have an adopted daughter now who is almost 11 months old.  I run the gamut of issues from 23 to 11 months.  I go from changing a diaper to double dating.  It’s crazy,” she notes, but Luna has certainly been a much-welcomed addition to their full house.

“We talked about it before and we told the kids this may happen, and it happened very quickly because we went through a private adoption [agency], and they work in particular with emergency cases where there’s a baby and it doesn’t have somewhere to go,” she explains.  “We had done all the proper channels but this baby came along and she was meant to be ours.  She’s a joy.  We’re all in love with her.”

Now Fisher is back to work with TV hubby Brad Garrett and the rest of their “’Til Death” team, and has high hopes that they can turn things around for their funny sitcom.

“We didn’t know whether we’d return.  It’s a show that most people stomped into the ground and thought was buried so it was a lovely surprise to hear we were coming back,” she says.  “Considering what’s happening in television, it’s a good thing.  There are great scripts coming and a new show runner.  And luckily there isn’t a whole lot of pressure.  We can only do better.  We can’t really go down from where we are.”

Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie (photo from Showtime)

Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie (photo from Showtime)

GOING THE EXTRA MILES: With her “Nurse Jackie” due to resume production next month, Edie Falco is bracing herself for the biggest challenge she faces as the star of the Showtime series – “the hours.”  The hours of work were really crazy long during the first season.  I didn’t have the stamina to start with, and I kind of worked up to it,” she admits.  “In the beginning, my knees would literally buckle at the end of the day.”

Even so, despite playing the title character, she balks at mention of the fact she is now carrying a show.  “I never thought of it as ‘carrying.’  Carrying has a ring to it that sounds sort of oppressive,” she says.

“Even when I was on ‘The Sopranos,’ I was sad when they’d talk about something funny that happened when I wasn’t there.  Now I’m in every scene, every day.  I’m a bit of a control freak, so it works out perfectly,” she notes with a smile.  “It’s as I would have it.”

Falco is looking great — tan and relaxed — these days.  She took a leave from her seaside family vacation to attend this week’s television critics press tour, where we caught up with her at the CBS-Showtime-CW party.  “I am resting up as we speak,” she said.

As for what viewers can look forward in the life of her pill-popping emergency room nurse to this coming season?   “More of the same.”  She smiles. “But a little bit different.  I’ve been offered opportunities to get a little peek into what’s happening next year, but I’m not interested,” explains the actress.  “I’ll wait until the scripts are ready.”

HE ADSJonathan Goldsmith is having a blast with his role as Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World.  He tells us he loves the character, is being greeted with a smile wherever he goes, and considers the hit campaign “an absolute blessing” in his life.  But as far as those internet sites in which people concoct their own funny “most interesting man” tidbits, he admits they’re not really for him.  “I have no computer skills,” says the avid sailor, who lives on his boat.  “People will call and tell me about them, and I’ve looked a couple of times.  But when one of them supposedly had me as a porn star, I tuned out.”  The journeyman actor has a long list of film and TV credits (“Go Tell the Spartans,” “MacGyver,” etc.) – but only his beer is XX-rated.

THE SECRET’S OUT: Looks like the big winner of “The Secret Life of The American Teenager” is John  Schneider, who departed the ABC Family series earlier this year and his character was snuffed out in a plane crash.  The Brenda Hampton-created drama started off looking almost like a TV counterpart of the touching, first-class film, “Juno,” boldly going into the territory of a 15-year-old girl’s surprise pregnancy.  But this season there’ve been some hilarious bits that, unfortunately, weren’t intended to be funny – such as baby John’s tremendous growth spurt.  It appears as if he went from newborn to at least a year old between seasons, a time jump that would have been okay, except it also means that Molly Ringwald’s poor character has been pregnant around 13 months or so, and counting.  And somehow the gang has moved from merely being obsessed with sex to soapy silliness surrounding sex.  A randier bunch would be hard to imagine – and that’s not just the high schoolers on the show, it’s the “adults” as well.

Those public service spots regarding teen sex are looking mighty disingenuous these days.

The shark’s been jumped.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster