Edie Falco Q&A: ‘Nurse Jackie’
Edie Falco ls the only actress ever to win Emmys for leading roles in both drama and comedy series. She took three of her six races as Best Drama Actress for "The Sopranos" (in 1999, 2001 and 2003) and the first of her four and counting Best Comedy Actress bids for "Nurse Jackie" back in 2010. And she also contended as Comedy Guest Actress for "30 Rock" in 2008 bringing her nomination total to 11. However, even with all this success, as she admitted during our recent webcam chat, "I have a mixed relationship with awards shows. I know that it’s part of this business. It really is like comparing apples and oranges sometimes. Rather than being a competition, it’s more like a celebration – that’s how I prefer to look at it – of what’s going on in TV. It’s a chance to see us all dressed up and celebrate."
With that win for the first season of the Showtime laffer "Nurse Jackie," she found herself listed in the record books alongside two legendary TV actors: Robert Young (Comedy: "Father Knows Best," 1957; 1958; Drama: "Marcus Welby, MD," 1970) and Carroll O'Connor (Comedy: "All in the Family," 1971, 1976, 1977, 1978; Drama: "In the Heat of the Night," 1989) who had also pulled off this double act. However, as she candidly revealed, "it makes me a little uncomfortable to think about that. But there’s a very private part of myself that does know it. There really aren’t words for my gratitude and appreciation for the fact that people are aware that I’m working and they’re watching it."
Recalling her first Emmy win back in 1999 for the iconic role of Carmela Soprano on HBO’s landmark show, Falco admitted, "You start to wonder, how much of this was an accident? That I got cast in that, that the show was picked up, and you keep thinking, on some level it’s a fluke, because you know what the odds are that something like that would happen. That in an industry where there’s something like 98 per cent unemployment, that this could actually be happening. Beyond belief."
Indeed, as she revealed, "when we went back for the second year to shoot, Jim Gandolfini and I just looked at each other and were like ‘I don’t know what we did, but I’ll try to do it again. [It was a] state of disbelief about what was happening in our lives. It was a big, crazy time."
And even with those three Emmys on her mantel already, winning for "Nurse Jackie" was still unexpected. "Literally, shocking! There’s a certain degree of relaxation that comes over when you’re at these award shows and not expecting to win. I was completely unprepared. And that’s really all I remember. I have an amazing capacity to forget traumatic events!"
She credits the success of "Nurse Jackie" to the chemistry among the cast: "We have an insane amount of fun, a tremendous amount of fun making this show. These people make me laugh, and even though it is a show about an emergency room, on some level we don’t take it all that seriously, which just adds a layer of levity to it, which is so important, when you spend this many hours doing something. I love it. From the get go I liked these people, when we cast them. But then as we have gotten to know each other, over the years, it’s an embarrassment of riches."
That bond was certainly evident at last year's Emmys when Merritt Wever won the Comedy Supporting Actress race. "I was just terrified for her," Falco admitted. "She’s not in her comfort zone in a situation like that. So I actually hugged her and I whispered in her ear ‘I’m sorry!’ because I knew what was going to come from that point on was going to be very challenging for her. And she showed up for it, in every single way. In truly Merritt fashion. I was so proud of her. I think she’s the greatest."