NURSE JACKIE - IT'S GONNA BE A GOOD SEASON
Q and A
WITH EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CLYDE PHILLIPS
NURSE JACKIE returns for a sixth season with Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton, a strong-willed and brilliant — but very flawed — emergency room nurse; a role that has earned Falco her third consecutive prime time Emmy nomination.
For those of you who have been “jonesing” for your next injection of Nurse Jackie, let’s stop for a recap of last season, Nurse Jackie Seaon 5: After leaving rehab early, Jackie found sobriety and relative happiness – but that was just the calm before the storm. Jackie’s marriage came to an end and she began to date NYC policeman and all-around good guy, Frank Verelli (Adam Ferrera). O’Hara has been spending every possible moment with her new baby son; two new doctors joined the staff: Dr. Ike Prentiss (Morris Chestnut) and Dr. Carrie Roman (Betty Gilpin) – who was unaware that Jackie’s an addict and wrote her a prescription for Oxy after Jackie’s car accident of rear-ending Kevin; Coop has been mentoring the new Dr. Carrie and had sex with her - as Zoey overheard; Akalitis gave Eddie his job back in the pharmacy; Jackie’s daughter, Grace, was acting out (she is the teenage daughter of a drug addict, after all!) - with Kevin finding a bag of pills in Grace’s bag; and on Jackie’s one-year anniversary of sobriety, she and her new love interest, Frank, had a huge fight; while Grace had a breakdown about Jackie, and Jackie took a little something she shouldn’t have.
Clyde Phillips first joined SHOWTIME/Lionsgate’s Nurse Jackie series as an executive producer in Season 4, after having written and worked on another addictively-thrilling series about the serial killer we all came to love: Dexter. Plus he created two comedy series: Suddenly Susan, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, and the comedic drama Get Real, which starred Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg.
STRIPLV: How is running a comedy different than running a drama?
PHILLIPS: Interestingly, running Nurse Jackie has been similar to running Dexter. Each character has a deep, dark secret that she/he has to keep from her family and colleagues. Only the audience gets to know what Jackie (or Dexter) is really thinking and feeling. Also, in each of these shows, there are real and surprising moments of inner realization and growth. Mining the comedy out of the heavy drama is always a challenge, but when it works, it’s just so satisfying. Really, it’s all about storytelling; the trick is to make it authentic and original and entertaining.
STRIPLV: What attracted you to working on Nurse Jackie?
PHILLIPS: Nurse Jackie was at a crossroads when I came aboard, poised to move to the next level. This was a show that had been on the air for four years, and SHOWTIME was looking to push it further than before. So, coming to this show was attractive, because I wasn’t being asked to babysit an established show, but to help re-imagine it and to stretch its boundaries.
STRIPLV: We know that Season 6 is hush-hush. So instead, tell us why we saw less of the hilarious character, O’Hara (Eve Best) in Season 5? Did you purposefully want to see Jackie seek out someone new to take interest in?
PHILLIPS: Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is a psychopath and Jackie is sociopath. What made Dexter endearing was the fact that he talked to the audience. The voiceover is what drew you in and got you to understand his life. Jackie’s conversations with O’Hara (Eve Best) got you to understand what Jackie was thinking and needing her in her life. When that’s taken away, where does she turn? She scrambles a little bit as she needs to be heard and get her thoughts out. O’Hara’s leaving had huge impact on her. She found somebody else to talk to, but it’s difficult to lose your best friend. What Jackie does is not a victimless crime, because other people in her life are deeply affected by it. She needs somebody to talk to about it. She needs that release and the audience needs to be in on what’s going on with Jackie, and most often they are; and that’s important.
EDIE FALCO has broken many awards records. For her role as Jackie Peyton in Nurse Jackie, she has won the Emmy for “Best Actress in a Comedy,” thus making her the only actress to have won an Emmy in both the comedy and drama categories.
She also broke the Screen Actors Guild record by earning her 19th nomination: 11 for individual achievement and 8 for her ensemble work.
Falco became the only actress to ever receive the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Dramatic Series,” the Golden Globe Award for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Dramatic Television Series,” and the SAG Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama,” all in the same year for her performance as ‘Carmela Soprano’ in the groundbreaking series, The Sopranos’ debut season. She has subsequently been nominated for each award for every eligible television season, winning two additional Emmy Awards, another Golden Globe Award and SAG Award, as well as the American Film Institute’s Award for “Female Television Actor of the Year.”