Think being married to New Jersey’s biggest mobster is tough? Try working as a nurse in a New York City emergency room. Edie Falco is back on cable TV, starring in Showtime’s new half-hour dark comedy Nurse Jackie, which debuts June 8. Not only has she crossed the Hudson River, she’s traded Carmela Soprano’s gaudy wardrobe and big hair for scrubs and a simple cropped ’do. But Falco hasn’t lost her edge in the move: Her Nurse Jackie is no Florence Nightingale. In the very first episode she thinks nothing of forging a dead bike messenger’s organ-donor signature.

Despite having played Carmela for six seasons, Falco says it didn’t take long for her to get into this new character. “I’ve really been acting for a very long time, and you get used to switching off,” she says. “You kind of get lost inside a character; if you’re lucky, then you go on to the next thing.”

Fortunately, the next thing for her is not only set in her hometown but also shoots here. “It’s a prerequisite right now,” says, Falco, who lives in Tribeca. “I have two little kids and I got to be home.” It also means she’s close to her other passion: Broadway. While she’s famous for her Emmy Award-winning work on The Sopranos, she has also won acclaim for her stage roles, including in Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and is plotting her return to the theater.

“I’m counting the seconds, really. I’m reading plays whenever I get my hands on them,” she says. “I miss it tremendously when too much time goes by.”

 

NEW YORK FAVORITES
Museum: The Guggenheim
Neighborhood: The Village
New York Film: Midnight Cowboy
Restaurant: Bubby’s Pie Co.
Law & Order DA: Michael Moriarty

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