Behind the Scenes: ‘Nurse Jackie’

Behind the Scenes checks in with a show’s cast members to get their responses to some random questions. Today we spotlight Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” in which Emmy winner Edie Falco plays a drug-addicted nurse who shares a workplace with idealistic nurse Zoey Barkow (Merritt Wever), narcissistic Dr. Fitch Cooper (Peter Facinelli) and pharmacist Eddie Walzer (Paul Schulze), who also happens to be Jackie’s lover.

What has been your favorite scene to shoot?

“My drunken confrontation with Jackie in the ER after discovering her ‘other’ life.” — Paul Schulze

“I would have to narrow it down to two. The first being the scene with Anna Deavere Smith’s nursing manager Gloria Akalitus in Season 2, where I go in and complain to her about Nurse Jackie’s attitude and end up crying. It wasn’t written that way, and while we were shooting it, as I was venting, I just broke down and starting crying. The show runners thought it was hysterical and left it in. I list it as one of my favorites because I love when the scene takes me for a ride and what happens is completely unplanned because I’m in the moment. The second would be this season, finding out my parents got a divorce. I loved working with Judith Light and Swoosie Kurtz. I loved how Coop was all excited to be with his moms and then got this bomb dropped on him. And the way he dealt with it in such a childlike manner was fun to play.” — Peter Facinelli


“My favorite scenes to shoot are the ones in which Zoey is completely positive about or confident in something absurd. Especially if this manifests itself physically.”—Merritt Wever

What is your favorite off-camera moment on set?

“Cracking up with Edie and executive producers Richie Jackson, Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius in video village — the spot where all the writers and producers watch the shoot on monitors — this past fall.” —Paul Schulze

“I was asked by Showtime to do Dr. Coop Video Diaries. I’ve done it for two seasons now. It has been fun being able to capture some of those fun off-camera video moments. So instead of me listing them, you can check some out by searching Dr. Coop on YouTube. I promise some will make you laugh out loud.” – Peter Facinelli

“When craft service comes around with trays of edible spirit lifters.” —Merritt Wever

In what way do you hope your character grows?

“I hope my character grows taller, thinner and hairier as time goes by ... " —Paul Schulze

“Coop is kind of a boy trapped in a man’s body. It’s this egocentric, non-filtered, harmless, boyish quality that makes him fun to watch. So, I guess I hope he doesn’t ‘grow up’ as much as I would love to see what new situations the writers put him in to really take this character for a ride, and see how he responds. —Peter Facinelli


“I hope my character grows in a way that completely surprises me. I’m thoroughly grateful that it’s not my job to decipher what that is.” —Merritt Wever

Tell us something about one of your cast mates that most people don’t know.

“Lenny [Jacobson, who plays Lenny, the EMT] thinks of me as his big-mouthed uncle.” —Paul Schulze

“Stephen Wallem, who plays Thor, is Linda Wallem’s brother; Linda is the co-creator of the show. Lot of talent in that family.” —Peter Facinelli


“Eve Best sublets.” —Merritt Wever

What do you hope audiences get from “Nurse Jackie”?

“I hope audiences get entertained and recognize that we all have so much in common, especially secrets. That we can begin by tolerating each other and then letting ourselves truly embrace each other.” —Paul Schulze

“The tone of ‘Nurse Jackie’ is unlike any other show. It’s a quirky comedy that hits some hard dramatic notes as well. So I hope audiences are moved dramatically, as well as get to laugh a lot too. All in a half hour. —Peter Facinelli


“Among other things, I hope that audiences grow fond of our characters. I’m fond of them all myself.” —Merritt Wever