The “Nurse Jackie” star, herself a recovering addict, discusses her sobriety and her role as TV’s preeminent pill-popper.
For the first three tense seasons of Nurse Jackie, Edie Falco’s Jackie Peyton was a woman on a high wire. The supremely capable ER nurse spent her life snorting painkillers, subverting hospital rules, and saving lives. She lied to just about everyone—her husband and their two daughters; her lover, the hospital pharmacist; the other nurses and the doctors at All Saints’ Hospital. She reserved the truth for the patients she helped, doling out information—and sometimes drugs and treatment—the hospital didn’t want them to have. Still, she always seemed to be on the verge of being busted as a drug addict, a cheating spouse, and a breaker of hospital rules.