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TV Imitates Life for Edie Falco

The Nurse Jackie star, herself a recovering addict, discusses her role as TV's preeminent pill-popper.

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Falco has been sober for 20 years. Photo via

By Sam Lansky

04/09/12

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In the world of scripted television, there's a slew of interesting actors playing many interesting characters, but few have overlapped as spectacularly as Edie Falco’s titular antihero Jackie Peyton on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, which entered its fourth season yesterday. Jackie has been an active drug addict for the entire run of the show. But now with her character newly-sober, Falco will be taking Peyton in a new direction—one that might echo Falco’s own experience as a sober woman with 20 years in recovery. In an interview with Slate, Falco talks about about the harsh realities of addiction, the consequences of which haven’t always been treated with suitable gravity on the show: “Addiction has had such an impact on my life and the people I love, and there really is not a lot about it that is funny.” She also opens up about her own past bouts of workaholism, which she claims is an addiction like any other. Whether the disease takes the form of snorting pills or working yourself to the bone, addictive behavior springs from the same source. “An addict is an addict,” she says. “If they’re not acting out in one area, it tends to come out in another.” Wise words.

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