Showtime’s Edie Falco-starring “Nurse Jackie” has plodded along all season with a series of dark, but delightful twists and turns centered around a healthcare worker with a growing addiction problem, and tonight’s Season finale, will be no different. In fact, according to series star Peter Facinelli, one of the curveballs involving his character, Dr. Fitch Cooper, might rival a movie millions of teens around the world are waiting for this fall.
Access Hollywood: It’s a huge episode for you as Dr. Coop, who is celebrating his birthday and his wedding. What are we going to see?
Peter Facinelli: “It’s the birthday-wedding of the century. The ‘Twilight’ wedding will pale in comparison… In Coop’s mind anyway. It’s very exciting for him. He’s ready to move on with his life and get hitched and he decides to do it on his birthday to make it even more special, and I can tell you there’s a jaw-dropping moment at the end of this season finale that when I read it, completely threw me for a loop. It’s definitely a must-see episode of ‘Nurse Jackie.’”
Access: Thor, played by Stephen Wallem, is suppose to sing at Coop’s wedding. He tap danced last season. What other special skills have you found among your castmates?
PF: “Well, Anna Deavere-Smith [Akalitus] can spin plates (laughs). No, I don’t know… I think the showrunners really have spent a lot of time with us and if there’s something that they find, an attribute to us that they can explore, then they put it in the show, and Stephen Wallem is a singing, tap dancing kind of guy. He can do it all. It’s fun because you wouldn’t expect him to be able to sing that well, and when starts belting out like that, it’s like ‘Woah! Wow! I didn’t know he could sing like that.’”
Access: Your special skill is apparently pickpocketing, which you learned on your own [upcoming] film ‘Loosies’?
PF: “Yeah! We’ll have to work that in next season. I got pretty good at it when we were filming. It was fun for me because I would pickpocket from the other actors and they wouldn’t know and I was tempted to do that on the average Joe, but I didn’t want to get arrested… and have to explain, ‘No, this is just for a film role.’”
Access: They got rid of Dr. Coop’s sexual tourettes thing this season, were you glad they took that out?
PF: “I feel like they’ve done it and so it was always kind of lingering in the background. I think there was an episode where he said he almost did it to Akalitus, but now that you know he has it, you don’t have to do it every single time. After awhile, it wears off the comedy factor, if you do it all the time, so just knowing that it’s lingering is just as funny.”
Access: Was that ever uncomfortable to reach out and grab Edie Falco’s chest?
PF: “It’s always a bit uncomfortable and you have to do it multiple times over and over. For me it’s supposed to be uncomfortable so it’s something that I can play. I don’t know how it is for the other person. It’s not done in any sexual way, but it’s done to a sexual organ, which is, you know, a little bit uncomfortable.”
Access: Edie said recently she’s being called Nurse Jackie on the street more often than Carmela Soprano. Are you too getting more Coop’s than ‘Twilight Saga’ Carlisle’s or does it all about the age of the person talking to you?
PF: “I feel like I’ve done a little bit of everything for everybody, so it’s like, depending on your age, you’ve responded to one thing or another of mine. I still get ‘Can’t Hardly Wait,’ I’ll get ‘Damages,’ I’ll get ‘Six Feet Under.’ I’m always shocked when people recognize me from one thing or another. Sometimes it’s completely obscure stuff and I’m like, ‘You saw that movie?’ I think Carlisle’s the hardest because I look so unlike him – with the blonde hair and the pale skin. But, if I’m in a ‘Twilight’ environment, for sure, you know, they know it’s me.”
Access: Last year you wrote ‘Accidentally in Love’, which your wife, Jennie Garth, starred in on the Hallmark Channel. Are you two any closer to doing something together?
PF: “I think that was the closest one. I was gonna play opposite her and we were gonna do it together, I just got busy with press for ‘Eclipse’ and I couldn’t do it. I ended up just stepping aside and having someone else do it. But, Jen and I have always kept our stuff pretty separate. We met on a TV movie and that was you know, that was it.
“Part of me didn’t want to do it together too…. When you see you a couple that you know are together it kind of blows the believability of those two characters because you know you’re looking at it and going, ‘Oh, there’s Jennie and Peter,’ and I wanted people not to see Jennie and Peter. I wanted people to see those two characters.”
The Season 3 finale of “Nurse Jackie” airs at 10 PM on Showtime. The stars begin shooting Season 4 of the series this fall.