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Nurse Jackie (2010) More Details?

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    Golden Globes

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    Peter and 'Twilight Saga' co-star Robert Pattinson attend the Golden Globes in Los Angeles.

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    Peter stops by ALSF set up outside Tent City in Los Angeles for the Eclipse Premiere


    We Didn't Know 'Twilight' Would Explode Like That!

    Even if you missed Peter Facinelli's breakthrough role in "Can't Hardly Wait," glanced over his time on "Six Feet Under," didn't catch him on "Fastlane" and skipped past his arc on "Damages," you undoubtedly saw the actor play Dr. Carlisle Cullen in "Twilight." Even my Bubbie rented that!

    Tonight, Peter slips back into a lab coat as Dr. Fitch Cooper on "Nurse Jackie" and sparring with Edie Falco is just the first reason why you should check out this delightfully demented dark comedy. After experiencing Coop's grabby hands, a flushed ear and more snorted pills than a Saturday night in Hollywood, you'll be hooked!

    The last time I talked to Peter, "Twilight" was about to premiere, and now -- less than one year later -- he's hard at work on the sequel. We talked about the pressures involved with making "New Moon," what brought him back to TV and why he's the best celebrity for an autograph hound to spot!

    PopWrap: Were you looking to return to TV?

    Peter Facinelli: I wasn't, I had just finished shooting "Twilight" and wanted to do more features, but when I heard Edie Falco was attached to this, my ears perked up -- so they sent me the script and thought it was really good. Unlike any other series on TV.

    PW: Your small screen shows really jump all over tonally. Which of your series is most like what you watch?

    Peter: Well, I did "Fastlane" because I grew up watching "Dukes of Hazzard" and it was like being a kid in a candy store. Then I did "Six Feet Under" and "Damages" because the acting was so powerful, it was a treat as an actor to work opposite those people. And "Nurse Jackie" is funny for me, because I'm not big on medical shows.

    PW: No?

    Peter: I don't watch them -- I've never seen "Grey's Anatomy" or "E.R." I just wasn't drawn to them as a viewer. That's why I was so surprised at how much I liked this script. But it's because at its core, "Nurse Jackie" is about relationships. I also liked the idea of seeing this world through a nurse's eyes. I've been to enough hospitals with my kids to know that they're the ones doing the grunt work. Doctors just swoop in. I like that we get to tell their story.PW: Your character suffers from a very bizarre psychological problem (he gropes women when nervous). Do we find out if that's a legit problem at some point?

    Peter: Yeah, that's a question I had to ask the writers because I had to find out that information in order to play it. I needed to know if it was real or a lie too -- I know the answer, but I'm not saying yet. But you will find out later on if he's just made up this affliction as an excuse to grab boobs or not.

    PW: How do you see Dr. Cooper?

    Peter: He's fun for me -- I like playing characters that might be seen as assholes. But at the end of the day, he's not, and I've never played him like one. To me, Coop is very sympathetic and I think throughout the season you'll see that. He wants everyone to like him and doesn't understand why they don't.

    PW: Would you let Dr. Cooper treat you?

    Peter: You know, the weird thing about Coop is that he's a good doctor, but it depends on the day of the week it is [laughs]. He'll either cure you of cancer or kill you when you've just come in with an earache.

    PW: His relationship with Jackie is very complicated, almost from the jump.

    Peter: Yeah, he has these intense insecurities, but doesn't want anyone to know -- so he puts on a front. And what's interesting is that Jackie sees right through him, it's like she knows my secret identity, so I have to keep her close.

    PW: By the second episode, they seem to be friendlier, do they continue to get closer?

    Peter: Yeah, it grows, but I think I always bug the crap out of her. I always liken Dr. Cooper to a puppy who is wagging his tail and jumping up on everyone, but he happens to be in a room full of people who hate dogs. But, there might be some romance for Jackie and Coop down the road, so tune in for that!

    PW: What is it like working with Edie?

    Peter: I have an immense respect for Edie, and I know that Coop does for Jackie, so there are parallels there -- the difference, I'm hoping, is that Edie likes me [laughs].

    PW: The last time we talked, you had just wrapped production on "Twilight," how are things going with the sequel?

    Peter: I found there to be a little less pressure because everybody knew their characters. There was less questioning on the set as to what we were doing -- we trust that there is a fan-base out there. Our main job with the first one was to make a good movie for the fans...we just didn't know it would explode the way it did. So I think we've carried that feeling along to the second movie. But now knowing there is a bigger fan-base out there, we do feel some pressure to live up to the first one.

    PW: Well, the subject matter -- European escapades -- makes the film grander in essence, right?

    Peter: It definitely feels like a bigger picture. The first one felt like making an indie, this one feels like a summer blockbuster. "Twilight" was more intimate in some ways because you've got a smaller crew and are working against the clock, but with "New Moon" there are so many more people around and the food is better.

    PW: Is there a sense of prying eyes on set since you now know how many people are obsessed with the movie?

    Peter: I don't really pay that much attention to the hubbub, but you can't help but notice it. I've done a lot of movies and I've never gotten this kind of response from fans. You get shout outs sometimes, but with this, you walk into a room full of screaming fans -- it's like being part of the Beatles. It's beyond my expectations.

    PW: Would you have been able to handle this kind of attention at Kristen Stewart's age?

    Peter: I think both Kristen and Robert [Pattinson] have done an amazing job, I sometimes don't know how to deal with it now. It's a lot of pressure on us all, simply being at dinner can turn into an autograph session. I'm constantly thrown into situations that I haven't been in before, but I'm always grateful that the fans are there, so I try to go out of my way to make sure they leave with a smile because I remember being a fan when I was younger. When I meet people I always try to put myself in their shows and think, how much would it hurt if I didn't get that autograph?

    PW: This must be a really fun time for you?

    Peter: I've always been blessed -- I have a beautiful wife and family. I've been working for 15 years, which is success enough because some people have immediate fame and then vanish, never to be heard from again. I plan to be in this for the long haul, so if I can have longevity over a sudden rise to fame before crashing, I'll take it!

    "Nurse Jackie" premieres tonight at 10:30 on Showtime.

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