From ''Nurse Jackie'' to her humble personality, we're crazy about this leading lady

By Henry Goldblatt
March 19, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

We adore the title character on Nurse Jackie — which checks into Showtime for a second season March 22 at 10 p.m. — because she’s complicated, duplicitous, and a little off her rocker. However, we dig Edie Falco, the 46-year-old actress portraying her, for entirely different reasons.

1 She spills secrets from the set
”I’m afraid to let anyone in on this, but they have learned to shoot around the difficulty we have had putting on those freaking plastic gloves. In the beginning they’d do another take, but halfway through the scene we were still trying to put them on. Now we have ingenious ways of hiding the problem: Sometimes we start a scene where they’re already on — or with just one more finger to put on.”

2 She’s humble
”When I guest-starred on 30 Rock [in 2007 — 08], I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, and these guys so clearly do. It’s really like speaking another language. I’ve never been further out of my comfort zone.”

3 She’s introspective
”The nature of addiction is fascinating. I’ve been there [Falco has said she had problems with alcohol in the past], and it makes it easier to understand where Jackie lives because I know what it feels like.”

4 She’s no-nonsense
”[Jackie takes] five minutes in the makeup chair. As much as I loved Carmela, she involved two hours in hair and makeup every morning. At a certain point, I thought, ‘If I have to put those fingernails on one more time, I’m going to scratch someone’s face off.”’

5 She’s as inspired by Anderson Cooper as everyone else is
”Anderson is my mother’s maiden name, but it would have never occurred to me to use it as a first name [for her now-5-year-old son] had it not been for Anderson Cooper.”