Bobby Cannavale Nurses A New Show
Nurse Jackie has played host to a smattering of sensational guest stars over the last three seasons and tonight's premiere welcomes two new faces: Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and Bobby Cannavale.
And while the rocker's stint is just a single episode, Cannavale (no stranger to guest starring stints having popped up on everything from Modern Family to Sex and the City) is sticking around for the duration of the year as Sacred Hearts' new admin, Dr. Mike Cruz. I caught up with Nurse Jackie's latest admission as the cast participated in a 92Y Panel Discussion to find out how he came to star on the Showtime series, what you can expect from his character here and on the next season of Boardwalk Empire!
Insider.com: How did you come to play Dr. Mike?
Bobby Cannavale: I know one of the producers – he reached out to see if I would have any interest -- and I was interested in doing anything with Edie [Falco]. They pitched me this guys journey, assured me I'd have a lot of scenes with her and that was all it took. I didn't read anything before signing on.
Insider: I like that -- put your trust in talented people and the rest takes care of itself.
Bobby: I've been doing that a lot lately. I did it with Boardwalk Empire too. They just pitched me the idea, I didn't read anything. You have to trust the pedigree of people you're working with. The [Boardwalk team] asked if I could come in for a meeting and they're very funny – every time you meet with them at all, you get this whole disclaimer that anything talked about must remain private. It's like Omerta -- you can't share with anybody. They told me about this pretty great character and this incredible storyline. I signed on immediately.
Insider: Can you say anything about who you'll be playing?
Bobby: His name is Gip Rosetti. He's one of the Sicilian NY bosses. He becomes a source of conflict for Nucky. I like to think of him like the Richie Aprile of the show – a very sensitive guy, a raw nerve, who needs to take the next step in order to rise up in the ranks. And that creates a problem for Nucky.
Insider: And what about Jackie -- how do you describe Dr. Mike?
Bobby: Mike is an ambitious guy who plays by the rules – perhaps a little too much – in order to cover up an area of his life in which he doesn't do as well in. He overcompensates at work, so he's done quite well there, but his personal life is in disarray.
Insider: Do we explore that?
Bobby: Yea, we'll go outside the hospital with him. At the beginning, Linda [Wallem, creator] gave me some insight into what was coming so I could play the stuff at work properly. I wasn't sure in the beginning if I would only be seen at the hospital or not, so they told me we’d see another side, it became a little clearer.
Insider: Historically, Jackie clashes with authority and the guest stars brought on -- what's her relationship with Mike like?
Bobby: It's challenging from the get-go. We don’t get started off on the right foot – she's going to rehab and he doesn't know that. She's particularly tense and I'm particularly tense as I start at work. The hospital has been run inefficiently, is on the brink of going out of business until I come along and snatch it up. It's my job to get things running and in order, but Jackie isn't someone who plays by the rules – in fact, she might be one of the reasons the hospital is losing money. It's contentious at first but then there's an understanding eventually – but the tension stays tight.
Nurse Jackie premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on Showtime.