Imagine it's your first big break, and you're in a scene against the woman who made Tony Soprano look like a teddy bear. Meet Betty Gilpin, the new star on Nurse Jackie. She has sparked some sexy, new energy on the show, and in anticipation of the season finale this Sunday, June 16, she talked to us about her role and of course, Benedict Cumberbatch.
OK!: What was it like growing up in New York?
Betty Gilpin: It was fantastic. It was my own little concrete playground. Both of my parents are actors, so I grew up backstage with them. I would see some of their shows 30, 40, 50 times. I would have it all memorized. I loved it.
OK!: Were you acting from that young age?
BG: No. My parents wanted me to do anything but. The rule was I had to go to college, and I couldn’t even go to theater camp. I wasn’t allowed to audition for anything professionally until I was—I guess I cheated a little bit and started when I was in college, but I graduated! Barely.
OK!: When did you feel that you had your first big break?
BG: This business trains you to think that you never have it. [laughs] But Nurse Jackie has been great for me.
OK!: What is your role on Nurse Jackie?
BG: I play Dr. Roman. She’s new this season, and a first-year resident. I would describe her as Jessica Rabbit meets Elaine Stritch. She’s sort of sexy and cool and crabby. Being in a hospital out of med school, it’s accessing a vulnerability and a fear in her that she didn’t think was visible to other people. Of course, Jackie sees it immediately.
OK!: Were you intimidated working with Edie Falco?
BG: The first day that I had a scene with her, I was freaking out. I was like, they are going to call action, and I’m going to faint and wake up in a real hospital, and I’ll get fired and have to move in with my parents. But I started the scene and she was the most calming, welcoming presence because she was so real. That’s a testament to her insane, one-of-a-kind talent.
OK!: Can you give us any spoilers?
BG: It's going to be crazy. You'll be doing a lot of screaming at the TV, which I do every episode even though I've seen the script and know what happens. [laughs]
OK!: Whose career would you love to have?
BG: I mean, Edie Falco has it good. She does plays, then shoots this great show. I respect her so much. She commands respect without being bossy or mean or a diva. I would like to emulate her energy, and hopefully a good career would follow.
OK!: Which dramas do you watch, other than Nurse Jackie?
BG: Mad Men, definitely. Do you know the Wallander series? It's with Kenneth Branagh. It's a Swedish series. And the Sherlock series, the British one. [Benedict Cumberbatch] is a real genius. He is insane on that show. I can't wait for it to come back.
OK!: It comes back in the UK in the fall, which means it won't air here until 2014.
BG: Well, I'm moving to the UK. [laughs]
Do you watch Nurse Jackie? What do you think of Betty's character? Do you think you would faint if you were working with Edie Falco? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @OKMagazine.