Nurse Jackie seems to have the run of the hospital, handling business her own way. Her boss, Gloria Akalitus, played by Anna Deavere Smith, tries to reign her in, but it’s a constant source of conflict. Season two will reveal more about Akalitus, including a potential son.
Anna Deavere on Nurse Jackie
“Part of the great magical mystery tour is that I don't know,” Smith said. “I do know that I was happy to find out that I had a child. I think that a clue is that there's something about my relationship to that child, and I don't know very much about him yet, that informs my own connection with vulnerable people.”
Of course, the show is not called Gloria Akalitus, it’s Nurse Jackie, so most of what happens serves her relationship with her staff. “I think what I love so much about what has happened in the second season about Mrs. Akalitus is that it shows me more actually about Jackie. The way my character is drawn out in the second season makes me understand that one of the things that's so likable about Nurse Jackie is that she is a great nurse and that she always stands on the side of the vulnerable person.”
Besides Nurse Jackie, there’s also groping Dr. Coop Fitcher and frantic intern Zoey Barkow to deal with. “I kind of feel like my character is like the authority figure in a circus, but it's an authority that nobody needs or cares about. They really care about the clowns. So that gave me a great opportunity to be in relation to all these clowns.”
There’s a little laughter to go around this season too. “This season I actually had the experience of waking up in the middle of the night not being able to stop laughing about something that happened on the set. I have to say I don't think that's happened to me since I was 10 years old. So that was a really great feeling.”