TV on DVD: 'Nurse Jackie' star Merritt Wever previews Season 5

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"Nurse Jackie" Season 4 DVD & Blu-Ray
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Things finally caught up with "Nurse Jackie" in the show's fourth season -- newly released on DVD and Blu-ray (Lionsgate) -- as the drug-addicted nurse played by Emmy winner Edie Falco fought hard to kick her drug habit, but had to fight just as hard to keep her daughters when bitter, estranged husband Kevin became fully aware of her drugging and philandering ways.

And then there was a new hospital administrator to battle, the ambitious Dr. Cruz (Bobby Cannavale), who made sweeping changes, brought more complications than a recovering Jackie needed, and whose son, Charlie (Bobby Cannavale's son, Jake), also added drama that ultimately took the dark comedy to a tragic place to end Season 4.

The season, which hits DVD and Blu-ray with cast and crew commentaries, a featurette on the Cannavales as the Cruzes, a gag reel, and a featurette on the cast's favorite on-set moments working with Falco, also found Zoey becoming Jackie's new roomie (and embracing her new position as a pseudo second mom to the girls as only Zoey could) and taking her romance with Lenny up a notch, while Coop (Peter Facinelli) pitched himself as a father figure for Dr. O'Hara's (Eve Best) unborn baby.

The cast talks about filming in NYC: 

With the show's fifth season still a few weeks away, Zoey's portrayer, the Emmy-nominated Merritt Wever, talked to Yahoo! TV about Season 4's finale, where the characters find themselves when the show picks up a couple of months later in Season 5, and which other cable drama she'd like to visit someday.

Have you already filmed all of Season 5?

Yes. We finished December 21st. So yeah, now we just wait for it to air and see if we come back in the fall.

That ending for Season 4 was emotional, with the tragedy for Dr. Cruz, but then, happily, the birth of Dr. O'Hara's baby. Where do we pick up with Season 5?

I know what you mean about the end of Season 4; it was a bit of a blockbuster. But we open in Season 5 a couple of months [after the end of Season 4]. And Jackie's working at the hospital again. As is Akalitus [Anna Deavere Smith].

Oh, that's great news!

I know. I know … that was so sad at the end of Season 4, when she and Eddie [Paul Schulze] get fired. That was … they were really good scenes, but they were really upsetting. So the two of them are back on the, well, Akalitus is back in her old position. And I believe that Eddie is about to be reinstated, rehired. So the gang is together again.

There are major departures of, or there is a departure [by] a beloved character, and we also have some people coming back who I guess you thought were gone. But it's definitely a different kind of season, I think.

What's the temperature of Season 5? Is it happier, is it less stressed than last season?

Well, I think … this is my first interview for Season 5, and I've never done them before without watching the new season right before. So I haven't seen any of [Season 5] yet. I know it's very unhelpful for an interview. But I know it felt different shooting it, and I hear that it looks different, maybe. But I think, yeah, it is different. A lot of new things are happening with Jackie, and we also have three new characters, to kind of add a little bit of new blood.

And what is happening with Dr. Cruz?

He definitely is going to be back. In a different position than he was in when we last saw him. I don't think Quantum Bay is in charge anymore. And so his relationship with Jackie is quite different than it was for most of Season 4.

Speaking of him, how tough was it, touching back on the Season 4 finale, to watch that scene being filmed with Cruz, and Charlie dying in the ER? Especially given that this father and son are being played by a real-life father and son in such a heartbreaking scene?

I know! It sounded awful. I remember when doing the table read, everyone was like, oh, ouch! And of course, when something happens in finale scenes like that, it always seems to end up being the kind of thing you shoot on late Friday/early Saturday morning at 2:30 AM. It's the last thing. Everybody wants to go home. It's the last day of work, and you're expected to lose your son or something. And that's exactly what happened, I remember. I didn't watch it being filmed, but I was there in the building, and I remember being glad I was not them having to film that scene.

[Related: 'Nurse Jackie' Season 4 postmortem: Jackie's exposed more than ever, EP says]

And what is our dear Zoey up to this season?

Oh, Zoey. (Laughing) Zoey is just … she's found her voice in the hospital. She's confident that she belongs and everything. And she, at the beginning of the season, moves out of Jackie's apartment.

Aw, that's disappointing.

Yeah, yeah, no more of that. But it's time. I think that they both decide that it's for the best. Their relationship is probably strained from being in such close quarters. And they need a little bit more space. But it doesn't come from necessarily a fight or a bad place.

Do you agree that Zoey is the character who has evolved the most throughout the series?

You know, I don't know. I don't know about that. I definitely don't know about that, but one thing I kind of struggle with now in later seasons is what to do with Zoey, now that she's not a newbie. Because so much of her was defined by that, and all of the positions they put her in and the way that she interacted with all the characters, it was so much about her being young and new and unknowing. So it's difficult to decide where to go with her when she's not necessarily like that anymore. It's been a quandary for me.

What would you like to see happen with Zoey going forward, or how else would you like to see her evolve?

I don't know. I've always been the last … I don't know how to make those decisions. I've never been good at it, and if I came up with an idea, I'm positive that someone else could come up with a better one. (Laughing) I definitely know when something doesn't feel right. But I don't always know … even after five seasons, I'm still trying to figure out how she works.

How does Zoey remain so optimistic in the face of everything she sees at work, both in terms of the patients, and in terms of what happens with her co-workers, in their personal and professional lives?

That's a good question, but I'm trying to think right now about whether she stays optimistic this season, and I think that she does. I would be interested in seeing that challenged more. But I have a feeling it's something that's not uncommon. Even if it's not optimism, I think that the kind of energy you have to have to be able to do this job must mean that you're a pretty strong person. I mean, even -- I know it sounds weird to say -- but even Jackie has to have some optimism behind all her stuff. She wouldn't be able to go to work every day if she didn't think that what she was doing was helpful. So I don't know if that's optimism, but obviously Jackie hasn't stopped thinking that she can do good in the hospital.

You co-starred in Lena Dunham's movie "Tiny Furniture," and I keep waiting for you to pop up on "Girls" … any chance of that happening soon?

Oh, I would love to pop up on "Girls." But it's one of those things, you know, you don't do other [premium cable] network shows when you're on one. It's in the contracts and stuff. And I understand it, and where it comes from. But yes, I would love to be on the show at some point, if there was ever anything for me. I really, really like that show, and I have a feeling it's a great place to work. I'm a fan of Lena's. Did you see the ["One Man's Trash"] episode?

Yes. We think it's the best episode of the whole series so far.

Wasn't that amazing? I was so impressed and happy. It made me think of, like, "Louie" episodes and the feeling I had when I would watch some of those that really seemed to be bold or brave, that you could tell it was just coming completely from the mind of this one person, and I loved it. I really loved that episode.

OK, one more question, and this is an odd one. IMDb.com profiles often have some strange info, and there's a quote on yours that says you like to "eat steak, have a little wine, walk in the snow, and talk to Canadians." Which sounds like a perfectly lovely evening, but it's oddly specific.

(Laughing) Well, I do indeed like all of those things. I didn't write it. But I cannot say that I dislike any of those things. I will not fight that sentence.

"Nurse Jackie" Season 5 premieres April 14 on Showtime.

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