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Women's Health

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Nurse Jackie's Edie Falco on Her New Roles

The Emmy-winning actress opens up about beating her alcohol addiction, her new play, and her favorite part of all: mother.

Falco: The Road Ahead

Still, even with additional hands, parenting -- single or partnered -- is a challenge. "It just puts everything front and center," says Falco, "the things that I'm good at, the ways in which I fall short. But it's also very moving and gratifying." So gratifying, in fact, that the actor hasn't dated seriously since becoming a mom. "My kids came into my life, and whatever it was that was driving me to get involved with someone really went up in smoke," says Falco.

"Every human wants love, and here it was in such large quantities and in such purity that I just no longer felt that drive to go out and meet someone. I have life in my house. And I have deep friendships that are, on average, about 30 years old. My life is very full and satisfying."

No matter how busy Falco may be, she always finds time to do more -- a habit she sustains through the occasional afternoon nap and a wholesome, vegetarian diet chock-full of energizing fruits and vegetables. In 2009, she appeared in a Stand Up to Cancer public service campaign with actor Cynthia Nixon to raise awareness about the increased risk of infection during cancer treatment.

Fifteen years ago, she began studying Buddhism and recently joined a cabaret act. "I'm always doing stuff that keeps me occupied, interested, and challenged," says Falco. "It's just the way I stay happy."

In addition to looking forward to seeing what season three holds for Nurse Jackie, Falco has been prepping for her return to Broadway in The House of Blue Leaves. "I saw the play a million years ago, and I remember leaving the theater with this glowing feeling, thinking ‘God, that was beautiful,'" says Falco, who was only 18 at the time. "Here it is all these years later and I'm getting to do it. It's just one of those glorious things about this career that I've had that's been such a gift." But ask Falco what she's planning next, and she'll laugh and tell you "nothing." "I tend not to think that way," says Falco.

"What has worked for me has been not to plan anything. All I know is that I love what I do. I don't want to direct, I don't want to write. I really just love to act. Thus far, I just see what comes my way or gets offered to me and what moves me. "As a result," Falco says, "I've had this tremendous journey that's much better than anything I could have planned."

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