Grace is following in her mother’s footsteps in “Nurse Jackie” Season 6, but Jackie is too absorbed in her own addiction to see it. It’s a hard journey to watch Grace go down, though Ruby Jerins, the actress who plays Grace, views it as inevitable.
Zap2it spoke with Jerins about Grace’s dark Season 6, and what she feels Grace is looking for in her mother. According to Jerins, she hopes Grace starts “making better choices” in Season 7.
Zap2it: What a journey Grace has had this season.
Ruby Jerins: She’s definitely gotten a bit more out of control. She’s a teenager now, and her mother’s got less control of her now. She’s making destructive choices, and she’s trying to manage her life and get back at her mom because she blames her mom for a lot of things. This season she’s kind of gotten more out of control.
Do you think this is a path she would have gone down even if Jackie wasn’t an addict, or do you think it’s a direct result of that?
I think both. She blames her mom for many things, and when she was growing up her mom wasn’t fully present all the time. I think now she’s realizing that, so it kind of adds on. When she was younger, she needed her mother and now that she’s a teenager, she’s trying to get back at her mother. I definitely think that Jackie’s addictions have had something to do with it.
All the characters think Jackie is still sober, but we as the audience know she is not. Grace is constantly doubting her mother still. Do you think she’s actually the only one who sees Jackie for who she truly is?
Yeah, I think so. I think Grace is actually a lot like Jackie, and I think after growing up with her, now that she knows the truth, she doesn’t trust Jackie anymore. She sees through the lies.
Is there any wake up call for Grace to stop her from going on this destructive path?
Maybe. Possibly. I think really she’s trying to … I don’t know, the writers decide that, but I think she’s trying to get back at her mom. That’s what a lot of this rebelliousness is about, so maybe she can get through to her mom, or I don’t know, there could be some sort of switch. It’s a hard question.
Do you view the fact that Grace is walking this parallel journey to her mother as a warning to addicts?
Definitely. I definitely see it as a warning. Grace, I think she has addiction in her blood, which is very truthful because her mother struggled with it. It’s truthful that she would have issues with it as well, because teens can be addicts. I definitely see it is as a warning to people watching. If you’re a drug addict, it affects your family as well, and the people that are looking up to you, your children.
There are some big changes coming for Grace’s now-extended family. Does Grace deep down have a hope that her family can come back together?
I definitely think that she has a hope that her parents will get back together and things will go back to normal, because the divorce hurt her and she’s still hurt by her mother. She blames her mother for the divorce. It not only hurts her but it hurts her sister, and she cares about her sister. I think she definitely has hope for it.
In what ways do you relate, or maybe not relate, with Grace this season?
Well, I’ve grown up on the show. Although I’m not like Grace, it’s easy for me to relate to her because after six seasons I can relate to her. But we’re pretty different people. Like, I don’t do drugs and I’m not really going through a rebellious phase like that. I’m a teen as well, so I understand some of her anger.
Was there anything you found especially challenging in Grace’s arc where you are really proud of the outcome?
It was challenging for me to cut my hair. I think the hardest part about her storyline is that, although she’s rebellious and angry, I also have to try to make people sympathize with her because she does want her mother. Even though she’s heading down a destructive path, she is a kid. She still needs her mother, and it’s kind of hard to express that.
Were you surprised at all at the direction she went in this season?
Not really, because she’s always had anger and anxiety. As a kid, she was always a little bit … she had these anxieties that weren’t just going to dissolve. She’s had these conflicting emotions, and the fact that after the divorce and after she realized her mom was struggling with drugs, I think it was kind of inevitable.
Is there any particular direction you’d like to see Grace go in for Season 7?
The writers decide that. Everything they’ve done has been great. Hopefully Grace will start making some better choices. I’m so excited for the seventh season. I was so happy when I heard it was going to get renewed.
“Nurse Jackie” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.