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Drea de Matteo is Getting Stalked by Lifetime

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Photo courtesy James Dittiger

DivineCaroline: What attracted you to this role?  
Drea de Matteo: Not only did I need to work right now since I’ve been busy making babies for a few years, but this was the first decent part I have been offered in a long time. I also have wanted to play a cop since I tend to play the victim a lot. It gave me the opportunity to work on a show that really centered on women since most of the things I am known for, such as “The Sopranos,” were strong male programs. 

DC: Describe your character.
DDM: She is not very refined yet she is very street smart, very tough, and has a hot head with a temper. Diane is also very protective of her own. Although she is brave and courageous, Diane has a dark past and she is on a mission to protect herself and her son.

DC: How did this role challenge you?
DDM: I don’t look for roles that are challenging. I like to take on roles that I am right for and ones that I could be good at. I also like roles that speak to me. In terms of challenging myself as an actor, playing Adriana on “The Sopranos” was challenging, especially because I had to really learn how to speak in that accent. I like characters that are homegrown, have roots, and that I am familiar with.    

DC: You talk about relating to the characters you portray. Having said that, have you ever been stalked and can understand what Diane experienced?
DDM: I had a bad situation once. Mine started before I started acting and then it lead into it. Having any bit of notoriety doesn’t help the situation, rather it exasperates it. It is a scary place to be. It completely controls you and that is what the stalker intends to do.

DC: Because you were the victim of a stalker do you feel you it was easier to get in character?
DDM: I am not going to lie and say yes to that. I am also not gung ho on being in that position again. It only takes one person to put you back in that position again. It is a scary position to be in and one I don’t want to repeat. It only takes one person and one idea to spark it and then “boom” they are right back on you.

DC: People still remember you for your memorable role as Adriana on “The Sopranos.” How does it feel to finally be the one with all of the power?
DDM: I wanted to play a part where I can feel empowered. Yet every part I play I become the victim, including Diane. She had to get to a place where she could empower herself. Don’t get me wrong; Diane is a victim because she is still scared throughout the course of the show until she finds the strength to get her life back.

DC: You made reference to being a mom. Because you have small children are you more selective about the roles you choose?
DDM: I really have been hibernating with my children, which is why you haven’t seen me. Now that I have decided I am ready to come back to work this role came along. I liked it because the character has both power and substance, whereas the other roles were weightless.

DC: How did your own family life help you portray your character?
DDM: My life has changed so much since I have had babies. All I have to do is see an image of my children in my head and I can’t even go there. It is so hard to act now because I can’t even imagine the things I used to imagine. Everything I do is effected by them.

DC: Drew Barrymore recently said women can’t have it all. Do you agree with that statement?
DDM: I absolutely think we can have it all. I think we just have to work harder than any man has ever worked.

DC: Your former co-star Jamie-Lynn Sigler is pregnant with her first son. Has she called you for any advice?
DDM: Wow, is she pregnant? You are telling me this for the first time. I am really out of touch but I am so happy for her.

DC: If Jamie called you for advice, what’s the best tip you would share with her?
DDM: No one ever gave me advice. I feel like I was the one giving all of the advice. While I let my daughter guide me I also guide her. I am going to catch her every time she falls. The best thing you can do is let them feel their feelings.

DC: Having been stalked and headlining this movie, do you ever fear for your children’s safety?
DDM: Playing a role likes this reminds me that there are a lot of crazy and creepy people in this world. It is so hard to go for me to a playground and man both children. I sometimes think of the parents who lose children to violence and fear sets into me. I can’t even go there.

DC: You say Diane has a dark side. Did Drea ever have one?
DDM: Yes. I know about addiction in my own life and I have battled it myself. I do have sympathy for it but I also know it is about the choices you make. What I have learned is you either get your s**t together or you don’t.

DC: Aside from “The Sopranos,” people also recognize you from your time on “Sons of Anarchy.” Any chance you’ll be returning next season?
DDM: I think so. I think they left it where I need to come back (laughs).

DC: I thought there was talk awhile back of bringing “The Sopranos” to the big screen. What ever happened to that?
DDM: I don’t know but wouldn’t that be great.

DC: I guess David Chace would have to bring you back in a dream sequence since you got whacked in the end!
DDM: (laughs) I would have loved a “Sopranos” movie and still do. David are you listening?

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