Saying goodbye to a series you grew up on, literally, isn’t easy. For Mackenzie Aladjem, who has played Fiona Peyton since she was 8, it was more than just the Nurse Jackie series finale that brought out the emotions, it was watching her house get ripped down and saying goodbye to her TV mom (Edie Falco), her TV sister Grace (Ruby Jerins) and the rest of the cast. The series finale is June 28 at 9pmET on Showtime.
“Before the last day, I actually watched them tear down my house and start taking apart the picture frames and everything,” Mackie Aladjem says. (She goes by Mackie as Mackenzie just doesn’t fit, it feels too formal). “Watching your house being torn apart is pretty emotional. That was crazy, to just watch this house that I basically grew up in, literally. Taking it down and getting rid of all the picture frames and all the paintings and stuff.”
Heartbreaking for sure, as she’s spent over half a decade with the show. Mackie salvaged a few items from the set including a snow globe and a dishwasher magnet. “They’re pretty little things, but they’re important to me. I keep the snow globe by my bed and I have the magnet in my room. I think it’s nice to know that I have stuff and also, I have some of my old school uniforms from Nurse Jackie and the coat that I wore and I just have all of these little things that remind me of the show, which is so nice.”
Despite some of the sets being torn down, the final day on set was pretty routine for the most part, Mackie tells, until the day started to come to a close.
“Towards the end of the day, we all started to realize, ‘All right, we’re about to leave, we’re making sure we have everything from the dressing rooms and everything like that,’ and towards the end of the day it started to hit us, that we’re not coming back. When we were in the van going home, it was so heartbreaking, but I have a lot of pictures and I have a lot of memories from it, which I’m very thankful for.
“I definitely know that we’ll all see each other again. There’s no way that we can’t,” she continues. “The thing is, I live in LA and the majority of the cast lives in New York. … There were a lot of pictures on the last day, and a lot of hugs and stuff. I feel like our bond, we’re not going to lose it. I think that even if we don’t see each other for a while, we’ll still always have this bond between us, which is really nice.”
Being just 8 when she started on the series, Mackie actually didn’t start watching Nurse Jackie until about Season 4. Clearly, with the show’s subject content — where your TV mom lied, stole and was addicted to drugs — it served in her best interest to keeping her at bay.
“I don’t think I got it, really, at all when I was 7 through 9,” Mackie shares. “I think that once I hit 10 I started to realize what it was about and what was happening to the family and Jackie and everything, but I think before that I was just so clueless about everything that little Mackie didn’t really know anything that was going on.”
As for the actual ending of the series, Mackie agrees with what Clyde Phillips had shared — believing it will be satisfying to fans.
“I’m very satisfied with it. I think that there really isn’t a better way to wrap it up and I think that they did their job. I think that the viewers are really going to love it, hopefully,” she says. “I can’t wait to see how everyone reacts. I think that’ll be really cool to read tweets and stuff. I’m excited. … I love the ending, personally. I think it’s really great.”
Mackie, now 13, will start her freshman year of high school this fall. Having been home-schooled since second grade, she’s excited about the new opportunities. She plans to continue to act and to continue with her competitive dancing, in addition, she’s starring in an independent family film titled Time Toys.
“I feel like I know a lot more now and I feel like I’m ready to start doing other stuff. I’m really excited about moving on, but it’s kind of hard to just throw it all away. I was actually just watching an episode of Nurse Jackie right before you called and I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be so hard on Sunday.’”
And, that, we would all agree with.