Drea de Matteo
Drea de Matteo
Andrea Donna de Matteo, called Drea, was born on January 19, 1972 in Whitestone, Queens, New York, into an affluent family. She is the youngest of three children and the only girl. She speaks fluent Italian and Spanish.
De Matteo’s mother, Donna, is a playwright and playwriting teacher at HB Studio in New York. Her father, Albert, is a furniture manufacturer who was owner and CEO of Avery Boardman and Carlyle. She was raised in Queens primarily by her grandmother and a Nicaraguan nanny. De Matteo now takes care of her nanny, who had to have a heart transplant. She is of Italian descent and grew up in a Roman Catholic family. De Matteo spent her early childhood in Queens, and the family then moved to the Upper East Side in Manhattan, into Aretha Franklin’s former townhouse.
De Matteo attended Loyola School, She studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City and decided to pursue a directing career at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, perhaps because of the brief moment when, as a girl, she was brought onstage out of the audience and dazzled by the stage lights when she was seeing the play “Cats,” perhaps because of her mother’s involvement in the entertainment business. Once she was in school, however, it was the acting classes which attracted her greatest interest, and she decided on an acting career.
In 1997, de Matteo opened Filth Mart, an East Village clothing store with her then-boyfriend Michael Sportes. They closed the store in 2004 but has closed it and is considering re-opening it in the Los Angeles area.
De Matteo began dating musician Shooter Jennings in 2001. They became engaged on June 11, 2009, when Jennings proposed onstage at the Stanley Center during a show in Utica, New York. They have two children together, daughter Alabama Gypsyrose Jennings who was born in November of 2007 and son Waylon Albert “Blackjack” Jennings who was born in April of 2011. Jennings and de Matteo ended their relationship without marrying in 2013.
In July 2015, de Matteo became engaged to Whitesnake bass guitarist Michael Devin.
She has her mother’s, father’s and grandmother’s names tattooed onto her body.
De Matteo lost her apartment home of 22 years, as did dozens of other residents, when a gas explosion and raging fire destroyed three New York City buildings on March 26, 2015.
After a screen debut in an obscure independent and a small part in a small movie, Meet Prince Charming (2002), de Matteo auditioned for a one-episode part in the HBO series The Sopranos (1999). She impressed the producers enough that they expanded the role, as Adriana La Cerva, girlfriend to up-and-coming Soprano family soldier Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli), and she eventually became a regular on the show.
De Matteo had the right sultry beauty to portray Adriana, but her acting skills greatly fleshed out the character, making her as rich and complex a character as a slightly ditzy gangster’s girlfriend can be in the first place – humorous, even charming in a way and, ultimately, tragic. She won an Emmy award for her portrayal of Adriana in 2004. De Matteo’s role in The Sopranos was one of her earliest, helping to launch her career.
Career Take Off
Although De Matteo’s role on the HBO series came to an end in 2004, in that same year she got a leading role in Joey (2004), a spin-off of the long-running NBC sitcom Friends. She has also appeared in several movies since starting on “The Sopranos” – regardless of the caliber of the production, de Matteo has consistently shown her strong acting skills, such as her award-winning lead in Abel Ferrara’s ‘R Xmas (2001) and her supporting role in Prey for Rock & Roll (2003).
From 2004 to 2006, de Matteo portrayed Joey Tribbiani’s sister Gina in the Friends spin-off Joey. The show was cancelled after two seasons. Paulo Costanzo, who plays her son on Joey (2004), is only five years younger than she is.
She has appeared in several films including Swordfish, Deuces Wild, The Perfect You, and the 2005 remake of John Carpenter’s 1976 action film Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) which opened on her 33rd birthday.
De Matteo played the role of Wendy Case in the FX original series Sons of Anarchy. The pilot episode aired September 3, 2008, and De Matteo continued making regular appearances into the series’ sixth season. She was promoted to a series regular for the seventh and final season.
Drea played Angie Bolen, the mother of the Bolen family, on season 6 of the ABC show Desperate Housewives. She officially left Desperate Housewives at the season 6 finale in 2010, due to personal reasons.
De Matteo played the stepmother of Steve Wilde, the main character of the FOX comedy Running Wilde, appearing in Season 1, Episode 9.
De Matteo co-starred as Krissi Cates in the film adaptation of Dark Places (2015), with Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Nicholas Hoult. In 2015, she was cast as Det. Tess Nazario in the NBC drama series Shades of Blue, starring alongside Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta. It premiered on January 7, 2016.
Likewise, most recenly she has been cast as Mrs. Nelson in A Million Little Things.
In 1999 Drea won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
In 2001, she won a New York International Independent Film and Video Festival Award for Best Actress for ‘R Xmas
And in 2004, de Matteo won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress (Drama) for her role as Adriana on The Sopranos (season 5), the Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and was nominated for a Golden Globe the same year, for the same role.
In fact, she has also been nominated for several other awards:
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2004)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (2004)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2000-2004)
She was featured in and on the cover of Paper Magazine in June of 2001.
She was ranked #42 and #56 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2001 and 2002, respectively.
Drea was also ranked #33 in Stuff magazine’s “102 Sexiest Women in the World” in 2002.
De Matteo appers on the cover of and was featured in Hollywood Life Magazine in September of 2004.
Year Title Role
- 1996 ‘M’ Word
- 1999 Meet Prince Charming Hilary Harris
- 2000 Sleepwalk Henrieta
- 2001 Made Club Girl Uncredited
- Swordfish Melissa
- ‘R Xmas The Wife
- 2002 Deuces Wild Betsy
- The Perfect You Dee
- 2003 Prey for Rock & Roll Tracey
- Beacon Hill Cadet Ramsey
- 2004 Love Rome Angela
- 2005 Callas e Onassis unknown
- Assault on Precinct 13 Iris Ferry
- 2006 Walker Payne Lou Ann
- Farce of the Penguins Ester
- 2007 The Good Life Dana
- Broken English Audrey Andrews
- 2008 Lake City Hope
- 2009 New York, I Love You Lyndia
- Once More with Feeling Lana Gregorio
- 2013 Free Ride Sandy
- 2013 Whisper Of Fear Diane Harkin
- 2015 Dark Places Krissi Cates
- Sex, Death and Bowling Ana
- 2017 Don’t Sleep Jo Marino
Year Title Role
- 1996 Swift Justice Laurie Tuco
- 1999–2006 The Sopranos Adriana La Cerva
- 2002 VH1 Big in 2002 Awards Host
- 2004–06 Joey Gina Tribbiani
- 2005 HBO First Look Assault on Precinct 13: Caught in the Crosshairs -Herself
- 2007 Aperture
- Al rojo vivo con María Celeste
- Making ‘Cleaver’ Adriana La Cerva
- 2008, 2011–2014 Sons of Anarchy Wendy Case
- 2009–10 Desperate Housewives Angie Bolen
- 2010 Fakers Tanner’s mother
- 2011 CSI:Miami Evelyn
- Law and Order: SVU Sandra Roberts
- 2012 Californication Holly
- 2013 The Mindy Project Kelsey
- 2015 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Karla Faye Gideon
- The Making of the Mob: NY Herself
- 2016–18 Shades of Blue Det. Tess Nazario
- 2019 A Million Little Things Mrs. Nelson
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