2. She's not always cool, calm and collected: After being part of la famiglia for five years on The Sopranos, the idea of joining a new cast gave her butterflies. "(At first) I was very nervous going onto another set," she says. But Joey costar Matt LeBlanc put her at ease. "(He) sent me a huge thing of flowers with a note saying, 'You belong here.' That meant a lot to me." How about the change from drama to comedy? Not a bad deal, says de Matteo: "Palm trees. No heroin. No beating."
3. She's a rebel: At 18, de Matteo got her first tattoo – a tiny cross on her ankle. "My mom was so mad, she threw me out. So I went out and had her name tattooed on my wrist. My dad's too," says the New York University film school graduate. She's still every bit as spirited today: "You ask her something stupid, and you'll get a kick in the butt," says former Sopranos costar Tony Sirico.
4. She's got an eye for fashion: Unlike her Sopranos character, Adriana, de Matteo isn't partial to Prada and Gucci. In fact, her look is rock 'n' roll all the way. In 1997, de Matteo and ex-boyfriend Michael Sportes opened their own East Village boutique, Filth Mart, which specializes in vintage rock T-shirts, jeans and other hipster paraphernalia. Among the shop's celebrity fans: Lenny Kravitz, designer Stella McCartney and Liv Tyler.