Former The Sopranos star Drea De Matteo is thrilled to be back on the small screen in Jennifer Lopez's new TV police drama, because she has always been a huge fan of the singer and actress.
De Matteo, who played Adriana La Cerva in the cult mob drama, was personally cast as tough cop Tezz Nazario by J.Lo, the star and producer of Shades of Blue, and she admits she has never been more excited to be on a set.
"First of all Jennifer's the hottest boss in the world that you could possibly have," the actress coos to WENN. "She was a role model from when I was younger growing up; not being a twig. She's made it OK for women to have real bodies. She's made it OK for women to eat a f**king meal!
"She is beautiful inside and out and all around. Forget about what she did about paving the way for women to be what they are physically and not these starving weirdos; she's a role model because I've never seen anybody work as hard as she has worked."
And De Matteo admits watching her co-star and producer get busy on set made her think twice about complaining.
"I'd have moments where I'd be like, 'I'm exhausted. I have to pick up my kids from school after working all day'," she recalls, "and then I think to myself, 'What is Jennifer doing right now? She's probably juggling 50,000 different things at once!"
And J.Lo's number one fan is also impressed her boss isn't a diva: "When she shows up on set she is not a pop star. She's a professional."
De Matteo's sentiments have been echoed by another Shades of Blue castmate, Ray Liotta, who initially baulked at the idea of playing a corrupt cop on TV, because he didn't want to be a part of what he called "The Jennifer Lopez Show", but now he's a big fan.
"She's great," he says. "She's really really good in this; it's gonna surprise a lot of people. I didn't really know much about her before."