Gary Susman
March 29, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

After years of living with a wiseguy, Drea de Matteo is moving in with a not-too-bright guy. The actress best known as Adriana on ”The Sopranos” has landed a costarring role in ”Joey,” this fall’s ”Friends” spinoff starring Matt LeBlanc. According to the Hollywood Reporter, she’ll play Gina, Joey Tribbiani’s hairdresser sister, who’s reunited with her actor brother when he moves to Hollywood. She’s also the single mother of a young man who’s the rare rocket scientist in the Tribbiani family — literally, since he’s a college engineering nerd who lacks the skills with the opposite sex that come easily to Mom and Uncle Joey.

What does De Matteo’s NBC gig mean for the fate of her ”Sopranos” character? Apparently nothing. As a guilt-ridden FBI informant whose being pumped for dirt on fiancé Christopher and the rest of his crime family, Adriana is a prime candidate for a whacking. According to the Reporter, however, De Matteo will be back for the sixth and final season of HBO’s ”Sopranos,” which goes into production later this year, and which won’t conflict with her ”Joey” duties. Maybe her guise as a Hollywood hairdresser is part of a witness relocation program.

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