'Royal Pains': Mark Feuerstein talks a return to blue-sky basics
Fans of USA’s Royal Pains may be happy to hear the dark days are over. As the show enters its sixth season (premieres June 10 at 9 p.m. ET), Mark Feuerstein fills us in.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: There are some changes afoot.
Mark Feuerstein: In season 5, we got pretty into it in terms of some darker storylines: pain pills, my brother and his wife had a lot of tension in their first year of marriage, Divya was pregnant by a father who will no longer be in the picture, a lot of edgy stuff. I thought it was incredibly well done, but the initiative and move for season 6 is to bring Royal Pains back to its former glory — that light, easy breezy, fun show in the Hamptons. That’s exactly what we’ve done. It’s kind of like back to basics. For my character, very much so, because I go from being medical director and dealing with all this business crap to just going back to taking care of patients, which is what Hank does best. There is a little tension with Boris, but as a result of our relationship I’ve traveled now to France, and to Puerto Rico, and we’ve shot a lot of great stuff, so let the tension continue if you know what I’m saying.
What’s been the strangest, oddest fan encounter abroad?
There was an amazing one in Florence, Italy, which is where we went after shooting in Nice, Saint-Tropez and Monte Carlo — it’s a tough, tough life I’ve chosen. This woman comes up to me and the executive producer, Michael Rauche, in the street, and she’s like (does Italian accent), “Oh my god, it’s Hank. Il dottore, you are my therapy. I don’t have to go to a therapist because I sit and I watch your show and I feel so good. Thank you, dottore, dottore. I work at a coffee shop. You come, you have a cappuccino.” I didn’t go have a cappuccino, but she was very sweet.
She’s no longer watching, but…
No, she’s a little upset. She’s cursed me in a Roman Catholic way. Losing our audience, one fan at a time.
Is there any romance for Hank this season?
Yes! Yes! You may have thought he took a vow of celibacy, everyone, but Hank Lawson is going to get some action in season 6 from an unlikely source. It’s a great storyline, and I’m very thrilled about it. We shot some of it in France and it was très romantique. That’s all the French I’m going to give you. I don’t think even that went so well.
So she’s a recurring character?
Yes, a recurring character, meaning that unlike some of Hank’s past girlfriends she will make it into more than one episode. But we’ll see how it goes.
We can’t talk about the mysterious new character Emma introduced in the premiere. Anything else you want to tease that I haven’t coaxed out of you?
There will be a new business partner, a man of mystery, and he’s a tough guy. My brother Evan will go down a path with him in a fiscal and business sense, but Hank Med and the expansion of Hank Med — it will be a very delicate situation. We get to meet Divya’s daughter, and Divya turns out to be a great mom but struggles with having it all like so many women. We got Jeremiah back in the house. He’s the medical director of Hank Med. He and Divya had tension — now it’s a new kind of tension as he moves on and maybe plays the field romantically in his way. Then there’s Boris, who always has crazy shenanigans. We have all kinds of European misadventures as I’ve mentioned. So we’re keeping all the plates spinning very well in season 6 on Royal Pains.
You come prepared.
I’m not messing around. I came to play.