Mark Feuerstein Talks ROYAL PAINS Season Two

Mark Feuerstein

When ROYAL PAINS returns to finish its sophomore season on January 20, concierge doctor Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) is going to have much more on his mind than his patients. His father (Henry Winkler) has just had a heart attack and is facing some serious legal trouble while his current girlfriend Emily (Anastasia Griffith) and his ex Jill (Jill Flint) are both very much in his life and his physician’s assistant Divya (Reshma Shetty) might be leaving.

Daemon’s TV was there when Mark Feuerstein answered questions about what will happen to Eddie, how the Eddie mess will affect Hank and Evan (Paulo Costanzo), and what the season finale will bring.

On Hank

According to Mark, Hank has “the hope that he is living the best life that he can for who he is. Hank is trying to do the most good for the most people where he can, and given what happened back in Brooklyn, he has to make do with a new situation out in Long Island.”

Mark said he loves the role of Hank because “I get to be romantic, dramatic, comedic, and this medical MacGyver,” and he also enjoys the challenge of the “high stakes emotion that is called upon Hank every week whether it’s for his patient or his brother or his father or Divya or Jill.”

On Eddie

Executive producer Michael Rauch once asked Mark if there were anything in particular he wanted to see for season two and Mark replied that because Hank is “this pretty perfect guy, anything that would put dirt under his fingernails or edge him up” would thrill him. Taking that suggestion, Rauch and the writers introduced deadbeat dad Eddie.

Mark credits Henry Winkler’s performance as Eddie for bringing out another color in Hank’s character. He explained, “You see rage, an adolescent anger that has not been able to resolve itself into adulthood because the guy left us.”

Hank and Evan now know that despite Eddie’s assurance that he was only in the Hamptons to straighten things out with his sons, he was also there to inform on Boris to the FBI. Because of that, Mark said the big questions in the winter episodes are “Will Eddie live or die after having a heart attack and if he lives, will Hank and Evan kill him?” Hank and Evan will have to figure out how much of Eddie’s actions were “desperate saving his own ass while really genuinely trying to repair the damage he did to them as kids and how much of it was the whole reason he came out here.”

On Hank and Evan

According to Mark, the upcoming six episodes will continue to address the ongoing argument between Hank and Evan over was right about Eddie: “Evan, who thought he had the best intentions or Hank, who thought he was full of shit and he’s coming here to manipulate and find a way to make money. That question remains to some extent through the end of this season.” Mark also noted that this somehow allows them to show the brothers and their dad growing closer together.

Even as that argument continues, we will see a shift in how Hank and Evan view their father’s actions. Mark said, “I believe there’s a fluidity to the dynamic between older and younger brothers. Sometimes you’re the older brother and other times you’re the younger one. Hank may have been the younger brother when he was so angry and couldn’t forgive Eddie for things he did 20-25 years ago and Evan was the more mature one in that particular case.” Mark called that dynamic “fluid and ever-changing on the show and that’s what keeps the audience guessing and keeps it real because that’s what happens between brothers.”

Mark said he would be interested in exploring what would happen should one of the brothers betray the other. “I’d love to see Hank and Evan going at it in some conflictual way where one of us does something against the code of brothers,” He said, noting, “I don’t know if that could happen on Royal Pains because there’s something about that bond that we never want to question.”

On the season finale

Mark teased, “Every single one of the dangling threads that was left open-ended will be brought to fruition, carried out, or answered in some way and new great climactic questions will emerge.”

Breaking it down, Mark said the first issue is Eddie: “If he survives the heart attack, what will happen to him given Boris has outed him as being an FBI informant, and what will happen to his legal troubles? Will he go to jail? If he is going to jail, will that be with Hank and Evan in his corner or will they write him off as the deadbeat and loser they always thought he was?”

On the Evan and Paige front Mark said, “The romance budding between the two of them carried all the way through the end of the season is one of the most delicious, adorable, poignant relationships I have seen on television.” He called Paulo and Brooke D’Orsay’s chemistry special, saying “You won’t be able to look away from them.”

As for Divya’s impending arranged marriage to Raj, Mark teased that throughout these episodes, “We will see that Divya’s heart is not necessarily in it, but maybe it will be? Or maybe there’s no hope for them.”

Boris and Marissa factor in, too because as Mark explained, “That relationship has taken a nice turn, but in coming closer together, a new wrinkle has emerged between them that really brings on a lot of drama and depth.”

Then there’s the Hank-Emily-Jill love triangle about which Hank would only say, “There’s a moment where Hank walks in on Jill and Emily in bed together.”

On guest stars Mark would like to come back

When asked if there were any guest stars he would like to have return to the show, Mark came up with two names. The first was Julianne Nicholson (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), who appears in the season’s penultimate episode, and whom Mark said upped his game as an actor. He described her role as “a type A New Yorker who left the rat race to start flying planes and she’s now having the symptoms of caffeine addiction and uppers but she’s actually cleaned herself up and it turns out there’s a syncopal issue. She’s so good and amazingly vulnerable and there was great chemistry because the characters bond because they were both flying too high in the New York rat race and then had to come down.”

Mark’s other choice was Tom Cavanagh (Ed) , who appears in the mid-season premier, “Mulligan,” as a former rising star golfer whose medical condition prevents him from getting back in the game. “He’s so charming. He does it in a look, in a face, in a wince instead of beating you over the head with it and that’s why he is so good and he’s been so successful and we were so lucky to get him to play that part and the chemistry between him and Jill Flint is phenomenal.”

Mark also gushed, “I’m so happy we’re definitely going to see Henry Winkler, Campbell Scott, Christine Ebersole and all these other great characters that have been so fabulous to paint this crazy, eclectic world that we live in in the Hamptons.”

On what Mark thinks Royal Pains is about

Mark said that at its core, “Royal Pains is a show about second chances; about getting it right. Hank gets that chance when he goes out there to be doctor to the rich and not so rich in the Hamptons and now his dad is out there supposedly trying to repair the damage he did to Hank and Evan as kids.”

Mark loves hearing that families watching Royal Pains together and he thinks the show gives the message that “There’s no stronger bond than family.”

One thing Mark hopes that viewers do take away from Royal Pains is that they need to “take responsibility for their own health care. Hank Lawson stands for getting it checked out, taking responsibility, and not waiting until the last minute.”

The mid-season premiere of Royal Pains airs on USA Thursday, January 20 at 9pm eastern/8pm central.

Be sure to read what executive producers Michael Rauch and Andrew Lenchewski had to say about the upcoming episodes and read all our Royal Pains coverage here.

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