I’ve made no secret of my tendency to embarrass myself on TV sets. (See: My mortification on the Castle set.) So, naturally, it happened again at the end of last month when I visited the set of Royal Pains to get some scoop on the new season straight from stars Mark Feuerstein, Paulo Costanzo, and Brooke D’Orsay. Only this time, it was my equipment’s faulty battery — and not my own boneheaded actions — that would turn an on-set visit into a bit of a lesson.
The day started off well — great, in fact. I met up with the cast and crew at a Brooklyn stage that houses all of the shows sets. (They also film on-location in the Hamptons and in Long Island, but as luck would have it, it was not a Hamptons day.) When I arrived, Feurestein and Costanzo were wearing nothing more than white towels and hard at work on a scene that took place inside of a steam room. This is not as glamorous as it sounds. As much as Feurestein was having fun with his wardrobe (he did his best Mr. Universe impression!) the actors were actually slathered in this oily concoction to make it appear like they were damp from the steam and then had to act like they were inside the most relaxing place on Earth as fake smoke was blown in their faces (to simulate steam). Troopers! On top of that, they then had this annoying reporter mulling around who wanted to interview them. Oh, that was me.
The guys finally got a second to sit down and chat (while still in robes!) briefly after the scene wrapped up, and as lovely as it was, it was also one of the most embarrassing moments I’ve experienced as a reporter.
I’d arrived on set with a Flip-Cam, but unbeknownst to me, the equipment’s battery was faulty. After charging it all night, the camera decided it was out of juice five minutes into our interview. Unsure about what to do, I kept holding the camera until Feuerstein was done with his sentence, and then had to admit (while blushing intensely) that the camera had petered out on me a minute ago. (Later, our video department would inform me this sudden failure also led to the loss of the video.) Mortified, I apologized profusely to the actors, but was quickly stopped by Feuerstein. “Sandra, this might be one of the stories we tell during an awkward panel discussion … We’re going to mention the reporter whose camera broke,” he said with a smile and laugh to break the tension. Costanzo echoed his statement. Quickly, my worries diffused — if only thanks to the two men in robes.
Lucky for you readers, my recorder took some back-up. And here’s some fun info I got from set:
* Royal Pains almost had a Florida episode. While talking about stunt work (Feurstein has some in an upcoming episode that got a little out of hand — and he has the hematoma to prove it), the actor jokingly lamented, “When you have Doug Liman as your executive producer, you get to go to Paris. We almost went to Florida.” But while the brothers’ job wouldn’t necessarily allow for such adventures, Feurstein said with a smile, “I want to risk my life at every turn.” Costanzo retorted, “I think you genuinely do. So when you get your chance, you’re like ‘Raaaarrr!!’”
* Drama! The brothers will find themselves with different visions of what the business should be, and this will cause major tension between them.
* Raj is not gone. “Last season ended in a very climatic way, with Divya calling off her marriage with Raj. She broke it off, and now there is a lot of tension between her and her parents, who needless to say, are not thrilled and may find a way to punish her for wreaking havoc in the Indian community,” Feurstein says. Costanzo adds: “And Raj is not out of the picture in any way at all. He reappears four episodes later to confront her. We don’t know what happens,” he said, adding (as a joke), “Will he kill her and then [create] a puppet that will then be her for the rest of the series? No one knows yet.”
* After my interview with Feurstein and Costanzo, I also had a chance to chat with D’Orsay (who plays Evan’s girlfriend Jill), and she says that Jill’s storyline this season has some really interesting points that are all heading toward a reveal of sorts. But she at the time, she wasn’t sure exactly what that was. It might, however, be related to “an unfortunate thing happens to her” in the Hamptons.
Royal Pains returns to USA tonight at 9 pm. ET.
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