Zap2it: Your "Royal Pains" character, Dr. Hank Lawson, was injured in an explosion at the end of Season 4. How do we find him as Season 5 of the USA show begins Wednesday (June 12)?
Mark Feuerstein: There are a lot of moments where that comes into play, and I won't reveal just how well or not well Hank remains when we return. There are moments that are darker because Hank is recovering, or trying to, and then there are light, fun and breezy "Royal Pains" moments.
The writers did a brilliant job of navigating when it was time to tell the story of Hank's recovery and when it was time to put that aside and let him possibly return to the usual life that our show depicts.
Zap2it: How was the continuity of playing that for you?
Mark Feuerstein: Having treated many "patients" on the show, to have the opportunity to do my own version of what they've done was thrilling for me as an actor ... and scary for my character. And according to our executive producers, it was a good moment for the show.
Zap2it: Were you happy with the way last December's "Royal Pains" holiday movie was received?
Mark Feuerstein: I was. We typically don't do as well in the winter as we do in the summer, which is our bread and butter, but we held our numbers. We had to shoot it in Long Island, making 80-degree summer weather look like winter -- which meant snow machines and looking like we were shivering while we were actually sweating under our wardrobe.
Zap2it: How much of a relief was it to start Season 5 knowing you already were renewed for Season 6?
Mark Feuerstein: I have three examples, off the top of my head, of people who represent the gamut of insecurity about whether or not they'd get to go to work this coming TV season. We had Claire Coffee on the show recently, and she's in "Grimm," which has been picked up by NBC. We also had Danny Pudi, who didn't know then whether "Community" would come back for a fifth season. [It will.]
And then there's my wife, Dana Klein, who wrote a pilot for CBS called "Friends With Better Lives." She was waiting with bated breath, especially because of all the positive reviews she was getting from the heads of the network, to find out whether her show was going to be picked up. [It was, for midseason.] That's my long way of saying it is the holy grail to know you're coming back to work while you're in the middle of a season. It's the greatest gift.
Zap2it: How did getting the two-year renewal affect the atmosphere when you returned to the set for this season?
Mark Feuerstein: We really have become like a family ... and a relatively functional family, which I think is rare on most TV-series sets. We're just incredibly lucky. We have an amazing crew who we love like brothers and sisters, and we have never gotten so comfortable that we don't show up and bring our "A" game every day.
We love our jobs, and we know that if we don't make an effort to do our jobs well and get along, we could possibly sabotage what is such a blessing. It's a matter of keeping that in mind, in addition to the natural chemistry we have as people and as actors. I pinch myself every day when I go to work. We just have the best time.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images