by Susan Waits | June 28, 2009 | People
Actor Mark Feuerstein has no pretenses. The native New Yorker relaxes in a low-key—if slightly dingy—diner on the Upper West Side, having biked his way across town for a breakfast of oatmeal and stale raisins. It’s a far cry from the Hollywood life he’s used to, but he takes it all in stride. “Wow, welcome back to New York,” he says with a laugh as his food arrives.
After growing up in Yorkville and working his way through the entertainment industry (his film credits include Defiance and In Her Shoes), he might have become a jaded product of his environs. But Feuerstein—who stars in the USA Network’s lighthearted new series Royal Pains, which debuts this month—is easily one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
On the show, Feuerstein plays Hank Lawson, a revered-turned-shunned surgeon who finds himself working as a concierge doctor to wealthy residents in the Hamptons. His approach to the role is characteristically affable. Never one to take himself too seriously, Feuer stein—who attended PS 158 and the Dalton School (“I went from being a well-to-do public school kid to a... not so well-to-do Dalton kid”)—loves to tell a good story. He relishes comparing his own bar mitzvah with the ones he attended “every weekend in the seventh grade—all at the Pierre and the Waldorf. We had five guys come down from Harlem with black leather cut gloves and a cardboard box and they break-danced,” he says of his own coming-of-age fête at Park East Synagogue. “I had T-shirts made that said PUSH IT TO POP IT/POP IT TO ROCK IT/BREAK IT TO MAKE IT.”
Regarding his latest project, Feuerstein, a Princeton grad, says it was meant to be. “It’s crazy,” he says. “I mean, I’m shooting it in my hometown,” adding that no matter what happens with the show (it’s already been picked up for 12 episodes), it’s been fun. “Having these four months [in New York]... we’ll never forget them,” he says.
Royal Pains debuts June 4 at 10 P.M. on the USA Network.
NEW YORK FAVORITES
Broadway Show: God of Carnage
Pizza: Potato pizza at Sullivan Street Bakery
Dive Bar: Milady’s on Prince Street
Yankees or Mets: Yankees
photograph by Justin Stephens/USA Network