Chances are, if you've ever watched Telemundo, you've seen Mexican soap opera star Khotan smolder (so much so, that he's hot enough to go by only his first name). Starting Wednesday, you don't have to understand Spanish to get all the sweet nothings he whispers: He's making his English-language TV debut on Royal Pains as Rafa, an Argentinean polo player and underwear model who falls for Dr. Hank's physician assistant Divya (Reshma Shetty). Below, we get him to gossip a little about his character.
TV Guide Magazine: How do the two lovebirds meet?
Khotan: Rafa is in the Hamptons for their polo season. The owner of his team, who's played by Gary Cole, is injured and needs a doctor, and Rafa meets Divya at the field. He's just captivated by her. She doesn't pay much attention to him, so he finds that intriguing. That's how their story starts.
TV Guide Magazine: Don't you usually play bad guys?
Khotan: I don't know why I've mainly played evil characters. I did El Sexo Débil, in which I played a man from a family of doctors who were very macho; the series started on the day all the women in their lives leave. Before that, I did Perro Amor, which translates to dog love.
TV Guide Magazine: So should we assume that the pair has an unhappy ending?
Khotan: Hmmmm...Rafa travels a lot, so Divya's worried about that. And something happens with an ad campaign he's shooting with models. She's going to get a little jealous about that. That's all I can say.
TV Guide Magazine: How long is he hanging around?
Khotan: I have a five-episode arc that goes on until the end of the season. It's been really fun, I've had the opportunity to work with different directors and each episode is a different story. In the first episode, Gary Cole is the one who gets hurt. In another, I'm the one that gets in trouble.
TV Guide Magazine: Was it difficult to act and ride a polo horse at the same time?
Khotan: I used to ride a lot because I did show jumping professionally when I was young. So it wasn't such a hard thing for me, because I knew how to ride. And I had some great teachers up their in New York. It was really fun to get back on the horse.
TV Guide Magazine: How did you learn English?
Khotan: I went to an English school when I was in Mexico. When I was 14 or 15, I lived in New York for six months and then L.A. for another six months. And I've been coming back-and-forth to the states since. I'm in Miami right now — that's where I live. My first [acting job] was something that I did in Mexico for Fox, another soap actually, and I got picked because I spoke English.
TV Guide Magazine: What's your final verdict on working in the States?
Khotan: It's amazing. In what I do, Mexican soap operas, we have to shoot a lot of scenes per day. Here we have time. We do two to four scenes at the most per day. So you really get to review the scene. In American TV, they get to really take care of the details.
Royal Pains airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on USA/