When Mark Feuerstein stepped behind the camera to direct his second episode of Royal Pains earlier this year, he had the opportunity to work with a very special guest star: his dad.
"Rather than being directed by my father for the past 41 years, I got to reverse history and direct him," Feuerstein tells TVGuide.com of his dad, Harvey. "He is my idol and my mentor."
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In the USA drama's Aug. 1 episode, Mark's "larger-than-life" lawyer father plays an ice cream truck driver whose truck Hank uses — in true Royal Pains fashion — to resuscitate a stroke victim. Although Mark calls his dad a lifetime performer, the casting idea first came up after his father had dinner with a producer. "When this guy had dinner with my dad, he thought, 'This' guy's a star,'" Mark recalls. "So he wrote an email to that effect," which Harvey then forwarded to his TV star son as well as Royal Pains co-creator and executive producer Andrew Lenchewski, who thought it was a "great opportunity."
Despite an eight-hour weather delay, and Harvey's lack of experience in front of the camera, Mark is quick to praise his dad's performance. "He took the notes like a champion. I've watched the episode and he is so excellent in it," he says. "For Harvey Feuerstein, the sky is the limit."
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The episode, entitled "Manimal," will also see Hank treat a powerful acquaintance of Boris' and see the good doctor "mess around" with "an international woman of intrigue and mystery" named Christina — one of several new love interests for Hank. "I miss Jill Flint. It will never be the same without her around every week, but for the character, I think not having to address the issue of, 'Is he with Jill?' has freed him up for adventures," he says. "Chances are that Evan will marry Paige, so if you want to keep that balance alive of the settled dog versus the player, maybe Hank won't be settling down anytime soon."
Royal Pains airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on USA.