Q&A With Royal Pains' Mark Feuerstein
The actor talks about his TV doctor role, the real doctors who saved his daughter's life, and his parenting philosophy.
What are your guilty pleasure foods?
Black-and-white cookies at Pick A Bagel, Crumbs cupcakes, Reese's Big Cup and a Fast Break, which is a phenomenal candy bar by any standards.
Is there one food you absolutely refuse to eat?
Liver! Though in its chopped, more Jewish incarnation, I quite enjoy it -- particularly on a piece of well-baked, heavily seeded Rye bread. And cilantro -- hate it!
In a Sex and the City episode, you infamously played the guy who couldn't satisfy Miranda. Luckily, life doesn't imitate art -- you've been married for six years. What's your secret to making it work?
Apologizing. Whatever negative energy, stress, and blame you can absorb without running the risk of imploding from resentment, do it and then pretend it's all good until it actually is -- because it always gets back to good if you're patient. I believe in honest, open communication -- the more angry and uncomfortable, the more it probably needs to get out. You won't know what challenges your relationship can handle until you put it out there. That said, and because of it, we have a wonderful marriage filled with joy, honesty, humor, and deep faith in and support for each other.
You have three kids, ages 5, 3, and 1. What's the most important lesson you're trying to instill in them?
The Dalai Lama said, "My religion is kindness," and that's a good one, but I think Pinkalicious' mom [a popular kids' book character] said it best, "You get what you get, and you don't get upset."
How do you unwind when you're not working?
My favorite way to unwind is watching TV with my best friend from 4th grade, Eric Diamond. Once a week we get together, talk about life, and watch our favorite shows.
You solve medical mysteries on your show. In your personal life, your youngest daughter, Addie, has a rare heart condition. Did your TV character help you when you were working with her doctors?
Playing a doctor on television did not help me at all when I was working with doctors to figure out what was happening with her; it simply made me realize how far I am from an actual doctor. Addie recently underwent two open-heart surgeries, and it was the nurses and doctors of the CT-ICU at Children's Hospital LA who knew exactly what to do in all situations -- who knew how to adjust her meds and put in PICC lines and her NG tube, and it was Dr. Vaughn Starnes who knew how to navigate and rearrange the intricate highways of the human heart in order to save her life. She's doing great today. She's off all her meds, she's gaining weight, and learning how to walk -- it's a miracle. All those surgeons, doctors, and nurses who helped her remind me what an honor and privilege it is to get to pretend to be one of them.