Since being discovered as part of a national talent search for Road Trip to his current gig on the hit USA series ROYAL PAINS, Paulo Costanzo [Pictured above left alongside co-star Mark Feuerstein] has had what many might consider a fairytale career. Of course, as with practically everything in life, the path to success is not nearly as easy as it appears to be, as you’ll see from these five things you probably didn’t know about the actor.
He’s always wanted to be an actor.
After catching the acting bug from his mother, who was a theater school major in University, the need to make a career out of one of the world’s most insecure professions was cemented for Costanzo at the ripe old age of 15. “I was really shy growing up, I always wanted to be heard and finally I got the balls to audition for the high school musical where I got the lead and that was kind of it, I never really looked back after that,” said Constanzo while recently holding court in Toronto’s beautiful Hazelton hotel to promote the return of ROYAL PAINS to Showcase in Canada. “To me, what shy means is being unable to express yourself and be heard even though you want to me and to me that’s how I felt. I had a lot of bullies, I was kind of an outcast, so when I finally found a forum to me to do it safely it was like letting out a caged animal.”
He Knew JOEY was destined for failure from the beginning.
Despite the fact that most outsiders would have just naturally assumed that nabbing a role in the ill-fated FRIENDS spin-off JOEY was akin to winning the lottery for virtually any actor, the sitcom neophyte knew better. “I knew it wasn’t going to work from day one,” admitted Costanzo. “I wasn’t happy that it went down and had a lot fun throughout but to be very honest, the moment I showed up on set I entered a preexisting hierarchy because it was all the same people who did FRIENDS and they really had a way of doing things that didn’t allow much collaboration.”
He partially credits his magic afro for his role on ROYAL PAINS!
When it comes to the circumstances surrounding being offered the coveted role of Evan Lawson on ROYAL PAINS, you might say that Costanzo won out by a hair. Literally. “When the producers brought me in for a chemistry read, I was, at the time, reading for Hank’s best friend Evan Waxman. There was no brother. So when I walked in and saw Mark [Feuerstein] I thought ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to get this, he looks exactly like me!’ I mean I couldn’t believe I had never seen this guy before,” recalled Costanzo. “And as a result of that I had an extra boldness because I thought I had nothing to lose. I was like ‘WOW! We looked identical, that’s kind of crazy, wanna rub afros and see what happens?’ And Mark said ‘Suuuure!’ He got up and that’s how we met, we rubbed afros! That day I knew that the only way I’d get this part is if I somehow convince the producers with my audition that they have to re-write the whole part which is sort of what they did.”
His brotherly relationship with Mark Feuerstein is just what the doctor ordered.
As anyone who has seen ROYAL PAINS can attest to, a huge part of both the show’s appeal and success is the believable brotherly love between Costanzo’s younger more business savvy brother Evan, and the older more medically inclined brother Hank [Mark Feuerstein]. “Mark and I have a wonderful relationship, I love him. We are very similar in many ways, we both like to add things to the script to elevate the material,” said Costanzo. “We have a very brotherly relationship where we can get into little arguments and survive them perfectly and be all the better for them. We have a very complete relationship and we very much are like brothers. I don’t think I’ve had that with anyone I’ve ever worked with before.”
His mom is battling liver cancer.
Now we know what you’re thinking… why on earth would theTVaddict.com — a website that as a policy refrains from reporting on the personal lives of actors in favor of the only thing we really care about, their performance on screen — bother reporting on something as personal as a family member’s battle with Cancer? Simply put, Costanzo who was recently approached to speak at Yankee stadium on behalf of Stand Up to Cancer wanted us to. Explained Costanzo, “Stand Up to Cancer is this not-vague organization that literally is just assembling the best and brightest of Cancer researchers. They’re awesome and I’d love it if you could mention standup2cancer.org. If you make a dollar donation you actually could be helping the aggressive push towards the end of cancer, because that’s what they’re going for.”
New Episodes of ROYAL PAINS can currently be found on Wednesdays at 10PM on USA (Canadian TV Addicts can catch Season 2 premiering on Wednesday August 31st at 10PM on Showcase). Catch up on past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv