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Interview with Paulo Costanzo of "Royal Pains" on
USA Network 8/22/12
Costanzo was just hilarious on this phone call. I'm sure
I wasn't the only one laughing my head off while I waited to speak with
him. He was also not just funny but a little quirky. He's kind of like
his character, Evan, it seems, only a lot less annoying. It was also
great how he made sure to say our names back to us, and then he later
revealed he kept a list! That is so cool.
Moderator: Amanda Altschuler
August 22, 2012
1:00 pm CT
Operator: Thank you for standing by.
Welcome to the Paulo Costanzo press call.
All participants will be in a listen-only mode.
Afterwards we will conduct a question-and-answer session. At that time,
if you have a question, please press star 1 on your telephone. To
withdraw your question, press your pound key.
Thank you. You may begin your conference.
Lynn Weiss: Hi everybody this is (Lynn) with USA. Thanks for joining
the call. I appreciate your taking the time to talk to Paulo Costanzo --
who is making his directorial debut in next Wednesdayís episode of Royal
Pains. Itís called ďDancing with the DevilĒ and it airs on USA at 9:00
So weíre ready to go and thank you again. And, (Kena), you can start the
Operator: Again to ask a question please press star 1 on your telephone.
Your first question comes from (Jamie Ruby), SciFi Vision.
Jamie Ruby: Hi, Paulo, thanks so much for talking to us today.
Paulo Costanzo: Hey, (Jamie), how are you?
Jamie Ruby: Iím good. You?
Paulo Costanzo: Iím really good. This is a very strange format. Iíve
never had this. I feel like Iím in an interrogation room where you all
can see me but I canít see out. Iím by myself in this exposed room. Hi
everybody. You canít say anything back, but Iím saying hi to you.
Jamie Ruby: All right. Well can you kind of talk about what it was
like, you know, to direct your castmates you work with all the time?
Paulo Costanzo: It was really they were very supportive. Everybody on
the crew was very aware that this was my first time. This is my first
time directing anything. Iíve directed a couple short films, but Iíve
never actually directed a feature or a TV show. So they all knew how big
it was for me.
Also Mark was incredibly supportive because, you know, he has directed
the show twice and I was - you know, he kind of - I was so utterly
supportive of him. He more than returned the favor. It was I felt very
Jamie Ruby: Okay great. And when did it kind of come about that you
decided you were going to direct it? I mean, how was that discussion?
Paulo Costanzo: By the way, let me just - the other question I made it
all about me.
Directing them was amazing because I got to see a different side of
them. And I was actually very nervous about that because I didnít know
how they were going to take to me giving them direction.
But it turned out to actually be very good. And if I had to run a
diagnostic of how I did as a director, working with the actors was one
of the things I felt more confident in and got the best feedback about.
Thatís a better answer I think.
Jamie Ruby: Okay. Thanks. But how did you - like when did you decide
that you wanted to direct? I mean, did you ask to do it? Like how did
that kind of work out?
Paulo Costanzo: You mean in general in life or just the show?
Jamie Ruby: No for the show, for Royal Pains.
Paulo Costanzo: I wanted to direct from like the pilot. And I put it out
there and it just took time.
The way it worked Michael Rauch, the Executive Producer, he basically
championed me as well as Mark, but both of us. He took full
responsibility for my episode. Meaning if I ran it into the ground, it
would all be on his head. So it was a personal - Iím indebted to him for
the rest of my life.
I canít - Iím still kind of baffled that he allowed me to do it. He had
so much more faith in me than I did in myself. I was so scared. But I
wanted to do it from Day 1.
Jamie Ruby: Okay great. I think it came out really good. I enjoyed it,
so thank you.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you very much.
Operator: Your next question comes (Jaime Steinberg) Starry
Jamie Steinberg: Hi. Double the (Jamie) double the fun.
Paulo Costanzo: Cool.
Jamie Steinberg: I was wondering how do you like the direction Evanís
been taking this season?
Paulo Costanzo: Itís been less eventful. Itís been a little less
eventful this season. Heís been given kind of less -- which was a
blessing with my episode because I appeared in much less of it than
other episodes. They wrote me small for it.
But Evanís been - you know, I get to be supporting - support for Paige a
lot, you know, at the end of a season -- which was a shift in gears that
I have enjoyed. Iíve enjoyed it. Itís not Evan hasnít had as exciting an
arc as the previous seasons for me though. Seasons 2 and 3 were my
favorites so far.
Jamie Steinberg: Thereís been a lot of fan talk about hoping for a
Paige and Evan spin-off. Would that be something you would be open to?
Paulo Costanzo: Who - really?
Jamie Steinberg: Yes.
Paulo Costanzo: I donít know. Iíd have to cross that bridge. Iíve never
heard of anyone saying that, but Iím going to have to think about that.
Jamie Steinberg: What do you think it is then about Royal Pains that
it continues to be such a fan favorite show?
Paulo Costanzo: I think itís very easy to watch. I think itís true
escapism. Itís beautiful -- literally beautiful to look at. It brings
you elements of every genre -- whether it be action or comedy or drama
-- and itís all wrapped up in this kind of nice package that USA seems
to do so well.
Jamie Steinberg: Great. Thank you so much.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you.
Operator: Your next question comes from (Tiffany Vogt), TV Addicts.
Tiffany Vogt: Hi, Paulo.
Paulo Costanzo: Hi, (Tiffany), how are you?
Tiffany Vogt: Doing well. Thank you. So I was wondering if you could
let us know how the dynamics between Evan and Hank, how their
relationship will be this season.
Paulo Costanzo: In the fourth season or the next season?
Tiffany Vogt: In the next season.
Paulo Costanzo: You mean in Season 5?
Tiffany Vogt: The current one.
Paulo Costanzo: You mean how as far as - because thereís only a couple
episodes left. You mean for the rest of the season?
Tiffany Vogt: Well yes theyíve been a little bit tense. Thereís been a
bit - will there be any happy ending as far as Evan and Hank go? What
can you tell us?
Paulo Costanzo: Well we were very tense for the beginning of the season.
That kind of subsided around Episode 4.
I donít think - I think more of the seasonís going to wrap up more with
Hank has his own storyline and Evan and Paige have their own things
Tiffany Vogt: Okay. So will Evan be finding out about what Hank is
doing with Boris?
Paulo Costanzo: That I donít know to be honest. I actually havenít read
the finale yet.
Tiffany Vogt: Okay. Well how is it driving that red Ferrari?
Paulo Costanzo: It was when I heard - when I read that script, I was
like I was very happy. When I got to set that day, I was very unhappy
because that was actually a process trailer and I was not driving it at
all. That was fake.
Tiffany Vogt: Oh no.
Paulo Costanzo: It was really...
Tiffany Vogt: Okay great. Thank you.
Paulo Costanzo: ...kind of depressing. I was so close yet so far.
Tiffany Vogt: Bummer. Maybe next time.
Paulo Costanzo: And the owner was this guy with a lot of chest hair
whoís like, ďDonít touch it.Ē
Tiffany Vogt: Okay. Touch it.
Paulo Costanzo: Donít touch it. He said donít touch it. That would be
even weirder if he said touch it. He was like, ďYo, man, touch it --
just touch it,Ē three times.
Tiffany Vogt: Okay. Well thank you.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you.
Operator: The next question comes from (Tobey Jeffery-Greer),
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Hi.
Paulo Costanzo: Hi, (Tobey Jeffery-Greer).
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Hi, Paulo Costanzo. How are you.
Paulo Costanzo: Iím very well. You have three different names.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: I do have three different names. Itís a giant
pain in the ass.
Paulo Costanzo: Iím sorry.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Yes I know. And the worst thing is, is I did it
to my kid too because if I had to suffer, he has to suffer as well.
Paulo Costanzo: This is so awkward because any - I really want to do
small talk with so many of you and all the rest of you are like, ďAll
right letís can you please keep it going.Ē
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: I know. Thereís just like 2000 other people who
canít speak right now who are going (unintelligible)...
Paulo Costanzo: I know.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: ...shut up. My heart is breaking for you about
the Ferrari. My husbandís sitting here next to me going, ďNo.Ē
Paulo Costanzo: Well I have to say though I got to drive the - what the
hell was that thing I - the Tesla for Season 2 -- which was 50 times -
it was like driving a rocket ship. So now I have a minivan and I get to
fake drive Ferraris. Itís Iím not (unintelligible).
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Okay. So I know you said that they wrote you
small for the episode.
Paulo Costanzo: Yes.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: But how do you balance acting with the technical
attention to detail that directing requires?
Paulo Costanzo: Well for me obviously of this was a learning experience.
Like every day I had about 100 firsts. My first day was a huge - there
was like a six-person dinner table scene -- which for those of you who
donít know dinner table scenes are one of the more daunting things to
shoot because you have to shoot - you have to do like, you know, 30
different shots around the table to make sure you get eye lines right
I knew I was in for a challenge that day. And I was in it and I was in
every other scene that day basically almost.
What I learned very quickly is that itís very taxing. Granted if youíve
done it a lot, I imagine it gets easier obviously. For me it was
incredibly like oh my God it was so overwhelming.
But at the end of each of the days where I was in a lot of it, I had a
sense of my brain was about to literally just implode and shutdown. But
I felt a huge sense of accomplishment because it is a lot. Thereís so
many things going on that you have to - your mind never stops. And
frankly Iím a person who thrives on that, so I actually enjoyed it.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Good. And we do know that Mark has directed twice
and you said that he was very, very supportive of you and thatís very
wonderful. And just to bump up the TV sibling rivalry, who did it better
-- you or him?
Paulo Costanzo: Who did it better? You mean like as far as Mark and I
being competitive in life?
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Yes in life -- just in life in general. No whoís
the better actor/director -- you or him?
Paulo Costanzo: Whoís the better actor/director? Youíd have to ask
everyone else because I have no idea. But when you find out, tell me.
Iíd love to know.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Thatís a very diplomatic answer. Thank you.
Paulo Costanzo: No itís true. I would tell you if I knew.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Yes okay.
Paulo Costanzo: And then take it. Okay is that end of our little
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: I guess so. Two questions. Thank you.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you very much. Nice to meet you, (Tobey
Operator: The next question comes from (Suzanne) (unintelligible), The
Suzanne Lanoue: Hi itís nice to meet you.
Paulo Costanzo: How do you pronounce your last name?
Suzanne Lanoue: Itís actually Lanoue. Thatís why Iím laughing.
Paulo Costanzo: Thatís what I thought. Yes Iím a little embarrassed.
Suzanne Lanoue: Thatís okay.
Paulo Costanzo: "Suzanne Lanoue" (said in French accent), is that French?
Suzanne Lanoue: Yes, people never pronounce it or spell it right. Itís
okay. Hey, it could be worse. My maiden name was McGlone and it was
ugly as well as hard to spell and pronounce.
Paulo Costanzo: McGlone?
Suzanne Lanoue: Yes itís ugly and everybody misspelled it.
Paulo Costanzo: It sounds like when you mess something up. Oh, man, you
just did a McGlone.
Suzanne Lanoue: Oh, ha ha.
Paulo Costanzo: You just totally McGloned that.
Suzanne Lanoue: Okay... Yes, so nobodyís saying hurry up on this call
because weíre all too busy laughing at you guys.
Paulo Costanzo: Okay. Thank God. Iím so glad you said that. Okay good I
can stop (unintelligible) my personality.
Suzanne Lanoue: You actually sound so much like your character and I
donít mean just your voice obviously. But, you know, you get actors that
donít, you know, sound like their character very much.
How much of you is in Evan?
Paulo Costanzo: Thatís a good question. So letís see. Iíd say a lot.
They let me improvise a lot. Iím kind of "that guy" on the show. I guess I
fiddle with a lot of stuff. So I kind of I got the audition off of, you
know, an audition where I made up like half of the audition, so I set
the stage for that dynamic -- which they support a lot.
I would like a lot of these questions to be about directing. Iím
just going to say that because thatís I think probably more on point
with what we should be talking about.
Suzanne Lanoue: Well, Iím sorry. I couldnít think of any other
Paulo Costanzo: Thatís okay. Do it now.
Suzanne Lanoue: Oh. gosh. now you put me on the spot. Actually... okay, so,
what more would you like to tell us about your time directing on the
Paulo Costanzo: For one thing, our show relies heavily on our guest
stars. If we cast - which has happened. Iím not going to say the
(unintelligible) with every show. If you cast a guest star whoís not
very strong, the whole episode is just dragged down by it.
And my episode - I donít know if you guys have seen it yet. Have you
seen it? Did they show it to you?
Suzanne Lanoue: I havenít seen it. They sent me the link, but I havenít
seen it yet.
Paulo Costanzo: Patti Murin -- who is a Broadway girl -- who currently
is actually touring with Wicked playing (unintelligible) the lead of the
show -- which Iím star struck by because I love that musical.
She showed up and we werenít sure and, you know, the first day we
werenít sure. And she just utterly knocked it out of the park and
thereís so much nuance and subtly and her and I worked together really
well. That was a just a pleasure to know that I had a guest star that I
could rely on and lean on and believe in and ultimately who really held
up the episode.
So that was good. As a director, that is something I learned is thatís
very important -- which I lucked out on. Hit the jackpot my first time
out of the gate.
Suzanne Lanoue: Wow. All right, well, thank you very much, and Iíll look
forward to seeing it.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you very much.
Operator: The next question comes from (Linda Seed), (Your)
Linda Seed: Hi, Paulo, itís so nice to speak to you.
Paulo Costanzo: You too, (Linda). How are you today?
Linda Seed: Iím doing pretty well.
Paulo Costanzo: Is it (Seed)?
Linda Seed: I wanted to ask you.
Paulo Costanzo: Is it...
Linda Seed: When did you first get the bug to direct?
Paulo Costanzo: Okay good question. Iím glad you asked. When I was in
high school, I was in kind of an art school and one of our projects at
the end of the year was to do a short film -- which of course I
procrastinated about. In the last three days, I shot in sequence -- I
just made it up as I went -- this movie called The Outcast and I edited
it in like one night.
And Iím still proud of it. Iím actually transferring it from VHS to DVD
and color correcting it so I can have it because I loved it so much. And
when I did that, I was like I love acting, so I was doing that too. But
Iím like this is what I really want to do.
And then the real moment was when I saw Trainspotting in the theater.
And when I walked out of Trainspotting, I think I wrote myself a note
saying like, ďYou will direct. This is what youíre going to do.Ē
And acting came along and kind of got in the way. But Iíve always kind
of had this desire and this love -- which Michael Rauch gave me the gift
to do this first episode -- which really is a beginning for me and yes.
Linda Seed: Thatís really cool. So I guess we could expect to see you
directing more episodes.
Paulo Costanzo: Well hopefully. Thatís the goal. I mean I havenít been
promised anything nor has Mark.
Linda Seed: Right.
Paulo Costanzo: But I have my fingers crossed for next season for sure.
Linda Seed: Thatís really cool. Were there any scenes left on the
cutting room floor?
Paulo Costanzo: Oh yes.
Linda Seed: Yes.
Paulo Costanzo: Yes every episode of our show is left about five minutes
long so that the producers and writers can look at whatís there, choose
the scenes that are the least important and cut them out to make the
episodes feel tighter.
Linda Seed: (Unintelligible)
Paulo Costanzo: And there are two scenes that were left out -- both of
which I at first felt pained by their leaving and then I got used to it.
And actually now I donít miss them at all.
Linda Seed: (Unintelligible). Okay now Iíve seen the episode and I
think you did a fabulous job. I particularly loved watching Markís
imitation of Marlon Brando. Whoís idea was that?
Paulo Costanzo: Heís good. Itís really good.
Linda Seed: Yes.
Paulo Costanzo: Thatís just something Mark does. I think they wrote
something in there and he kind of elaborated on -- which I thought was
Linda Seed: Was it difficult being the director during your scenes --
Paulo Costanzo: Yes. Like I said before and Iíll elaborate more, itís a
lot. I look forward to doing it again because this time there were a few
moments and to be transparent thereís a couple moments where my mind was
on directing and the acting part Iím like, oh my God, I donít know how
to categorize where my energy should go. Iím like kind of like okay
(unintelligible) and I kind of got kerfuffled.
Michael Rauch was always with me. Heíd step in and kind of give me a
note if I was like - heíd help the acting part when I was working on the
But for the whole, once I kind of got into it, I actually really liked
it. It was just it felt - you know, I imagine a lot of directors really
enjoy the feeling of being in control.
Linda Seed: Right.
Paulo Costanzo: And Iím somewhat of a control freak and a perfectionist,
so it just gave me an extra ounce of control knowing that I was also a
force in the scene as an actor as well as directing it to just massage
it the way that I thought it should go.
Linda Seed: Iím sure. Iím glad it was such a good experience for you.
One last question, were there any hijinks on the set? Did anybody like
pull any pranks because it was your first time directing?
Paulo Costanzo: Absolutely not. If anything, nobody would have in any
way risked that. Itís an anxiety-ridden thing. Every director - I called
about four or five of the directors that have worked on my show who I
admire in preparation for the show and all of them said you like donít
be weirded out if you puke the night before and I was like shut up. And
I swear I almost did. I was so nervous the night before because...
(Linda See): (Unintelligible) youíre kidding.
Paulo Costanzo: ...their like your first (unintelligible) they still get
nervous. A lot of them still get nervous. Like people who have been
doing it for 25, 30 years theyíre like, ďI still get nervous before I
step on the set,Ē because everything hinges on you. Your vision has to
be there and you have to push the ship forward or things can fall, you
But like anything, anything that doesnít kill you makes you stronger.
Linda Seed: Thatís right.
Paulo Costanzo: To me all the things, all the accomplishments that Iíve
been most proud of in my life most of them involved me wanting to puke
the night before out of the amount of anxiety Iíve had about them. So...
Linda Seed: Wow. Well itís been a pleasure talking to you and I just
want to tell you that the scene between (Vivia) and is it
(unintelligible), is that how you say it?
Paulo Costanzo: (Kotan).
Linda Seed: (Kotan). The scene between (Vivia) and (Kotan), it was
absolutely fabulous. It was such a turn on with him (unintelligible) her
neck -- absolutely fabulous. I just wanted to tell you that.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you very, very much. Yes Iím proud of that one.
Linda Seed: You should be.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you.
Linda Seed: Okay thank you so much, Paulo.
Paulo Costanzo: All right you too.
Operator: The next question comes from (Guillermo Paz), (Series
Guillermo Paz: Hi, Paulo, how are you?
Paulo Costanzo: (Guillermo).
Guillermo Paz: (Guillermo) thatís correct.
Paulo Costanzo: How you doing?
Guillermo Paz: You know your Spanish.
Paulo Costanzo: No I donít. That was actually my Italian.
Guillermo Paz: Oh okay. Well yes weíre from the same origins then.
Paulo Costanzo: Thatís correct and weíre both very good lovers.
Guillermo Paz: Yes of course. And not that I know firsthand from you,
Paulo Costanzo: Okay you didnít have to go there with it, Mr. (Paz).
Guillermo Paz: Yes. Since weíre talking origins, Mark had the chance
to direct his father (Harvey) this season. Would you like to welcome
someone from your family to the show?
Paulo Costanzo: Yes weíd love - I would love it. My mom was an actor
growing up. I would love my mom to be on it. My dad would be quite an
interesting person to have on it. Yes thatís about it. My grandma, that
would be the best. My Grandma (Mitsy) who would just be there - sheíd be
like, ďWhat? I donít like this. Get me out of here. Royal
Guillermo Paz: Yes and while weíre talking family, whoís the better
parent -- Drea de Matteo or Henry Winkler?
Paulo Costanzo: A better parent, letís see. Theyíre both horrible
parents. If they were married, Iíd be royally fucked up. Look it I said
royal because of Royal Pains and then I said fuck.
Theyíre both horrible. Iíve been blessed with having two very wonderful
people in real life play utterly horrible parents.
I have to say this. Iím just going to throw this in there because I
actually was going to tell Andrew Lenchewski -- the creator of the show
-- this, but I figure itís better if I show you guys.
So I brought my episode to my grandmaís house. My grandmaís name is
(Mitsy). (Mitsy) is the most honest human being youíll ever meet in your
life. And I showed her the music video at the beginning -- which is like
the very sexy kind of, you know, the thing where Patti is singing. And
then I finished it and I wrote down our exchange and Iím going to read
you the exchange.
I finished it and I said, ďSo, Grandma, did you like it?Ē And she said,
ďNo.Ē And I said, ďWell you didnít like it? Why didnít you like it?Ē
Sheís like, ďWell itís not that special. You see much better things on
the TV, donít you?Ē And I was like, ďAnything else?Ē Sheís like, ďItís
just wasnít good. Iíve heard better singers too. I just didnít like it.Ē
And then I said, ďAnything else?Ē She goes, ďThe words I donít
understand. I didnít know what they were saying.Ē And I laughed really
I laughed really hard and she had no idea why I was laughing. Sheís
like, ďWhat are you laughing at?Ē It was beautiful.
Guillermo Paz: Yes so I bet she would be a great addition for the
Paulo Costanzo: She would be a great - sheíd have no idea what was going
on. She would just be the best actor because she wouldnít be acting at
Guillermo Paz: Yes great. And finally whatís the dream show for you to
guest star -- sort of your bucket list?
Paulo Costanzo: Oh boy the television show, the dream television show?
Guillermo Paz: Yes.
Paulo Costanzo: Oh God, I donít know. Thatís a really good question. Iím
going to think about that. You want to ask another question because Iím
shirking out on that one?
Guillermo Paz: Yes and who would you like to bring to the show as a
Paulo Costanzo: Who would I like to bring to the show as a guest? I
would really love -- and he would never do it in a million years -- but
Iíd like Jerry Seinfeld to come on the show to play some family member
of some kind. I think that would be - I just want to play his son so
badly at some point. Maybe thatís for the future. Iíll write a special
thing for that.
Guillermo Paz: Yes that would be cool.
Paulo Costanzo: (Unintelligible), (Guillermo).
Guillermo Paz: Okay Iíll leave you thinking the other one and thank
you for your time.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you for your time.
Operator: The next question comes from (Reg Seeton), The DeadBolt.com.
Reg Seeton: Hey, Paulo, how you doing?
Paulo Costanzo: Hello. Youíre not on my list. I canít see your name in
Reg Seeton: No I joined late. I was running late.
Well let me ask you this, how is directing different than what you
thought it would be as compared to being on the other side of the
Paulo Costanzo: To be honest, so Iíve talked a lot about how much
anxiety was involved. Once I was there, like once all the pieces were
set and I had blocked the scene and, you know, I knew what the cameras
were doing and I just would sit in my chair and look at the monitor,
this incredible calm came over me -- which is why I feel that this is
kind of something I want to pursue now.
This beautiful calm, this amazing feeling of calm in the midst of this
storm I was like this feels so utterly comfortable and right. I didnít
expect that. I think I was just too anxious about the whole thing that I
didnít foresee an eye of the storm like moment where things just
Reg Seeton: Well how hard was it to separate yourself from your actor
side to get the best out of others or did you have to do that?
Paulo Costanzo: If anything, I feel like my own performance suffered a
couple times because I was so - my attention was so much on the other
person. Again Iím learning, you know. But once youíre in the scene, like
once, as I said, like once all the stuff is in place and, you know, I
really I was able just to leap out of the director suit and just be in
And then when you say cut, then you can kind of think about what
happened in the scene. Well okay well yes that should be different or
whatever. But again it was a part that I actually ended up enjoying and
finding not at in the end though taxing not too difficult.
Reg Seeton: Well just one last question. Growing up what director did
you admire that inspired you to do it?
Paulo Costanzo: Danny Boyle Trainspotting, Reservoir Dogs Quentin
Tarantino, I liked Billy Wilder a lot. I was into Spielberg. I still
think Spielbergís earlier works -- maybe itís because thereís a
nostalgia attached to them -- like the Indiana Jones movies and
Schindlerís List -- those movies, you know, they were just so good I
just was so overwhelmed with how good they were. I still feel that
theyíre great films.
But yes Iím leaving someone out but I canít remember who.
Reg Seeton: And no one from Canada?
Paulo Costanzo: No no one from Canada. No it was mostly American
directors that I looked up to.
Reg Seeton: Great. Thanks very much.
Paulo Costanzo: Wait, wait, wait one, Denny Villeneuve. Denny
Villeneuve, heís a French-Canadian filmmaker. He directed - oh Iím so
glad I thought of this. He directed a film called August 32nd on Earth
-- which is a small independent movie which I still feel is really
beautiful and understated and has almost like a Garden State feel to it
the way it was shot -- and tat had a big influence on me as well.
Reg Seeton: Cool. Thanks very much, Paulo.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you.
Operator: The next question comes from (Monique Jones), TVEquals.com.
Monique Jones: Hi how are you today?
Paulo Costanzo: Iím very well. How are you?
Monique Jones: Iíve heard you talk about how you would like to either
play or write an episode where you Jerry Seinfeldís son and things like
that. What other episodes if you had the opportunity to write and direct
them what other episodes would you like to direct?
Paulo Costanzo: What other episodes of my show would I like to direct
like if they came down the pipe?
Monique Jones: Yes.
Paulo Costanzo: Oh boy thatís a tough one. You know what, thatís a tough
one to answer because I have no idea what direction the show is going,
so Iíd have to imagine this whole, you know, this whole kind of plot
line in the future that I canít. So thatís a tough question to answer,
but if youíd like to retract that question and replace it with another,
Iíd be happy to answer it for you.
Monique Jones: Well letís see. You also talked about some of your
Paulo Costanzo: I have more. I just remembered more. Do you want me to
tell you what they are?
Monique Jones: Oh okay.
Paulo Costanzo: Woody Allen obviously had a huge effect on me. Paul
Thomas Anderson, I think I was just out of high school when Boogie
Nights came out. That was a big deal for me. Peter Weir, I loved the
Mosquito Coast was big in my life. Roman Polanski Frantic. I was a big
Harrison Ford fan in the Ď80s amongst many others.
Monique Jones: And outside of Royal Pains, if you could direct I guess
like another television show or a movie, what genre would you like to
Paulo Costanzo: Iím trying to figure that out right now because Iím
writing a feature and Iím - I donít know. I kind of want to do a modern
day Hitchcock film. I also want to do just a pure, you know, black, dark
comedy. Those are two very different things. I actually have been
thinking of perhaps marrying the two, but weíll see how that goes.
Monique Jones: Okay. Thanks for speaking with me.
Paulo Costanzo: No thank you for speaking to me.
Operator: You have a follow-up question?
Paulo Costanzo: And silence. Yes.
Operator: You have a follow-up question from (Jamie Ruby), SciFi Vision.
Paulo Costanzo: Beautiful.
Jamie Ruby: Hi again. So you said obviously you donít know whatís
going to happen to Evan. But if you could write his future, whatís
something that youíd really like to see happen to him?
Paulo Costanzo: Honestly, the reason I donít even want to go there is
because if I start doing that, if I even let my mind go to what I want
him to be, then I may be setting myself up for disappointment, so I kind
of donít allow it. But youíre on a Sci-Fi Web site?
Jamie Ruby: Well yes not just all Sci-Fi but yes.
Paulo Costanzo: How do you feel about Star Trek: The Next Generation?
Jamie Ruby: I never really watched a lot of Star Trek growing up to be
Paulo Costanzo: You should be ashamed of yourself. Thatís a great
series. Thatís actually one of my favorite series of all time -- Star
Trek: The Next Generation.
Jamie Ruby: Thatís awesome. Whatís your favorite show on television
Paulo Costanzo: Right now Iím - oh well I almost feel itís clichť to say
it but Girls without any question. And by the way, that is the show that
I want to be on really badly and Iím going to make that happen in the
next two years hopefully.
Jamie Ruby: Awesome. I actually just saw that during the marathon they
had. That was really good. I enjoyed it.
Paulo Costanzo: Itís the best. The sensibility is so - yes itís so me. I
feel so much like that is exactly my style.
Jamie Ruby: Yes I can definitely see that. All right well thank you.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you.
Operator: You have a follow-up question from (Tobey Jeffery-Greer),
Paulo Costanzo: Okay.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Hi.
Paulo Costanzo: Hi.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Hi again. I was just wondering if there were any
other USA shows that youíd be interested in directing.
Paulo Costanzo: Yes I would be. At this point I would be happy to direct
any of them. Suits shoots in Toronto and thatís my hometown, so that
would be pretty cool.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Okay.
Paulo Costanzo: That would be pretty cool.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Thatís all I had.
Paulo Costanzo: And Burn Notice has things that blow up. That would be
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Yes Burn Notice is my favorite. Itís got things
that blow up and hot (unintelligible) so (unintelligible).
Paulo Costanzo: Itís got shit blowing up and Bruce Campbell, so
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Yes Bruce Campbell, hot cars and shit blowing up.
Iíve got two 17-year-old boys.
Paulo Costanzo: Oh nice. Have the seen Army of Darkness?
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Yes.
Paulo Costanzo: Oh good. Thatís one of my favorite movies of all time.
That is such a good movie. Itís so dumb and amazing.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: You and I are going to be best friends.
Paulo Costanzo: We are already best friends. You just donít know it.
Look out your window.
Tobey Jeffery-Greer: Okay thanks.
Paulo Costanzo: Okay.
Operator: Again to...
Paulo Costanzo: Go ahead.
Operator: Again to ask a question please press star 1 on your telephone
Paulo Costanzo: I can also talk because I have a couple things that no
oneís asked me. Should I do that?
Woman: Sure, Paulo, go ahead.
Paulo Costanzo: So one of the things this year our show received a huge
gift in the mail and that gift was in the form of a very tall Jewish man
named Ben Shenkman. Ben Shenkman is my favorite character on the show,
Dr. Jeremiah Sacani. Heís my favorite much more than any other character
-- including my own.
I think heís so awesome and heís such a talented actor. He was in like,
you know, Angels in America, you know, a movie with Al Pacino in it. He
was like he originated one of the roles in Proof on Broadway.
Heís like a real - heís an actor that I admire and heís not - so when I
got the script, I was utterly - I was so happy that I got the script
that finally gave him his dues because he gets to be the hero in this
episode. So I got to work with him and become closer with him. And his
sense of comedy to me is genius.
And the club scene - thereís two scenes -- the scene in a hotel room.
The one shot, so Iíll say this, in TV the directors come in and they
kind of, you know, one of their jobs is to match the visual style of the
show. For instance if someoneís doing Royal Pains, thereís a lot of big
wide shots and, you know, beauty shots; whereas if youíre doing American
Horror Story, you know, the shots are kind of off balance and off kilter
and thereís a lot of weird like horror movie techniques.
So thereís rarely moments for a directorís individuality to shine in TV
because frankly itís almost to their detriment if it does. If
somethingís conspicuously different, thatís bad.
But thereís a couple of shots in this episode that I am surprised they
let in the show that I am very happy and proud of and one of the shots
is the shot where in the hotel room Jeremiah - she says, Patti says, ďGo
get my earrings. Theyíre on the sink,Ē and he goes out and he just walks
through the frame and disappears and thatís an empty frame of a doorway
and then he enters back to the right. And it was one of those moments.
And I spoke to Michael Rauch about it where it kind of walked the line
of is this Royal Pains or is this just like a weird artsy shot or this
is like a Woody Allen film. And the fact that they let me keep that in
there made really happy.
And I think each director that directs TV Iím learning watches the
episode and goes, oh my God, that is me, like that specific moment
thatís all me. Like all the rest of it is very much Royal Pains and I
like fell into the mold for where it needed to be, but that one moment
thatís very much my style and that thereís a couple of moments like that
that they let me do.
Thereís another moment in the club where thereís this giant bouncer.
This giant bouncer puts his hand on Benís face and like is pushing his
face back. I just thought oh this would be funny and they let me do it.
And I find the showís comedy has a very distinct feel to it and that to
me felt like oh this could be pushing it a little bit because me as a
person Iím much, much more kind of dark and edgy when it comes to my
sense of humor. But it felt good to kind of push the borders in that
Thatís a lot that I just said and now no oneís saying anything. Iím just
here by myself still.
Paulo Costanzo: Iím - hey.
Lynn Weiss: (Unintelligible) thing. (Kena), do we have any more
questions or are we ready to wrap up?
Operator: You have a follow-up question from (Jamie Ruby), SciFi Vision.
Jamie Ruby: I figured Iíd call again. So with the comedy and
everything, do you guys often improv or are you very strict with like
following the lines?
Paulo Costanzo: Thereís a lot of improv. I tend to be the one that
usually improvises more than others just because for the most part Iíve
been kind of the comic character. But yes thereís a lot of
improvisation. Thereís a lot of lines that you hear in the show that
were not in the script.
And Iím going to say this. Iím just going to throw this in there as
well. Joe Collins is the name of the director of photography on the
show. He is the hardest working person on the show. He lights for three
cameras and without him I never could have done any of it. You know, I
leaned on him. He gave me suggestions. He helped me. He was like my big
brother and he saved me on different occasions. And I just want to throw
a big huge shout out to him because heís superman. Thatís what I call
him -- superman, Joe Collins.
Jamie Ruby: All right. Thank you so much.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you.
Operator: And there are no further questions at this time.
Lynn Weiss: Okay. Well thank you everybody for joining us on this call
with Paulo and we appreciate your coverage. And if you have any
additional questions, you are welcome to reach out to me (Lynn Weis) and
Iím at (Lynn.Weis@nbcuni.com).
Paulo, thank you so much for your time.
Paulo Costanzo: Thank you all. Nice to talk to you and have you listen
to me while I talk to myself.
Lynn Weiss: By everybody.
Operator: That concludes todayís conference. You may now disconnect your
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