Final Transcript



  NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES: Royal Pains – Christine Ebersole Q&A Session

    June 18, 2009/1:00 p.m. EDT





Chrissy Fehskens, New Media Strategies

Christine Ebersole, Actress





 Moderator                  Welcome to the Royal Pains conference with Christine Ebersole.  At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode.  Later we will conduct a question and answer session, and instructions will be given at that time.  As a reminder, this call is being recorded.  Now I would like to turn the conference over to our host, Chrissy Fehskens. 


C. Fehskens                Hello, everyone.  This is Chrissy Fehskens from New Media Strategies.  I wanted to welcome you to the Christine Ebersole Q&A session, and start things off by thanking Christine for being with us today.  As you know, Christine plays the role of Mrs. Newberg on USAÕs new original series, Royal Pains, which airs Thursdays at 10:00/9:00 central.  In a moment, weÕll begin the Q&A session.  As an additional reminder, all participants are currently in a listen-only mode and will need to enter the moderated question queue in order to speak on todayÕs call.  Again, this call is also being recorded for transcription, and you will receive a copy of the transcript within the next 48 hours.  With that, IÕm going to turn things back over to our moderator to begin todayÕs session.  Barbara, please go ahead.


Moderator                   Our first question comes from Suzanne Lanoue with The TV Megasite.


S. Lanoue                    Christine, thank you for joining us today.


C. Ebersole                  Hello.


S. Lanoue                    Hello.  I was wondering if thereÕs anything you could tell us about the upcoming stories involving your character and any other characters on the show that you can share with us?


C. Ebersole                  Tonight is a show called Strategic Planning, and the show is about Hank treating a prospective Notre Dame football player who comes down with slurred speech and vision.  And Evan, in the meantime, is entertaining ladies in the grotto.  And I come on briefly tonight because I think this is where they establish their sort of concierge system where I sign on to have a doctor at my beck and call. 


C. Lanoue                    All right.  Thank you. 


C. Ebersole                  And then July 16th, I give a bark mitzvah to my dog.  My dog has a bark mitzvah, and all the guests come down with a mysterious ailment É then hijinx ensue.  This is comedy at its finest. 


C. Lanoue                    Thank you.  I enjoy the show. 


Moderator                   Our next question comes from the line of Chandra Williams with TV Jots.


C. Williams                 Hello, Christine.


C. Ebersole                  Hello.


C. Williams                 Thank you for answering our question today.


C. Ebersole                  Sure.


C. Williams                 How did you get the role of Ms. Newberg on Royal Pains, and what about the series convinced you to accept the role?


C. Ebersole                  Well, I was offered the role.  I didnÕt have to audition, which is always nice.  And what drew me to the role is, I think sheÕs a very outspoken and kind of larger than life character, and gets to play somebody rich.  ThatÕs always fun, and the great thing about doing the show is the locations that we get to visit are really just extraordinary.  I get to see all these beautiful things, and to be a part of a comedy and to be working with the people that IÕm working with is just a really rarified air, so it didnÕt take much convincing.  When I read the script, I saw that it was such an intelligent, funny script, and with really well developed characters, and so it was kind of an easy decision.


C. Williams                 Thank you.


Moderator                   Our next question comes from the line of Troy Rogers with

T. Rogers                    Hello, Christine.  How are you?


C. Ebersole                  IÕm good.  How are you?


T. Rogers                    IÕm great.  Thanks for taking the time. 


C. Ebersole                  Sure.


T. Rogers                    I was wondering.  Do you have any experience dealing with concierges doctors?


C. Ebersole                  No, but I can say that, you know, because IÕm 56, when I was in the 50Õs, thatÕs when doctors made house calls.


T. Rogers                    Right.


C. Ebersole                  Doctors did make house calls back then.  You didnÕt have to be rich to get them either.  So, in a way, this is sort of like the old days, but now itÕs just only afforded to the rich.  But you also have to remember that Hank Lawson is a very sort of reluctant to be a concierge doctor because he really – his job is to really service the people, I mean, all people, not just rich people, so thatÕs why heÕs sort of reluctant, but thatÕs what I think is great about the series is that it also shows you, you know, his humanity in terms of those people that canÕt afford that kind of thing.  He serves them as well. 


T. Rogers                    Okay.  You just mentioned that your character is going to be having a bark mitzvah for your dog.


C. Ebersole                  I know.  ItÕs so funny.  ItÕs such a great episode.  And the dogs are so cute in their little yarmulkaÕs. 


T. Rogers                    So I guess you could say sheÕs a little bit eccentric.


C. Ebersole                  SheÕs very eccentric, yes. 


T. Rogers                    And now is she going to be like one of his clients, like consistent client?


C. Ebersole                  Yes, yes, hopefully.  In this episode tonight, I sort of sign onto that.


T. Rogers                    I also thought that your singing tribute to Bush in the Colbert Report was really funny. 

C. Ebersole                  Thank you.


T. Rogers                    Is there any chance weÕll see you singing on Royal Pains?


C. Ebersole                  Well, put in the order.  IÕd love to.  Are you kidding? 


T. Rogers                    Okay.  Thanks a lot, and good luck with the series.


C. Ebersole                  Thank you.


Moderator                   Our next question comes from the line of Rebecca Miller with


R. Miller                     Hello, Christine.


C. Ebersole                  Hello.


R. Miller                     So where do you draw inspiration from for the character of Ms. Newberg?  I know youÕve had like lots of Broadway roles and stuff.  Do any of those help you out with this character?


C. Ebersole                  Well, I think there are people in life that are sort of wealthy, eccentric, that you sort of draw from your imagination, and I think thatÕs really kind of what acting really is.  ItÕs imagination, and I can certainly draw on a couple of people that I know personally that I wonÕt mention any names, but people that are very wealthy, and sort of eccentric.  And I think money allows that sort of eccentricity because you can do things that other people normally canÕt do, like have a bark mitzvah for your dog and have hundreds of people come over, and sit poolside, and have the rabbi read from the Torah.  So, yes, I think itÕs from life.  ItÕs just sort of drawing from life and my imagination.


R. Miller                     Okay.  Well, cool.  Thank you.


C. Ebersole                  Sure.


Moderator                   Our next question comes from Kendra White with Side Reel.


K. White                     Hello.  Ms. Newberg is kind of mysterious to us so far.  I was curious if there was anything you can tell us about her personal life beyond the fact that she has a dog and a lot of money.


C. Ebersole                  Well, I found out – you know, these kinds of things you find out sort of piecemeal because when they draw up the characters, they donÕt – you donÕt necessary always have all the information about the back story on the character, and these things sort of unfold as the episodes are presented.  But I do find, I did find out that I have a 22-year-old granddaughter, and IÕm a dowager, I believe.  In other words, I believe IÕm a widow, and my husband was Jewish and had a lot of money.  So we had agreed to raise all the children Jewish, and I guess the dogs are included. 


K. White                     Great.  Thanks.  Also, how did you enjoy filming in the Hamptons?


C. Ebersole                  You know, fantastic.  Can you imagine?  I mean, itÕs such a fun fantasy fulfilled where you have a location of a house that sits on the ocean, and itÕs just this big mansion with a private beach, and itÕs mine for the day, you know.  So itÕs pretty great.


K. White                     All right.  Thank you.


C. Ebersole                  Sure.


Moderator                   Our next question comes from the line of Eddie Varley with


E. Varley                     Hello.  How are you, Christine?  Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us today.


C. Ebersole                  Sure.


E. Varley                     I wanted to say, well, of course, weÕre Broadway World, so we loved the show, and I love the character, and how great.  ItÕs always a treat to watch you perform, but we get you at night in the show, and then on TV, you know, in Royal Pains.  How are you balancing that schedule?


C. Ebersole                  Well, itÕs pretty intense because I think really pretty much for the last month, IÕve been working literally seven days a week, so my next day off is June 22nd, which is my daughterÕs 13th birthday, so IÕm really looking forward to that.  But when I havenÕt been doing Royal Pains on my day off, and then also too, where I go do the show at night, finish around 10:30, and then go to the hotel.  Get there by 11:00, and then get picked up at 6:00 to be taken out to Long Island to work all day, and then come back in and do the show at night.  So itÕs been pretty intense.  But all great stuff, so IÕm very, very grateful that IÕm able to participate in these different venues, but it doesnÕt come without its challenges. 


E. Varley                     Right.  Sleep is something youÕll get later.


C. Ebersole                  I havenÕt had a day off, so IÕm really looking forward to June 22nd. 


E. Varley                     Well, weÕll smile on that day knowing you get a break. 


C. Ebersole                  Thank you.


E. Varley                     Thank you.  Bye.


C. Ebersole                  Bye-bye.


Moderator                   Our next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with TV Megasite.


S. Lanoue                    I noticed you had such a great career.  I noticed that you were, a long time ago, on RyanÕs Hope. 


C. Ebersole                  Yes.


S. Lanoue                    And IÕm a big soap opera fan.  I loved RyanÕs Hope, and I was wondering if you have anything interesting, any anecdotes or anything interesting that you remember from being on that show.


C. Ebersole                  Well, itÕs again, itÕs kind of – itÕs almost like – itÕs a funny pattern, I think, thatÕs been set with me because when I was doing RyanÕs Hope, I was doing Oklahoma.  So I would get up and shoot the soap opera all day long, and then go and play Ado Annie on Broadway at night, and that was 30 years ago, so IÕm still doing the same thing.


S. Lanoue                    Maybe you had more energy back then, but—


C. Ebersole                  I donÕt know. 


S. Lanoue                    Wow.  ThatÕs great.  You must see some of those actors still?  They were all Broadway actors, werenÕt they?


C. Ebersole                  Yes, I donÕt know.  I havenÕt seen anybody from RyanÕs Hope.


S. Lanoue                    All right.  Well, thank you.


C. Ebersole                  Thank you. 


Moderator                   our next question comes from the line of Kirstin Heinle with E! Online.


K. Heinle                     Thanks for taking the time today.


C. Ebersole                  Sure.


K. Heinle                     I was wondering if you can tell us about anything besides the bark mitzvahs of Ms. NewbergÕs other medical conditions – why she calls Hank?


C. Ebersole                  Well, as you know, in the pilot É because I had a flat tire.  Those have been my only medical conditions, although a medical condition rises out of the bark mitzvah. 


K. Heinle                     Right.


C. Ebersole                  ThatÕs in the episode that runs in July.

K. Heinle                     Right, and do you know of any others yet that you can tell us about?


C. Ebersole                  I donÕt.  I donÕt.  Again, thatÕs the thing about these characters.  These things unfold as the episodes come, so you donÕt really have all the information at the top.


K. Heinle                     Great.  Then do you think that thereÕs going to be – youÕre going to be calling Hank for things other than medical drama?  I mean, the flat tire wasnÕt super medically related.  It kind of was, but do you think youÕll be calling him for like emotional things too?


C. Ebersole                  I hope so. 


K. Heinle                     I hope so too.  Thank you.


C. Ebersole                  Thank you.


C. Fehskens                if there are no additional questions, IÕd like to once again thank Christine for being with us today.  Transcripts of todayÕs call will be distributed within 48 hours, so please look out for those.  Of course, remember to tune in to new episodes of Royal Pains Thursdays at 10:00/9:00 central on USA.  Have a great day, everyone.