What do you get when you put together Royal Pains star Reshma Shetty and Latin heartthrob Khotan Fernandez? You get a steamy love affair for a 5-episode-arc that will beg USA Network executives to rethink its brevity!
Khotan, known for his work most recently on Telemundo’s Una Maid en Manhattan and Perro Amor, is ready to take the American market by storm in his first English-speaking role on Royal Pains, set to debut on Wednesday, August 22. He stars as Rafa, an Argentine-born polo player who dabbles a bit in underwear modeling.
If you are thinking this sounds like the stereotypical Hispanic character hired as comedy relief for audiences, you are mistaken. Rafa is every bit the smoldering Latino who stands out in the Hamptons high society for all the right reasons. Not only is he easy on the eyes, but also he has a heart-of-gold that is exposed when he personally tends to the horses he works with, when he stands by his boss (guest star Gary Cole) after a bad injury, and for how he treats a stranger who risks everything for an opportunity to work with him.
But let’s get to the juicy stuff: the relationship that develops between physcian’s assistant Divya (Shetty) and Rafa, after a seemingly rocky start. Divya, who is getting over a series of bad dates, doesn’t seem to swoon like the other women over the new hunk in town. Things change, however, when he makes a very confident move and seals the deal!
"What I like about the relationship is how Divya and Rafa's relationship is so unexpected," Khotan said. "When they first meet you don't know if they dislike each other or if there is an attraction and neither wants to admit it. Fans can expect to see a lot of twists when it comes to their relationship."
The opportunity to experience horseback riding again, a favorite childhood pastime, was a highlight for this Mexican-born actor.
“When I was younger, riding horses was a big part of my life, so it was exciting to be able to do that again,” he explained. “Everything from working with the cast, being on set, and interacting with the polo players has been a dream come true.”
When you see Rafa in action it will be difficult to not draw a comparison between him and Argentine polo star Nacho Figueras. Khotan admits that Figueras is someone who helped inspire the personality of his character, as well as polo great Memo Gracida.
“Nacho is a very charismatic polo player and a good-looking man so when they described Rafa, he was definitely someone who came to mind. I worked hard to remember lessons from Gracida, one of the best polo players I know, who taught me how to position myself both during a game and while on the horse. I incorporated my friends from the polo world into my character as well.”
Working on Royal Pains has opened up new doors for Khotan, who is eager to build a more versatile resume. He has aspirations to not only work on the small screen, but also to collaborate with big name directors on the big screen. “I had been looking for the right opportunity to enter the American market for quite some time. After working on various series and soaps for the Latin market, the role of Rafa came up unexpectedly.”
“Someday I would love to work with Guillermo Del Toro, Guillermo Arriaga and even Tim Burton."
When he is not working, Khotan enjoys watching television and spending time with longtime girlfriend Candela Ferro. But even a devoted boyfriend can admit to his celebrity crushes both past and present!
“Growing up I had a crush on Cindy Crawford. Now I find Keira Knightley amazing! Oh no, Candela is going to kill me,” he said jokingly. “I know how much she likes Russell Brand so it’s ok that I crush on Keira!”
Check out Royal Pains on the USA Network on Wednesdays at 9 EST (8 CST).
Are you excited about Khotan's debut?