Having written on numerous topics including fitness, wellness, and entertainment, Sarah Eve Fulghum loves an interesting subject—and “The Fonz” is certainly that, not to mention the ultimate dude of all Fit Bottomed Dudes. Though currently focused on her work with AFullCup.com and other websites, she recently took the opportunity to chat with Henry Winkler (you probably know him better as “The Fonz”) for FBG about his role on the show Royal Pains and his take on healthy living. Below is that interview!
An Interview with The Fonz, Henry Winkler
- FBG: With Royal Pains having a health and medical theme, I’m wondering how life is when filming. Is exercise encouraged?
- HW: Well, you know what? Exercise is encouraged; I try to exercise. I have literally walked on the treadmill once in the 90s and I’m going to do that again in 2011.
- FBG: How is the food on set?
- HW: Well, I will tell you the food on the set is not bad. Now there are some caterers out there that are incredible, but because I shoot in New York and I stay in New York for long stretches of time, not only do I get to see my granddaughter, but I have found the best hamburger in New York City, a great cheeseburger, which is in the Parker Meridien Hotel and it’s called The Burger Joint.
- FBG: I’m sure a lot of people are going to be interested in that little fact. And I’ve got to know, what is your secret to aging well?
- HW: Wow, I don’t know. I would have to say genes; it’s one of the better things I got from my parents. Yeah, they didn’t give me encouragement; they gave me good genes.
- FBG: That’s good, though, right?
- HW: You know what? I’m thrilled to death. At least I don’t yet need a walker.
- FBG: How do you keep well, body and soul?
- HW: I’ve often thought, I’ve asked my wife this, where would we live if we didn’t live here because I never really attached to LA. My children were born here, my dogs are Los Angelinos, I work here, but my heart is in New York. And my soul is in Montana where I fly-fish for trout.
- FBG: How did you get your part as Eddie Lawson on Royal Pains?
- HW: You know what, my wife and I watched every episode; we were appointment television viewers of the show before I ever got the call to see if I was interested. The producer, Andrew, was sitting at dinner and next to him was my dentist and his wife. They overheard them talking that they’re looking for the father for Royal Pains. My dentist’s wife was a fan; she said, “Oh, you know who it should be? Henry Winkler.” A little while later I had breakfast with Michael and Andrew who run the show, brilliantly I might add, and they asked me if I would join the cast, and I embarrassed myself in the restaurant.
- FBG: What do you like most about Eddie and what do you like least?
- HW: I’ll tell you exactly what I like least first. It is so difficult to look my “son” in the eye, to look Mark in the eye when he says, “You left when mom was sick and we were nine and eleven.” And I take no responsibility for that. That is the most difficult—those are the most difficult moments to play because it is, first of all, so against my grain and second of all, I particularly don’t like the character at the moment. And what I like about [playing] him is his zest for life. And he truly now has come to the point, I believe, unless I’m proven wrong, and I will find out in subsequent scripts, but he’s come to the point where he really appreciates his sons.
- FBG: It was just announced a few weeks ago that you were awarded the Order of the British Empire. How does that make you feel?
- HW: All right. I got a letter that said, “You must keep this a secret. If the Queen decides to give you an award, would you accept it?” I said, “Can I say yes I would.” I would be okay with that. And then six weeks later I get a letter saying, “The Queen of England has graciously agreed to confer on Henry Winkler the order of the British Empire,” for the work that I do in England also with children who learn differently. My books, Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest Underachiever that I co-write with Lynne Oliver, are also popular in the U.K., and I go over there to tour for the books and I’ve spoken to, oh, I want to say a hundred thousand students over there also. And so, my work with children who learn differently is what got me to this wonderful honor.
You can watch Royal Pains on Thursdays at 9/8 Central on USA network. A big thanks to Sarah Eve and his Fonz holiness for the interview! —Jenn