Jeremy Piven happily ‘shocked’ about the new Entourage movie
Jeremy Piven owned the role of fast-talking, hotheaded talent agent Ari Gold on TV’s Entourage for eight seasons. The comedy series, one of HBO’s highest-rated programs, ended its run in 2011.
Four years later, Piven inhabits the character for the movie version, slated to hit theatres on June 3.
“I was always very fascinated with the idea of what would come next for all these characters,” Piven told CBC News.
“The script over-delivered so it was a no-brainer for me.”
Entourage characters like family
The original Entourage gang is back, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, and Jerry Ferrara, and Piven said that everything worked out magically.
“I didn’t know the movie would come together as well as it did. I’m kind of shocked.”
Kevin Connolly, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Adrian Grenier attend the Entourage New York Premiere at Paris Theater on May 27, 2015 in New York City. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
The film picks up where the TV series left off, replete with yachts, scantily clad women, and more than 35 celebrity cameos.
“The stakes are all heightened and madness ensues,” Piven explains.
Ari is now the head of a movie studio and recruits his former client Vince Chase (Grenier) to direct and star in his first big movie. The $ 100-million budget isn’t enough, so Ari has to find a solution, and keep his short temper in check for the sake of his marriage.
Gold a ‘taxing’ character to play
Playing a relentless character like Ari requires stamina and discipline, Piven says.
“The way Ari is written … it’s operatic in terms of the stakes and the pressure he puts on himself. And if you really enter into that space, it is very taxing.”
“[Ari is] turned way up to a 10 and you just have to just go into that mode, embrace it and just start swinging for the fences.”
Trained as an actor, not a businessman, the three-time Emmy Award winner has quit trying to convince fans that he’s not like Ari in real life. “I tried to talk until I was blue in the face about how different I am and I just think that the more I just move on, the more everyone else will.”
Piven comes from a family of actors, born in Manhattan and raised just outside of Chicago, in Evanston, where his family founded a theatre company, The Piven Theatre Workshop.
He can act the role of a cunning businessman, but it could not be farther from reality.
“The irony is I’m a terrible businessman,” he said, who shares this trait with his artistic family.
“Put on King Lear and [we can] figure out how to do that, but we can’t figure out how to do [business], and we need to learn.”
Looking for a ‘good Canadian woman’
It’s been quite the ride for the 49-year-old actor, also currently starring in the period drama TV show, Mr. Selfridge, shot just north of London, U.K.
Despite spending time around the world, the American-born actor still loves his neighbours to the north. “Being from Chicago, I feel Canadian because I’m just below Toronto and I feel like you guys, our friends up north, are just more evolved. You don’t have to have guns. It’s OK to be a good, decent person.”
“I need to find a good, Canadian woman and settle down,” he said. “I do! I swear to you, I do.”
CBC | Arts News