I’m originally from Brooklyn, NY, and I moved to Los Angeles when i was about 19 years old. I got started by taking a theater class in college to get an easy A, and I actually failed the class and had to take it again. And from that moment on, I knew that I had to do this the rest of my life if I possibly could.
The ENTOURAGE movie hits theaters this Wednesday, June 3rd. https://twitter.com/entouragemovie
I’ll answer as many of your questions as I can without giving away any spoilers. Victoria’s helping me out over the phone. AMA!
What’s Jeremy Piven like in real life?
Well, first off, Jeremy Piven is one of the best actors out there, in my opinion.
And as I got to know him in the early years, like the rest of the ENTOURAGE cast, Jeremy just became one of the guys. And he’s such a good actor, like, you can’t not become better after working with him. And offscreen, he’s just a very charismatic guy who will literally make you laugh the whole night.
We all are playing characters. Do we have some of that in ourselves? Maybe – I don’t want to speak for anyone. But it wasn’t like, wake up, roll out of bed, be yourself. It also wasn’t a tricky acting piece where we didn’t know who these guys were and had to go do research. But they were designed characters that were fully fleshed out and written by Doug that we were figuring out as we go. Every year, we learn more about these characters, both the audience and we do as actors.
As someone whose favorite characters are Ari and Turtle, I’m glad you guys get along. I don’t know if it’s been asked yet, but if you had to play any other character in the show, who would it be? Before you answer Vince, remember that E gets to be with Sloan.
I’m gonna go in a whole different direction, and say Billy Walsh.
Because he’s like a stick of dynamite. He could explode at any time.
You lost a considerable amount of weight since the beginning of Entourage. What was your routine/inspiration?
My inspiration was to get healthy.
Because at the time, you know, I was 200 pounds, and I’m only 5 foot 7 inches.
So my routine just became – I had a pretty simple diet that was calorie-driven, and i remember in the beginning, I could only walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. That was the most exercise I could do. Now, I can run 7 miles, you know, without even breathing heavily.
And it really was about persistence. Dieting, losing weight, getting healthy is all about persistence, and not giving up.
How is Saigon doing?
Uh, Saigon’s doing really well. I actually think he’s either on his way, or flew in yesterday. I believe he’s going to be at the LA premiere for the movie, which is tonight! I saw on Twitter that he just landed in LA, I think. And he’s doing great. Very, very talented guy. Gonna be good to see him.
Just finished going through the whole entourage series again! That’s the 3rd time i’ve watched it through. Because the gang is almost always positive, I’ve always wondered if Mark Wahlberg, or anyone from the entourage group believes in the law of attraction and if that was purposely a theme during the show? Also, whats your favourite Turtle/Drama moment?
Well, you know, I can’t really fully speak for Mark, but I do know that Mark is a very, very positive guy. Even in the sense when we wanted to make the ENTOURAGE movie, he was the first one who told Doug Ellin (our writer / director) to write the script for the movie, because he really believed that there was a huge market for ENTOURAGE the movie.
And positive amongst the four guys in ENTOURAGE is always the glue that kept them together. Especially with the Vince character.
Ha ha! There’s a lot to choose from. I think that one of the funniest ones was the “Furry” episode. That’s one of the funniest. Gosh, my favorite one? I love the Turtle / Drama storyline where they’re tracking Mandy Moore’s character to see if she’s cheating on Vince.
Do you have a real life counterpart in Marky Mark’s entourage? Have you met him?
Yes and no. Early on, there was always guys who were connected to Mark whom we were supposedly based on. I have met a few of Mark’s guys that i know in Mark’s mind were some of the inspiration for “Turtle,” but Doug Ellin absolutely took the thought of Turtle and ran with it. So there really isn’t one guy that made up for all of us.
My fiance and I sincerely want to invite you and the other three Entourage guys to our wedding September 3rd of 2016. Where can we send your invitations?
Yeah, sure, send ’em to my publicist! If nothing else, I’ll frame the invite and hang it up in my podcast studio!
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done in school that got you into trouble?
On one of the last days of school – I forget what grade I was in – I talked to my other classmates, and we snuck in water guns to school, and as the bell sounded for the last class of the year, we started a great, insane water gun fight.
That’s the one thing I’m willing to talk about that I did, publicly.
How the hell did you fail theater? And why go back?
I failed theater because the professor wanted me to come back and take the class AGAIN because he thought I had talent (shockingly enough). So he was afraid if he gave me the “A” that he gave everybody else that I would never take another acting class again. So I think this was his way of guaranteeing I’d take the class again.
I was very mad at the time, though.
Who, in your opinion, was the best celebrity (actor or non-actor) to work with during your run as Turtle on Entourage? Also, did you cry like I did when Jeter played his last game in the MLB?
I’m gonna say James Cameron. Because I’m obviously a HUGE James Cameron fan, but also James Cameron being on the show as a director of the fake Aqua-Man movie legitimized the whole ENTOURAGE universe, you know? Aqua-Man, at the time, sounded like an okay movie, but James Cameron’s Aqua-Man is a movie EVERYBODY would want to see. So him playing himself really legitimized the alternate ENTOURAGE Universe we were trying to create.
I didn’t cry. But I certainly had to hold ’em back, you know. I remember watching Jeter’s first game as a Yankee. And he’s the first player that i remember watching his first and his last games, who had a Hall of Fame career.
How awesome was it to be on #MondayNightRaw?
It was great. I was a huuuuuge wrestling fan growing up. And I still keep up with it now – not as much as I used to, but getting back into that ring with John Cena, raising his hand with the belt – like, 9 year old Jerry would’ve fainted if you’d have told him he’d get the chance to do that someday.
What was the best part of being back on the set together?
The best part was being back with the guys. Those guys are my brothers. So, you know, it really was even more than a high school reunion, it was like a family reunion. That’s why I wanted to do the movie. And that’s why I’d do another one if this movie does well, is that I truly love working with those guys.
Was there a point where it really hit you how huge Entourage had become?
No. I did not enjoy any of the success with ENTOURAGE until it was just about over. Yeah! I never let myself relax enough to allow myself to say it was very successful. I was always afraid it was going to end. It actually took the show ending for me to look back and realize that we’d made something successful, something really special.
Better ladies man, Adrian Grenier or Vincent Chase?
They’re both two very smooth ladies’ men.
I’d say Adrian? I’d go Adrian. But it’s really a coin flip.
Is Kevin Dillon as great with one-liners in real life as he is in Entourage?
ABSOLUTELY. He is the king of the walk-off homerun.
Does Dom make a return in the movie?
Go see the movie June 3rd.
Let’s just say you won’t be disappointed with Dom.
Where do you get all your kicks? Do you have a guy that waits in line for Jordan releases? Ps. There should be a special edition jordan 3 entourage edition.
Yes, I do. It’s called ME.
I wait in line like everybody else. I always try to get to the front of the line, if I can. But it’s not easy sometimes. So I have to wait like everybody else to get the great kicks.
I go to a place called “Flight Club” a lot. And “Undefeated.”
And I think there’s going to be? We just did release Entourage CP3 Jordans. You can see it on my instagram or Twitter, pictures of ’em.
How was shooting the movie most different from shooting the tv show?
It wasn’t all that different. We always shot the show as a movie? And that’s why we made the show into a movie, was because we thought that the show translated well to the big screen.
Was there anything you were allowed to do with the movie that you couldn’t do with the show, or vice versa?
No, that’s the great part of being on an HBO show, is that you don’t really have limits. And that’s the other great part of doing an R-Rated comedy, especially a summer comedy – there aren’t any limits! So we didn’t have to go too far away from what we have been doing all these years.
Were there any jokes or stories that was planned for the script that the network said you guys COULDN’T do?
I can’t recall anything that was ever taken away by the network. If anything, maybe Doug Ellin cut some stuff because he didn’t end up liking it. But there was never a “network moment” where they said “You can’t do that.”
Who smokes more weed you or Turtle?
Ha ha. Well, it’s a TV show, so I’m gonna have to go with Turtle. I’m an old man now. I think Turtle’s a little younger than Jerry. So I’ve definitely slowed it down.
Who was your favorite guest celebrity appearance on the show?
What I think is one of the funniest was Matt Damon? He played a version of himself who was bullying the Vince character into donating to his charity, he was very forceful. And Matt was excited to play this version of himself, and when famous actors come on and are willing to poke fun at themselves, not take themselves totally-totally seriously, it usually leads to a great episode for us.
And Matt Damon’s episode, he was also sharing the screen with LeBron James, which was a pretty cool pairing.
How close is the Entourage universe to real life LA show biz reality?
I think it’s really close. All these stories come from somewhere. They don’t necessarily happen to one person, like we did it on the show. But yeah, I mean, I could talk about this subject for 20 minutes, but I think if you break it down – ENTOURAGE and real-life Hollywood circumstances have mirrored themselves, in a lot of ways. I learned a lot being an actor from the show. It taught ME a lot of lessons.
My brother and a few friends of mine are huge fans of Entourage whereas I haven’t sat down to watch it yet. Can you summarize the show in one sentence that’ll entice me to watch it?
What would you do if you and your best friend were put in the most extraordinary circumstances where there were no limits to excess?
(wow, that was good! I’m proud of that one. I wanna watch that show)
Are you actually a huge NY sports fan? And if so, please tell me you were actually not as nice to Tom Brady in person.
I’m a HUGE NY Sports fan.
Knicks, Yankees, Giants, Rangers.
I was very nice to Tom Brady because Tom Brady did us a huge favor by coming onto the show playing himself. And also, the Giants had just beaten them in the Super Bowl not that long ago. So I didn’t have any reason to be mean to him in real life.
Have you ever felt as though Turtle paralleled with your life? For example, in the beginning Turtle was always chastised by the gang and particularly the episode where no one trusted he had things pertaining to his job under control. Were you afraid you would be type-casted as the sidekick that is “never good enough” but sticks around?
Typecasting is always a fear of any actor, especially if you’re on a TV show. There were some parallels, because I was the youngest of the group on-screen and off-screen, so I just had the most room to grow, I had to grow up the most.
But that being said, I’m very different than Turtle. I’ve actually lived through Turtle for quite a few years now, because I’m not nearly as open and up-for-anything as he is. I’m much more shy than Turtle.
How was working with Gary Busey? Crazy as it was on the show?
Gary Busey is a brilliant actor who- let’s not forget – was nominated for an Academy Award not that long ago!
He played a crazy version of himself. But Gary also, in real life, is a pretty eccentric guy.
So he’s the ultimate ENTOURAGE wild card. You never know what you’re going to get from Gary Busey.
But he always – always – entertains.
Is there gonna be a think like a man 3?
You know? I’m not sure. I guess I would say… I don’t think so? I think Kevin Hart is booked until 2021! That being said, I would absolutely do it in a heartbeat.
What’s the best behind the scenes story you can tell from the Entourage set?
There’s so many. And I don’t know if you can type fast enough.
I mean, God. We’re talking about 10 years of – just moments, you know? It’s hard to just pick one out of thin air.
When we were doing the Joshua Tree episode, we kinda all had to really sort of camp out. Like the guys were doing on the show. And we spent 2 days in the desert, so people started losing their minds a little bit.
Did anyone on the movie set get thrown by Ronda Rousey? Just how kick ass is she in person?
Me! If you look at the trailer, she throws me around pretty easily.
What was it like working with Ronda Rousey?
Hehe. It was amazing. I got to know her as a person. And then I got to know her as a fighter. As a person, she’s areally sweet, charming, intelligent woman. And then as a fighter, she’s absolutely terrifying and intimidating. And that’s why so many people love her, is because it is such a great combination!
Do you and the cast regularly hangout outside of the show?
Yes! Of course, we worked together for so many hours – no one realizes, you’re working 80 hours a week with these people, so on some downtime, you do need to get away a little bit, but they’re my brothers. They’re my best friends in real life now. I want to spend my free time with them. So the fact that i got paid to work with them is kind of a joke, in a way! Because I would spend time with them for free!
You guys have such a great group chemistry. Did you work on it before you started shooting the series or was it just naturally?
It was just natural. I really believe chemistry is something that you can’t cast. It either happens, or it doesn’t. You know?
I’ve seen two actors who haven’t really liked each other all that much offscreen, yet onscreen, they had AMAZING chemistry. And I’ve seen the opposite – I’ve seen two actors who offscreen, got along SO well, and onscreen, there just wasn’t much there.
So there’s no formula to it. It either happens or it doesn’t.
Which of the movies which are made in ENTOURAGE would you most like to see in real life (Queens Blvd, Aquaman, Medellin, Smoke Jumpers, Ferrari, etc.)?
I would like to see Queens Blvd the most. I’m a New York kid. It seems like that would be a really good movie.
I loved how your character took a turn from being the stoner driver to successful buisness man, did you feel a similarity in your own life? Also what do you think is the best line in the show?
I like to think that, you know, because I was 23 when ENTOURAGE started, I think I was starting to achieve success at a young age, whereas it took Turtle a long time to find his direction.
One of my favorite Turtle lines is… where I say “Aqua-Man is gonna make $1 more than Spider-Man, highest-grossing film of all time.”
How did you get approached to join the cast of Entourage?
Like any other job that I’ve ever gotten. I had to go in and audition for it.
What is your favorite piece of dialogue from your time with the Entourage series/movie?
Again, you know… talking about 10 years is tough! It’s really hard to pick. I think there was an episode in season 1 where Johnny Drama goes on the Kimmel Show, and after the show, we’re all watching the broadcast at our characters’ house, and there’s a great bit of dialogue where we’re talking about what a great night it was.
What’s the best healthy yet delicious sandwich someone can get?
I’m gonna go with the opposite direction, and tell you the most UNHEALTHY and DELICIOUS sandwich someone can get, which is at a deli I started with some friends, called Fat Sal’s Deli.
It’s a sandwich shop.
And it has – check out the menu online. There’s 2 in Los Angeles, one in San Diego, and one in Austin, Texas.
Care to share the coolest most badass thing you got to do while filming Entourage, the film or the movie?
Let’s just say…one of the coolest things i did was to get in the cage and find (for pretend) Ronda Rousey. It’s kinda like playing one-on-one against Michael Jordan in his prime.
Why was Adrian so convincing as a movie star? What made him perfect for Vincent Chase?
What I think made him perfect was both Adrian and Vince possess this nonchalant-ness, about them, where they just walk into the room and you’re just drawn to them. And it’s not just appearances, there’s this energy that comes from Adrian that when he walks in a room, you just want to talk to that guy. And so with some clever writing, we were able to go even further with that. I truly believe that there’s no one else who could’ve played the Vince character as successfully as Adrian did.
As a Patriots fan, I have to ask, how was it meeting and hanging out with the players and what’s your favorite episode of the show?
Well, as a sports fan, that’s always been the coolest part of the show- and then of course the movie – was getting to meet guys like Tom Brady, and Russell Wilson. My favorite episode?
Again, we did 96 episodes, so it’s hard to choose one. But I do love the Sundance Festival episode. Because that was the first time we shot outside of Los Angeles.
What is the magic number you need to hit for there to be a sequel?
Uh, that’s a good question. I actually just asked my manager the very same question this morning!
Let’s just say for a sequel, we need ALL of the ENTOURAGE fans, and even some new ENTOURAGE fans to show up and support it. And then we will get to do the sequel.
Apart from the usual eat better and workout, was there anything special that really helped you get skinny? And how have you kept off the weight once you lost it?
There really was no “hidden secret.” I guess the biggest key is if you have a bad day eating, don’t beat yourself up about it. But also, don’t do it again tomorrow.
What does ronda rousey smell like?
Like a champion.
How many pairs of sneakers do you own and what are your favorite?
I actually don’t know exactly how many I own? I don’t collect sneakers the way I used to. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t just collect them, I would wear them.
What do you attribute to the success of your weight loss and, more importantly, how have you managed to keep it off (unlike many other celebrities who seem to fall off the wagon)?
The success was determination.
And being able to keep it off was just changing my whole lifestyle. It wasn’t just what i ate. It was how I slept, how I spent my spare time, and making exercise a top priority in my life.
Who’s winning the Superbowl this year?
The NY Giants. Ha ha.
Will Arnold, the true star of the show, make his return in the movie?
Yes, Arnold is back in the movie, better than ever!
What does Laura London smell like?
Ha ha ha! A lot of these “smelling” questions… as far as I can recall, she smells fantastic!
What sort of roles would you like to take on in the future?
I would love to be a part of a sports movie. Obviously, I’m too small to play an athlete, so maybe as a coach, or a GM.
Have you met the other Turtles from real entourages?
I’ve met other – whether it’s fans of the show, or even another actor – they’ve introduced me to their Entourage, and they always identify with one of us. So I’ve met a lot of guys where people have said “Oh, this is our Turtle.” It’s usually a short guy, with a beard and a baseball cap, so I could see how he gets the “Turtle” label.
I’m curious to know if you are dating anyone? If not, what do you look for in a lady?
I do have a girlfriend. And what I look for in a woman are all the things that she has.
I know that your really enjoyed Friday Night Lights, what other shows are you watching now?
I just finished watching LAST MAN ON EARTH, which was great. I watch SILICON VALLEY, which is also great. And I like to watch old shows, like FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, so I’m going back through CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM again, for like the ninth time.
What surprises you the most about the feedback you have gotten from the movie so far?
The biggest surprise from people who’ve seen the movie so far is they’re saying how surprised they are at how great the movie was? And while that’s flattering on one level, it also makes me wonder, like, do people forget that we had a good run? We all worked very hard to make sure the movie was great and lived up to what we did on the show. And I could honestly say I’ve yet to hear a negative piece of feedback on the movie.
What nickname would you give Turtle if he was part of your entourage?
One of my favorite movies is GOODFELLAS, and one of the characters in that movie was “Spider.” So I’d probably nickname them “Spider.”
How much fun was it getting to drive all of the cars in the show?
Ohhh, it was unbelievable.
One of the best things I ever got to do in my LIFE was drive a Ferrari California around a racetrack in an episode.
What is the best species of turtle? I’m a big fan of red eared sliders myself.
Well, I’m going to agree with you then.
No wait, I’m gonna say a Ninja Turtle.
What has been your favorite part of filming the show and then coming back to do the movie?
Just being reunited with the cast, you know? The show is about friendship. The movie is about friendship. And I think what has made it such a unique job is that we’re all friends.
If you could give the other guys animal names based on their characters, what would their names be?
The E character would be a lion. Drama would be a puma. And the Vince character would be a swan!
What made you want to start doing podcasts?
What made me want a podcast was my love for talk radio when I was a kid. I didn’t have a TV in my room, so talk radio was my first form of entertainment.
This isn’t an antagonistic question, but do you personally feel like the Entourage movie was necessary? Did any of you guys feel the show didn’t come to an acceptable end and want to add to that or did you just want to get back together with the gang? A lot of recent additions to what seemed like case-closed shows and movies have diluted their legacies, do you fear the movie will do that to what was a great tv show?
No, because we left off with the show sort of intentionally to do a movie. So we knew when we were closing out the series to leave the door open. And honestly, all the ENTOURAGE fans have been asking for a movie for quite awhile. So it’s a combination of all those things as to why we did it. And I think the movie’s so good, I think it will add to the legacy of ENTOURAGE.
What would you tell someone looking to break into the business whether they want to be an actor or be in more of the production side?
I would say make SURE You love it. So whether it’s taking an acting class, or a film class, really make sure that it’s your passion. Because it’s such a hard business to break into – it will test your desire quickly. And it’s designed to make you quit. And it will take a whole lot of perseverance to succeed.
BUT it is very possible!
You were on a popular HBO tv show, did you watch any of the other HBO shows?
I sure did. SOPRANOS is my favorite show of all time. I’m watching CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM for the ninth time through. THE WIRE is the most underrated show in the history of television, in my opinion.