Jeremy Piven Wants You To Know That He’s Not an Asshole

Mother Jones

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Jeremy Piven wants you to know he’s boring. Or, rather, he’s nothing like Ari Gold, the brash, utterly tactless, yet somehow likable Hollywood agent he portrayed over eight seasons of HBO’s Entourage—racking up three Emmys and a Golden Globe for best supporting actor.

Piven grew up a long way from Tinseltown. His parents were founding members of Chicago’s Playwrights Theatre Club—which spawned famed improv troupe the Second City—and the Piven Theatre Workshop, whose well-known alumni include the Cusack siblings, Aidan Quinn, Lili Taylor, and Piven himself. After earning a theater degree at Iowa’s Drake University, Piven, now 49, landed a series of small comedic parts in film and television, including serial gigs on Ellen and The Larry Sanders Show. But it was Entourage, inspired by the Hollywood escapades of executive producer Mark Wahlberg, that made him famous.

He reprises the Ari role in the Entourage movie, which hits theaters on June 5. But his main post-Entourage gig has been the Masterpiece drama Mr. Selfridge, whose third season kicks off Sunday on PBS. For his leading role as the department store visionary Harry Selfridge, Piven had to summon his anti-Ari. “Ari Gold was all bark and no bite,” he told me. “Harry Selfridge is all bite and no bark.”

Mother Jones: Do you think the Entourage movie will appeal to people who’ve never watched the show?

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Jeremy Piven Wants You To Know That He’s Not an Asshole

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