When last we left Vincent Chase, he and his “Entourage” were moving on. Ari the angry agent was leaving the biz, Eric the manager was moving from LA to NYC, and Vince? He was jetting off to Paris. Of all the cast members of this series about the childhood pals of a rising star, the “star” was the one we least worried about.
“He’s going to be fine,” joked Hollywood Reporter TV critic Tim Goodman back then, in 2011. Chase had learned that “being good-looking, talented and lucky opened doors, which in turn made people fawn over your stardom, which in turn created power.”
But what about the actor who played him? Adrian Grenier had the unique perspective of being a good-looking 20something up-and-coming actor when he landed this plum role about a good-looking, up-and-coming 20something actor. What did “Entourage,” now a major motion picture (in theaters this Friday), teach Grenier?
“The thing I learned, the thing we got right and the thing everybody who wants to make it in Hollywood should learn from the show and the movie is ‘You stick with your friends. They know you. They’re who you can trust.’”
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The rest of Hollywood, with its wannabes, hangers-on, power trippers and other predators? Not so much.
“It’s nice to have people you know aren’t going to betray you around you.”
Grenier, who turns 39 in July, parlayed his HBO fame into just one major motion picture – 2006’s “The Devil Wears Prada.”
But “‘Entourage’ gave me the leverage to do the things I’m passionate about off-camera,” Grenier says. He’s become a documentary filmmaker (“Teenage Paparazzo”), record company boss (Wreckroom Records) and co-founder of a sustainable living enterprise – SHFT.com, pushing “green” phone aps and the like. “Entourage” offered the role of a lifetime; Grenier knows it.
“It was an honor to create a show that resonated with viewers and with people in Hollywood,” he says. “The characters, the whole bromance of it all, defined the zeitgeist, I think, of the new millennium.”
He wasn’t shy about signing up for the movie, which picks up the quartet of cronies four years after we last saw them. Grenier didn’t lobby for big changes in Vince or his lifestyle. “Doug (Ellin, series creator and director of the film) was just…accurate – about Hollywood, about guys like Vince, worried about their ‘brand,’ about the people who want something from you. Vince sells out, and I have never been that guy. I just got to play that guy.”
The series was even accurate about a project Vince was shoved into – an “Aquaman” movie. Hollywood is actually doing that, after getting the idea from “Entourage.”
“Sometimes I wonder if Doug isn’t some sort of Hollywood prophet,” Grenier jokes.
He keeps the door open for possible sequels – “It all depends on the box office.” But Grenier does fret over the show’s impact on the culture, at large. How many more pretty faces will make the trek to Hollywood, dragging their friends along for support and comfort?
“I cannot tell you how many people have come up to me, over the years, and said they decided to become an agent, based on ‘Entourage,’” Grenier says, laughing. “Creating more Ari Golds? Got to be a bad thing, right?”