Hit TV series Entourage finally gets big screen spin-off

Hit TV series Entourage finally gets big screen spin-off
REUNITED: (Above, from left to right) Entourage cast Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven. (Left) The movie picks up from where the TV series ended.

The movie spin-off of award-winning HBO comedy-drama Entourage is finally here, with the original crew returning.

Fans will get an extra peek into the life of hot, young Hollywood actor Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his inner circle, comprising his manager Eric (Kevin Connolly), friend Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and half-brother Drama (Kevin Dillon).

Opening here on June 4, the plot picks up a few days after the series finale in 2011 and sees the guys navigating new territory in the capricious and cut-throat world of Hollywood, with Chase's super agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) at the helm.

Leading up to the theatrical release, all eight seasons of the TV show will air on HBO Signature (StarHub Ch 603) over two consecutive weekends, May 30 and 31, and June 6 and 7, from 12pm.

The entire cast, including creator-director Doug Ellin, recently came together for Entourage's press junket at the Montage Beverly Hills hotel, which is also featured in the movie.

They talked about being back on the set with friends after eight seasons, the changing face of Hollywood and the future of one of TV's most beloved shows.

So what excited you about the Entourage movie?

Connolly: I've been acting for a long time. I've had lots of different work experiences, but they'll never be better than Entourage... To have the opportunity to do that was challenging and we're just a lucky bunch.

Grenier: I did it because my social life isn't nearly as fun or cool as it is when I'm in character. But seriously, it's one of the best jobs I could ever imagine. It's also family. I don't have brothers, but I have surrogate brothers. It's nice to just feel that camaraderie and know that every day will be a new adventure.

Dillon: There's never been a better character that I've played. The writing has been phenomenal, thanks to Doug. It's the kind of character where fans keep calling out "drama" whenever they see me. You have to fight your way out of it, sometimes it will take you years to break free of it and then the movie calls you back in just when you're out. But if you have to go back in, this is the part to do it for - good times.

Now that the movie is out, some fans are already pleading for a comeback to TV. Is that something you'll consider or will it become a movie franchise?

Ellin: I think the hope is, "Let's see how this one goes." I think we're all hoping it's successful. We all feel as if we did good work and we'll see after that. But anything is possible.

Ferrara: (We could) be the first show to ever do another pilot after the finale. Shoot the pilot to see if we can do Season 9, that's never been done.

Since the series first started back in 2004, how has Hollywood changed?

Ellin: It's reflected how Hollywood has changed in the movie. I mean, TMZ wasn't really around and the paparazzi (has turned into) a whole other culture and world.
And now with reality TV, we were sort of the first pseudo-reality (show) because people thought it was real, but now they actually follow actors around.

Ferrara: I remember reading a line, "Vince just joined Twitter" and was like, "What is that?" That definitely changed things in the landscape today, since a lot of decisions are based on social media presence and who has 10 million followers.

How much has life imitated art in terms of fame and notoriety for the cast?

Grenier: It's very dangerous if you start to think that you can actually live the way these guys live and survive.
I think at a certain point you have to go home and do real things that people do in real life. But Entourage is the best of every experience all rolled into a short format and now the movie.
It doesn't entirely reflect accurately. These guys have no consequences; they can do anything and get away with it.
I hope people aren't out there trying to live that because they're going to find the reality that they have limitations.

Another important character in the movie is Los Angeles. How was it shooting in and around the city?

Connolly: It was great. For years, I would literally not even have to put my car in gear, just put it in neutral and roll down the hill into the base camp parking lot. Nowadays, so many projects move out of LA that to just go home every night was amazing.
So (few) shoots are in LA these days so to be employed on a show that you love that shoots a mile from your home, it's lightning in a bottle.

Ellin: It's a love letter to Los Angeles.

It was important to make LA look as real as possible and every location too, even the house they live in - which Madonna used to live in.
One of the best compliments I hear are from those who moved here because they saw the show and wanted to come out and be a part of the business.

tnp@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 27, 2015.
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