No wonder Jeremy Piven has been such a success as mega agent, Ari Gold, on the HBO hit, Entourage. He follows the story lines in real life!
Just like the show's main character, Vince, did with the premiere of his latest movie, Piven plans to take his mom, Joyce, to the Emmy Awards next month. And it's not out of duty or pity, but if he wins ...
"It means I may get a chance to talk about my mother in public. That would be unbelievably exciting," he says. "You know, she put me onstage when I was 8 years old and I was doing Chekhov."
Eventually, Piven settled into a series of supporting gigs in movies such as "Say Anything," "Singles," "PCU," "Grosse Pointe Blank," and "Old School." None produced the sort of fame, attention or acclaim, however, as Ari; simply put, the funniest ass on TV.
"I've been kicking around for a while. I'm a 40-year-old guy, you know? And I feel like I'm just coming into my own," he says. "I've been apprenticing this job for 20 years with Garry Shandling and Morgan Freeman and Dustin Hoffman and every person I've been lucky to be around."
Piven believes his age makes the growing celebrity status more manageable.
"When [actors] become famous before they grow into themselves as an actor and a human being, it can be dangerous territory. I've seen it," he says. "I'm just incredibly lucky I've been so unpopular and so uninteresting for so long."
Not anymore. In a recently completed film, Smokin' Aces, Piven has the lead - ahead of such actors Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta and Andy Garcia.
"That was an incredibly thrilling moment, and the best role I've ever played in my life, and the most tragic. It is a twisted dark comedy in which I play a tragic character," a mob snitch.
The irony is his career transformation is that Piven's alter-ego would never even give him the time of day.
"I'm a stage actor from Chicago. An agent like Ari wouldn't have patience for a stage actor like Jeremy Piven."