- RatedR21 /GenreComedy
He may play one of pop culture’s biggest hedonist, but actor Adrian Grenier thinks that Vincent Chase, the narcissistic playboy and movie star on the HBO TV series ‘Entourage’, has a spiritual side.
“He’s a zen master,” Grenier said.
“He has been able to hold on by letting go, and I think there’s something really cool about that. It’s sort of a lesson for all of us that you have to just ride the wave; you can’t control the wave. You’ve got to float on top of the wave. And if you try too hard to latch on, you’ll fall,” the 38-year-old actor said of the character that made his name.
Adrian Grenier at the 2015 Golden Globes | Photo: Getty
Grenier made his onscreen debut in the 1997 indie drama ‘Arresting Gena’ and two years later, co-starred with Melissa Joan Hart in ‘Drive Me Crazy’.
It wasn’t until 2003, when he was cast as budding actor Vincent Chase in the testosterone-fuelled television series that he made his big break.
The show ended its eight-season run in September 2011.
The series finale, watched by 2.6 million people, had a cliffhanger to set up the movie, but it has taken several years to come to reality.
‘Entourage’ the movie sees Vincent and his gang of "bros" return, with cast Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Dillon reprising their roles as men living on the fringes of Hollywood as actors, agents and runners. It will be released 4 June in Singapore. The movie is written and directed by Doug Ellin, who also created the series.
ALL ABOUT THE BRO
What made it such a favourite among viewers were the themes of brotherhood and friendship. And of course, there is the skewering of Hollywood, its lifestyle and the oddballs chasing after the so-called dream.
“The world of glitz and glam and fun, and a life about options without consequences is certainly part of the appeal and very exciting. But I think it would wear thin if that was all it was about, and there wasn’t something deeper, more meaningful,” Grenier observed.
Every character is a copy of an industry original. Vincent is loosely based on hip-hop rapper-turned-movie star Mark Wahlberg.
(From left) Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven and Kevin Connolly return in 'Entourage' the movie | Photo:Warner Bros
Ari Gold, the smarmy agent played by Piven, is loosely based on Wahlberg's real-life agent, Ari Emanuel. Kevin Dillon, real-life brother of Matt Dillon, plays Johnny "Drama" Chase, Vincent's less successful brother.
Grenier added: “These guys are so good to each other, because they support each other through the treacherous world of Hollywood. In spite of all the seductions, they manage to come back to home, back to what’s important, which is their loyalty and friendship. I think that really brings it to a dynamic place where people can really relate and connect to the characters.”
The actor is also quick to dismiss criticisms of the show’s perceived misogyny. ‘Entourage’ has received flak for its depiction of women, that they are mere “decorations” or eye-candy.
“People say it’s all about the women, whatever. That’s the tapestry. That’s not really the meat and the heart of the story. But the women aren’t just in and out or just background. It’s the women who drive the story and interact meaningfully with the characters. It’s the women that really hold court,” he argued.
ART IMITATES REAL LIFE
Outside of his acting career, Grenier has found a calling producing documentaries, beginning with his own journey to reunite with his estranged father in 2002's ‘Shot in the Dark’.
In 2010, he released ‘Teenage Paparazzo’, a study of fame through the eyes of 14-year-old celebrity photographer Austin Visschedyk.
In 2013, he produced the documentary, ‘How to Make Money Selling Drugs’, which explored both sides of the “war on drugs”.
The main cast of 'Entourage' the movie | Photo: Warner Bros
Beyond showbusiness, the actor is part of The Honey Brothers, an environmentally concious rock band and a co-founder of shft.com, the multimedia platform that aggregates content on socially conscious business and culture. He has his own iPad app ('Reckless Adrian Grenier'), and owns a craft beer company.
In a case of reel life imitating real life, his character on ‘Entourage’ is making the jump to filmmaking. Vincent is embarking on his most ambitious and risky venture yet: directing and starring in a US$100 million movie based on the ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ story, financed through the studio that Ari runs.
PACKED WITH CAMEOS
Mixed martial arts star Ronda Rousey makes an appearance in 'Entourage' | Photo: Warner Bros
Just like in the TV series, celebrity cameos abound in the movie. The 104-minute film is packed with at least 50 of them, from fan favourites who used to pop up on the show — Andrew Dice Clay, Bob Saget and Gary Busey — to newcomers such as Ronda Rousey, Emily Ratajkowski, Warren Buffet, Pharrell Williams, Liam Neeson, Jessica Alba and of course, Walhberg, who also produced the movie.
“We’ve always played host to amazing personalities and influencers, and it’s great that people want to be involved and invited. And people are excited to be there, so it’s always a great time,” Grenier said.‘Entourage’ opens 4 June 2015