Kevin finds his place in the Entourage

30 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Actor-director Adrian Grenier seeks a lonely whale and a fit lifestyle.

VINCENT Chase may be the movie star, but in the film, his veteran big brother Johnny “Drama” Chase finally looks headed for his moment in the spotlight. “Thank God his younger brother, once again, has hooked him up with a nice little bit in his movie,” says Kevin Dillon, who built the hapless Drama into a cult hero over eight seasons of the HBO series. “He’s totally nuts and that’s why I really like him,” Dillon grins. “He’s been given the gift of delusional confidence. The guys may be older in the new “Entourage” flick, but 38-year-old leading man Adrian Grenier says the character’s skirt-chasing shtick is fresh as ever.Entourage (R) Movie star Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier) and his crew from the hit HBO show are back — and back in business with super agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). If HBO’s high-living series “Entourage” was like having an eminently cool Hollywood party beamed into your living room episode after episode, then think of this week’s “Entourage” feature film spinoff as the after-party. Even though he gets shut down all the time, he gets up, he dusts himself off and he carries on.” Dillon came to Entourage after a long and winding acting career that began when he was “discovered” as a teenager on the red carpet at one of his elder brother Matt’s movie premieres in the early ’80s. “My dad’s a portrait painter and my grandmother was a really good painter,” Dillon explains. “My uncle Alex Raymond created the comic strip Flash Gordon; my uncle Jim Raymond did the comic strip Blondie.

So, does Vince marry the woman he just met and impetuously proposed to? “The movie starts … [at] Vince’s wedding party on a yacht,” Grenier reveals, cautioning, with a laugh, “I would hold off getting him any wedding presents at this time.” Grenier, 38, also is a passionate filmmaker, musician and environmentalist. In 2002, he directed his first film, “Shot in the Dark.” It chronicled his search for his father, a man he had not seen since he was a young boy. “I wanted to explore the necessity of a role model — a father figure,” he says. “I didn’t need to find him as much as I needed to reconcile what he meant in my life.” Today, he considers reconnecting with his father a needed rite of passage. The guys don’t necessarily go bigger and bolder for their new showcase, which opens Wednesday and has been compared to HBO’s previous network mainstay turned multiplex attraction, “Sex and the City.” Instead, what we get is more of this Queens-bred crew being just as lovably bad as ever, a welcome bit of reassurance that while the program may have wrapped its seven-year run back in 2011, the hipster beat goes on.

I still do it for fun — paint portraits, stuff like that.” “I remember I was on a ladder, painting a house with a buddy of mine, when this family came home and the dad goes, ‘There he is! Helicopters!), the women hotter (“Blurred Lines” star Emily Rataj-kowski!) and the deals bigger than ever before. “Entourage” the TV show — based on executive producer Mark Wahlberg and his real-life wolf pack — gave fans eight years of fantasy: a group of boys from Queens head to Los Angeles, live together in a mansion, play together in even bigger mansions, get high and drink, and have a bevy of leggy beauties at their disposal.

Grenier credits two strong women, his mother and grandmother, for picking up the slack resulting from his father’s absence and instilling honesty and compassion in him. Speaking by phone from California, “Entourage” writer-director and series creator Doug Ellin affirms that his aim was to reestablish that definitive LA wish-fulfillment vibe. “I think you’ve got to get back to what this is — a show about friendship in Hollywood,” Ellin says. It was the ultimate bro success story, with a healthy handful (or two) of porny female stereotypes. “It’s a summer movie, people want to have fun,” says Grenier. “We’re a great opportunity for you to . . . live in a fantasy world with these boys.” The question is, does the conceit work in 2015?

In March, Leonardo DiCaprio, a longtime environmentalist, helped Grenier get his next documentary, “52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale,” off the ground. Cast and crew weren’t going to sweat every status-tweaking dramatic arc that a show inevitably explores in the course of eight seasons and 96 episodes.

The ambiguous series finale had Vince jetting off to Paris to marry a woman he’d just met, while everyguy Eric was trying to work things out with pregnant, estranged girlfriend Sloane (Emmanuelle Chriqui), and overwound Ari was reluctantly trying out an Italian villa retirement. A $50,000 donation from DiCaprio’s foundation, coupled with crowd-funding, will give Grenier and his team needed money to study ocean-noise pollution and to try to find and film the elusive mammal.

This new chapter hits reset on just about everything, save for E’s impending fatherhood. “We got to do a short film with Ari in Italy,” Ellin says of an ad spot produced with Cadillac, a regular cross-promotion partner on the show. “But I didn’t want to see a lot of setup and back story in the movie. Is there still a place for “Entourage” — which featured douchey bets about which dude could get laid fastest and one-liners like “Vagina is my third favorite hole”? For years, Bunny was the character Dillon was known for. “Everyone’s calling me Drama everywhere I go these days,” he says. “They used to call me ‘Bunny from Platoon’ or ‘Matt Dillon’s brother’ for most of my life.

An opening babefest aboard a luxury yacht off sunny Ibiza gives them an opportunity to get right to it, especially Vince, who’s already filing for an annulment. Mixing show business with pleasure as always, Vince takes a call from Ari, who’s segued from agent to studio exec and has just the project for his longtime client.

On TV and in theaters, “Entourage” glamorizes frat-tastic behavior – but has the rest of the world moved on from celebrating dude culture?Photo: Warner Bros. Although we don’t get to see much more of Vince’s work as director and star of the post-apocalyptic “Hyde” than we did of him headlining “Aquaman” in season three, the fictional buzz is that he’s crafted something special.

It’s that blurring of the lines.” relies on the blurred lines thing, from celebs playing themselves to a key sequence from the movie shot live on the Golden Globes red carpet earlier this year. And generally straight-laced Eric (Kevin Connolly) found out that he was going to be a daddy with his sometimes girlfriend Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui), who had dumped him after finding out he slept with her stepmother. “I don’t think age does anything to change your appreciation for the good life” Grenier says of his “Entourage” character, Vincent Chase.Photo: Warner Bros. Sure, but we feel compelled to press the point: What is it specifically about hang-loose, newly minted DGA member Vincent Chase? “He’s got artistic integrity, and he won’t do things that he doesn’t believe in,” he says. “A lot of people will do something because they think it will make money. Four years later (but a few months in Hollywood time), the movie kicks off with Vince’s failed marriage (He’s back on the market, ladies!), Johnny Drama’s failed cartoon series, Ari’s failed respite and Eric’s failed attempts at being a player with a baby on the way (but continuing to whoop it up during the pregnancy).

But since the show started, this is a guy who has always chosen his passions over commerce.” Vince’s bros always come before commerce, too — even his actual, goofy older brother, Drama, whose casting in a supporting role in “Hyde” is a pivotal “Entourage” plot point. Or she’ll be like, ‘What does “crossing swords” mean?’ ” (Fans of the show know only too well.) Meanwhile, the movie also makes room for a view of the entertainment landscape that’s all business, in every sense. Laughing, he adds, “People have always made fun of Hollywood for not caring about movies, just the bottom line, but now it’s a whole other level of that.

But in August, there’s something even bigger coming his way: his 50th birthday. “I never make a big deal about my birthday, but the 5-0 is kind of a big one, so I should throw some kind of party,” Dillon muses. “I’m embracing it.” Luckily, the pressure for Drama to look good has kept Dillon in sub-50 shape. There’s Eric’s new blond lady-friend riding him with abandon, and the one-night stand he has in Turtle’s bedroom; Ari’s fleet of six-figure cars that he doles out as congratulatory notes on wheels; and, of course, the much-needed party drugs at an outdoor premiere. “ ‘Entourage’ is sort of a reduction of the [Hollywood] lifestyle,” Grenier says. “It’s all the things you hear about and would imagine and fantasize about . . . Although he reckons breaking his wrist a week prior to cameras rolling on the movie kept him from being in peak screen condition. “I got a little around the waist,” he admits. “I’ll tell you what though, if we do a second Entourage movie, I am gonna come back jacked.

There is Piven’s infamous womanizing (coupled with a mysterious mercury poisoning), Grenier party-hopping from Sundance to Coachella, and Connolly dating not one but two heiresses (Nicky Hilton, Lydia Hearst). “My agent ended up getting me courtside seats at the Lakers game. So it almost made more sense for it to be in a theater than on a little screen.” Count the star wattage from the series’ frequent real-life celebrity drop-ins as one more qualification.

Now Dillon’s gathered his own group of pals to help him out. “I think there’s more [to an entourage] than just running with the pack for a night or two. They can go live in my guesthouse for a while,” says Dillon. “I’d say [the characters] have another 10 good years before it starts to get ridiculous,” says Chriqui. But this is where it becomes clear just how much Ellin’s characters reflect his sense of loyalty, his own old-neighborhood instinct to say, “Hey, man, I got your back.” “I’m a diehard New York Giants fan, but I love Tom, and I don’t buy any of this garbage,” he says, seeming genuinely riled. “People do all sorts of things like this in football, but it’s like this mission to get Belichick and Brady, and it really bothers me. “I think even Turtle would say that,” he adds. “He’d be rational enough to go, ‘I don’t want to take you down with nonsense, I want to take you down on the field.’ ”

Take note, 40-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio: By that math, you and your Pussy Posse — including Connolly — have just a couple years left before you’re officially ridiculous. As for the franchise itself, the guys are dreaming of a sequel — So as long as not too many of them knock up their love interests. (We won’t spoil how E’s baby story ends.) “The only way to end ‘Entourage’ is that [the characters] become less available to each other [with] marriage and kids,” says Ferrara.

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