Photo by: Claudette Barius
The Hollywood lifestyle has been coveted by moviegoers for over a century now. Once movies became a major form of public entertainment, the people we saw on screen became aspirational icons. It didn’t hurt when they put on a show off screen too, with lavish red carpet premieres, big mansions and stylish fashion that was easy to envy.
By the time Entourage hit HBO, the celebrity lifestyle had become an industry itself. The private lives of real Hollywood stars were well documented, so a show about fake Hollywood stars really had to bring it. For eight seasons, audiences watched Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his childhood friends live an extravagant fantasy of parties, women, cars, mansions and sometimes designer sneakers. At least, that was the fantasy they were selling. Me personally, I always wanted to see Vince put something away for a rainy day, because I knew the lean years were coming.
Grenier disagreed with me.
“Always climbing, always aspiring,” Grenier said. “That’s part of the joy of the show is we always manage to one up ourselves. We have to because the audience really demands a fantasy ride, so everything has to be very heightened. We have to live vicariously through these guys who have the best lives in the world.”
Vinnie Chase must be on top again, because years after the series ended, he’s got a new movie coming out. Last year, CraveOnline joined a group of journalists on the set of the Entourage movie filming on the Warner Brothers studio lot. The famed backlot has stages where legendary productions like The Matrix and The Goonies were made, and has been featured as itself in movies like Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. I have been there frequently for movie screenings and meetings, when it looks like a normal place of business. For the Entourage movie, the studio was full of activity, designed especially to live up to Vincent Chase’s lifestyle.
A team of basketball players in generic blue jerseys (I’m supposing they didn’t get an NBA license for the extras) mingled between the sound stages. Number 23 had the ball and passed back and forth with 15, but there were also numbers 00, 5, 3 and 13. Real life model Emily Ratajkowski walked by as if she just happened to be there. In real life she was there all day shooting every angle of her cameo. The most surreal Entourage thing on the set, though, was part of the behind the scenes crew.
There was one production assistant who looked so much like Kevin Dillon that the press couldn’t stop snickering whenever he checked a mark or reported a cue. Whoever is filming behind the scenes for the Entourage DVD, we hope they interviewed him. We certainly could not interrupt him doing his job, let alone take his picture, but the resemblance was striking. Dillon himself got a selfie with his doppelgänger, so proof exists somewhere.
“I was the one who told him [we looked alike],” Dillon said. “It’s funny, I’ve got to get a photo with him. He’s been around for a while. He said he got that a lot when he was in college. Everyone called him Drama.”
The scene they were shooting had Vince, E (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrera) and Drama (Kevin Dillon) driving onto the studio lot to meet with Ari (Jeremy Piven). You’ll recall, if you waited after the end credits of the series finale, that Ari was offered the job to run Warner Brothers. Now Vince’s former agent has an entire movie studio at his disposal, and Chase has directed a movie for him. They are about to screen the movie to Ari for the first time.
“Hyde, a Jekyll and Hyde movie that Vince is directing,” Grenier told us. “Quite an expensive and daunting undertaking. I think he’s up for the task, but I’m biased.”
Next Up: Johnny Drama… Full Frontal?