BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Off the air since 2011, the HBO series “Entourage” remained popular enough that it returns in a new story coming to the big screen June 3.
For Adrian Grenier, who plays the superstar Vincent Chase and the leader of his entourage of lifelong buddies, the show’s fan base stemmed from the audience’s ability to connect with all the characters, flaws and all.
“Vincent Chase has facilitated an entourage, which basically is a bunch of guys who started with nothing — and now have had the ride of their lives,” said Grenier, sitting in a suite at the Montage Hotel, just off Rodeo Drive in the heart of Beverly Hills. “It’s kind of cool that we’re sitting right here, right now. Because this is where ‘Entourage’ the TV series and the film, is basically based. This is where those guys came to be aspirational. This group of guys are ‘everymen’ living the dream. This whole thing — both on the TV show and now in the movie — has facilitated the opportunity for the audience to go on that ride with them.”
For Kevin Connolly, who plays Eric, the former pizza guy-turned-talent manager, it’s that relatability that has always drawn in the audience.
“Look, I think friends across America look at us and go, ‘What’s so special about those guys?! If they could do it, we could do it!’ ”
Along the way, “Entourage” writer-creator Doug Ellin (who also directed the film) and co-writer Rob Weiss poke a great deal of fun at Hollywood and the many huge egos that populate it.
From Connolly’s perspective, “It’s not THAT exaggerated. It may seem like that. Of course it was written for television and it’s now a movie. Of course it’s going to be heightened a little bit for dramatic value; that’s only natural for cinematic sake. It’s not that far off. It’s pretty close.”
Grenier added: “It’s not so much of what it is. It’s what we leave out. We leave out all the boring stuff. Eventually you’ve got to go to bed. You go to the gym. You sit in a boring, endless meeting about a possible project. Like in real life. But if you zero in on all of the good stuff — and by ‘good’ I mean interesting, fun-to-watch stuff, then it’s worth it.”
Asked for his favorite scene in the big-screen version of “Entourage,” Grenier did not hesitate. “It was that opening scene where we’re partying in Ibiza on a huge yacht. We got right back into it, as if there hadn’t been a break in time — and frankly there hadn’t been. That’s how the writers wrote it. We’re partying like maniacs. There are wall-to-wall girls. It was perfect,” he said with a big wink.
Playing Vince’s half-brother, C-list actor Johnny “Drama” Chase, has been plenty of fun for Kevin Dillon.
“Of course, he’s about the most flawed guy in the whole entourage. But I like the fact he’s a head case. I like that he’s insecure. He’s an egomaniac, though no one can quite figure out why! He’s dealing with a younger brother who has now so far eclipsed him professionally, it isn’t funny. Drama is explosive. Anything can happen with him and that’s also part of the fun.
“But, and this is key, he will do anything for the guys and for his brother — and they will reciprocate right back. That’s the strength of the show and why, I think, people kept tuning in to see what was going to happen next.”
Sitting next to Dillon, Jerry Ferrara (“Turtle”) said the film “will be successful, I hope, because it is based on the same principle that made the TV show a success: It’s about friendship and loyalty. That’s why I think the audience will be rooting for the guys — just like they did on the TV show.
“Sure, we’re all flawed, but that’s what makes it interesting and fun!”