Opening in theaters on June 3, 2015 is the long-awaited film adaption of the hit HBO series Entourage, which ran from 2004 -2011. The film picks up where the series ended, following the life and career of movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his posse of friends.
The film revolves around Vince’s directorial debut, a Jekyll & Hyde movie appropriately titled Hyde. Everything is riding on this movie’s success. Not only Vince’s career but his friends’ careers too, as his BFF – Eric “E” Murphy (Kevin Connolly) is a producer on Hyde, his brother Johnny “Drama” (Kevin Dillon) has a role in the new movie, and former agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) is the head of the studio releasing the troubled film. In addition to the return of Grenier, Connolly, Dillon, and Piven, Entourage also includes returning cast members Jerry Ferrara as Vince’s beloved assistant Turtle, Perrey Reeves as Ari’s wife Melissa, Rex Lee as Lloyd, Scott Caan as Scott Lavin, Debi Mazar as Shauna, and Emmanuelle Chriqui as E’s girlfriend Sloan. The film also introduces Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment as a father-and-son pair of investors that Ari brings in to help bankroll Vincent’s movie.
Last year, we had the opportunity to visit the Los Angeles set of Entourage, which was filming on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank. While on set, we had a chance to speak with actor Adrian Grenier about returning to his character, adapting the series, and the events of the film.
Nerdist: To begin with, can you talk about the movie that Vince is screening for Ari after this scene?
Adrian Grenier: It’s a Jekyll & Hyde movie that Vince is directing. It’s quite an expensive and daunting undertaking, but I think he’s up to the task. But I’m biased.
N: Is he starring in it too, or is he just directing?
AG: He is (starring in it), of course.
N: How does it feel to be back with the rest of the cast and playing this character?
AG: It’s a joy, man. It’s a real treat to be able to come back and get the gang back together. It’s like a big family reunion not only with the cast of Entourage but also with the whole crew. Many of the same faces from the past eight years are back and it’s just a lot of fun.
N: What’s the strangest aspect of being back with everybody?
AG: Every day is another strange experience with these guys and it’s just a lot of fun. A lot of weird things happen, but it’s all just good fun. These guys are making me laugh right before each take and I can barely hold it together before they say action.
N: The series ended on a high note, so where are the characters at the beginning of this movie?
AG: They’re always climbing and always aspiring. That was part of the joy of the show. We always managed to one up ourselves. We have to because the audience really demands a fantasy ride so everything has to be very heightened and we have to live vicariously through these guys who have the best lives in the world.
N: Speaking of the audience, can you talk about the fan anticipation for the new film?
AG: There is so much movement on social media right now. It’s buzzing. People are chomping at the bit. They’re very excited and relieved that it’s finally getting done. We all are. We’re just going to stay the course until the premiere.
N: Did you have any doubts that the movie would happen once the series ended?
AG: I’m a pretty optimistic guy to a fault. I knew it was going to happen so I was just waiting for the dates.
N: Did the shooting of the film day-to-day feel different or the same as when you were making the series?
AG: The spirit is the same. The faces are sort of the same. We’ve perfected the production over the years so it’s quite efficient. Everybody knows what he or she needs to do to accomplish a scene, so it doesn’t feel different in that. But now that we’re making the film we can take the time to expand and indulge the cinematic aspects of the show.
N: Do you still feel like you are learning more about Vince even after all these years?
AG: You have to. The relationship between the guys just deepens and becomes more complex, but for me the focus is really about how do I bring the story arc of the film to life and really challenge Vince to have to overcome the obstacles. So that’s different and that’s new, but at the fundamental core of this show it’s about the bonding of the guys and that will never change.
N: Is the movie going to be PG-13 or rated-R? If it is rated-R, are you shooting takes that could end up on an unrated edition?
AG: I’m not part of the MPAA. I’m like everybody in modern times in that I’ve seen it all and it takes a lot to offend me. So I’d be surprised if this got a rating more than PG-13 although there will be some language, nudity and some Johnny “Drama” full frontal. Actually, you know what? It should be banned. We should ban this movie because nobody wants to see Johnny “Drama’s” anything nude. There’s some risqué stuff here certainly. We were making an adult movie. I mean, it is Entourage. It’s for people who can handle the topic. It’s not for the faint of heart. The one thing that I’ve always loved about the show is people who you never would think would love the show are the biggest fans. So I have grandma’s coming up to me saying, “I love your show! It is so great! It’s the only time that I get to spend any quality time with my 12-year-old granddaughter.” I’m like, okay, first of all, there are so many layers of inappropriate that I f—ing love it! The show, despite all the language, the nudity, and the sex, is about friendship, bonding and what really makes family community important.
N: Finally, can you tell us about some of the cameos that will appear in the movie?
AG: Emily Ratajkowski is in the house. Russell Wilson was there too. Mike Tyson dropped in, as well as some of the old faces like Gary Busey and Bob Saget. It’s chock full of cameos. There must be at some point an extra reel of just cameos. There’s just so many. I think we set a record for most cameos in a film.
Entourage is due out in theaters June 5, 2015.