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HBO's Boys of Summer

The hit show "Entourage" enters its sixth season in 2009 with more stories of male bonding and outrageous fun.
Marshall Fine
From the Print Edition:
Entourage, July/August 2009

(continued from page 4)

"I've been acting a long time and lightning strikes so rarely," Connolly says. "Nobody in his wildest imagination expected this kind of success. I guess the timing was right."

"It just snuck up on us," Ferrara adds. "One day we woke up and people were actually watching this show."

Says HBO's Lombardo, "It was a show that didn't grab everybody the first season. But by the second year, we knew we had a hit."

Connolly recalls the moment he realized just how popular the show was: "Jerry and I were at a game at Yankee Stadium—and they put me up on the scoreboard and played the theme song ["Superhero" by Jane's Addiction]. Jerry and I are diehard Yankee fans; we practically grew up there. And to be walking through the stadium and be recognized and cheered…"

For Kevin Dillon, 43, the success has been particularly savory. Like his character, Johnny Drama, Dillon has a famous (in his case, older) sibling: actor Matt Dillon, who got his start as a teen. Dillon followed in his brother's footsteps, landing roles in such films as Platoon and The Doors. Though he was a steadily working actor, he hadn't found a role that gave him the kind of visibility and credibility that "Entourage" has.

"This show turned my career around," Dillon says. "Any success I've had in the past, this has doubled it. But you know, I had a gut instinct from the pilot that they would pick up the show and it would run."

Like Dillon, the character of Johnny Drama finds a surprising second act to his run at stardom: "Drama's kind of got a hot career right now. I thought he'd struggle throughout the series. He's got so many dimensions; he's got a big heart and he's a good guy in a lot of ways. But he's also got issues and character flaws and that's what makes it fun to play. He's the only character on the show who hasn't really had a relationship—but I don't know if relationships are funny. I like him being funny, crazy—totally unpredictable at all times."

Having wrapped at the golf course, the production moves locations—from City of Industry farther east, to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, near San Bernardino. The sun is playing hide and seek with the clouds, but the day is comfortably warm.

The massive track, with its mile-long stands, is deserted except for the "Entourage" crew and a few racetrack staff. This will be a scene from the season's fifth episode, in which, for Turtle's birthday, Vince treats Turtle and the boys to an afternoon roaring around a banked racetrack in Ferraris that hit 140 mph without breaking a sweat.

On this day, they'll film the post-driving moment: the amped-up pals, basking in the afterglow of a high-speed adventure. At which point, Vince will hand Turtle the keys to one of the Ferraris and say, "Happy birthday, Turtle."

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