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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 5)

The next day, the actors will suit up, jump into the gleaming sports cars and shoot behind-the-wheel sequences (at a much more manageable 65 mph). In preparation, the four spent part of the previous weekend being trained in high-speed driving in the same Ferraris.

"I loved it," Connolly says of the training. "What a rush. You're totally focused; you can't think about anything but the track in front of you." "I'm still terrified," Ferrara counters. "I don't want to drive 150. I'm just not built that way. I don't even like to drive. I get anxiety when I have to go over Laurel Canyon. I put on sports-talk radio just to distract myself."

"Yeah, I usually drive like a grandma," Grenier says. "I don't mind driving conservatively." He pauses, then smiles and adds, "Apparently I have a natural gift for it, because I blew the other guys off the road."

That's one of the great things about this particular boys' club: Everyday at work is a new adventure of recreational pursuits and party-animal indulgences, from the beach at Cannes to the Playboy Mansion to a day spent driving high-performance cars around a professional track.

"Look at all the things we get to do—here I am spending a day at the golf course and the racetrack," Connolly says.

Adds Ferrara, "We got to sit courtside at the Lakers, go to Sundance and Cannes. I'd never even left the country before. You know, I never thought I'd be doing comedy. I thought of myself as the kind of actor who would be crying in scenes, not as a comedy actor. Comedy is hard."

If "Entourage" is an unexpected hit, its breakout character is even less likely: Ari Gold, the Hollywood agent with the fastest, sharpest tongue in town. Jeremy Piven has won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe in five seasons of playing Ari, Vince Chase's überagent. Ari works like a maniac to keep Vince's career rising—and, at times, from self-destructing—while negotiating the Byzantine intrigues of the industry's corridors of powers, leaving no one (except Vince) unflayed by his rudely pragmatic and always outspoken assessments of the world around him.

"Is it me or is her voice getting worse?" Ari mutters aloud as he listens to his daughter practice for her bat mitzvah. When his wife scolds him, he says, "It doesn't mean I don't love her, but she's just awful, baby."

Based on real-life agent Ari Emanuel(whose clients include Wahlberg, Scorcese and Jessica Alba, all of whom have been on the show—and whose brother is Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff), Ari Gold makes abrasiveness an art: Even when he's trying to be nice, there's a sting to him. In the very first episode, he offers to reconcile a disagreement with Eric by uttering the now immortal line, "Let's hug it out, bitch."

"Everyone," Piven says of Ari, "needs a shark in their life. And everyone wants someone who is completely passionate to represent them. I think that's what he is."

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