Jeremy Piven: Rollin' with his Entourage - DRIPMagazine

Jeremy Piven: Rollin' with his Entourage

Jeremy Piven Talks American Muscle Cars, Hot Wheels, and Being a Jewish Buddhist


Celebrity Feature


 Jeremy Piven



 was the






 now he rolls



 with his PR







BY Joy Chi



Over the years, weíve grown accustomed to thinking of Jeremy Piven as a manipulative Hollywood agent thanks to his role as Ari Gold on HBOís Entourage. However, Piven demonstrates a much more humble characteristic off camera. While Ari is wedded to money and is seen pushing a Lexus, or racing a Ferrari, Pivenís taste in rides is in fact geared more towards classic Americana (he lists Mustangs and Broncos as his personal favorites). His well-known affection for cars and humorous acting caught the attention of Hot Wheels (yes, the toy company) executives, who invited him to participate in their latest viral campaign featuring a four-man stunt-performance group (lamely) named, Team Hot Wheels. Piven wonít be driving himself off a cliff or screeching down a desert anytime soon, but has showcased his comic chops in a video produced by Funny or Die as a desperate hopeful who wants to join the mysterious driving team. At a kick-off event at the 2011 New York Toy Fair last Friday, Drip spoke to the Emmy-Award-winning actor about his favorite whips, hydrogen vehicles, and being a Jewish Buddhist.


Drip: How did you first get involved with this campaign to promote Team Hot Wheels? 

Jeremy Piven: The Hot Wheels team approached me and asked, ďWould you want to do a sketch with Funny or Die?Ē And Iím such a huge fan of Funny or Die it was kind of a no brainer. I grew up playing with Hot Wheels, and itís also a great excuse to do some comedy. As it turns out itís actually a pretty cool way to get information about something because youíre just laughing and having a great time. You can kind of look at it without really being sold something. My job is just to go in and do comedy. Thatís what I did, so I had a blast.


Drip: What else do they have lined up for you? 

Jeremy Piven: Nothing that I know of. This is it. This is the extent. Iím going to go check out their stunts just because I want to. They look incredible. Theyíre going to break records. So Iím just going to Indy 500 as a fan to check it out.


Drip: Are you familiar with action sports? 

Jeremy Piven: Iím not fully familiar with them. Iíve seen them, but I donít know all their names. Carey Hartís the last guy I watched so Iím a little dated.


Drip: Weíre told that youíre a car guy. Whatís your favorite?

Jeremy Piven: You know, believe it or not, I have a 1977 Ford Bronco. I love it, and Iím still maintaining it at this moment.


Drip: Why Ford Bronco? 

Jeremy Piven: I donít know. Iíve always liked the Bronco. Itís up and off the ground, and there are huge wheels. Itís like a ragtop so youíre up higher, and you get the air and everything. Itís just a great cruising vehicle


Drip: Did you pimp it out? 

Jeremy Piven: Uh, no. Not really. I need to. I need to do something to it. I have a 1971 Oldsmobile 442, which is really cool. I was shooting I Melt With You in Big Sur not too long ago, and was at this car show. I bought this car there, and I fell in love with it. It has an 8-track player in it, and itís really nice.


Drip: Do you prefer the older cars? 
Jeremy Piven: I do like classic American muscle cars.


Drip: You have a green Chevy Camaro, right? 

Jeremy Piven: [Laughs.] That was, um, I was just borrowing that for a moment. Chevy people just let me borrow it for like a day. Unfortunately, you canít really go under the radar, and just drive a really beautiful and fast car. It was lime green so the joke was on me. It happens.


Drip: There have been reports that youíre an advocate of hydrogen-powered vehicles. 

Jeremy Piven: Yeah, absolutely. I donít have a lot of experience with electric cars, but I drove this hydrogen BMW, which was amazing. It was so smooth and fast you never wouldíve guessed it was hydrogen-based. Basically, if each governor stepped up and made some hydrogen stations we can get a move into that. At the moment, Iím driving this amazing Lexus hybrid, which youíll just never know that itís a hybrid. The only thing youíre doing is saving gas.


Drip: Maybe promoting fuel-efficient vehicles could be your next thing after this. 
Jeremy Piven: [Looks at his publicist.]

Publicist: Heís into vehicles.

Jeremy Piven: Yeah, Iíd like to.


Drip: What was your dream car growing up as a kid? 
Jeremy Piven: My dream car was a 1965 Mustang convertible. For some reason I was fixated with Mustangs.


Drip: Were you able to acquire it eventually? 

Jeremy Piven: My father actually bought one, and we drove it for a while. It was amazing. When it ran its course my father took the body of the car and put it in our garden. It had tomato plants going through it, and I used it as a jungle gym when I was a kid. It had many different lives.


Drip: Whatís the wildest thing youíve done inside a car? Both legal and illegal. 

Jeremy Piven: [Pauses, and looks at his publicist.]

Publicist: You donít have to answer the latter part. [Laughs.]

Jeremy Piven: Umm, yeah, you know IÖ

Publicist: Typical teenage stuff.

Jeremy Piven: I think I get distracted too easily, so nothing really too exciting in terms of cars.


Drip: Did you ever impress anyone with your whips? 

Jeremy Piven: I donít think so. At least, no oneís ever told me that Iíve been impressive as any way, shape, or form as a driver. Iíve been told Iím unimpressive. Iíve been told that a couple times.


Drip: Why? 
Jeremy Piven: I was just told that Iím not a great driver. I think I have potential as a great driver.


Drip: Well, everybody has potential. 
Jeremy Piven: [Laughs.] Exactly.


Drip: In The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard you played a car salesman. Would you ever sell cars? 

Jeremy Piven: I think it would be really fun, but I think Iíll probably hit the wall and be terrible at it. I donít think I have a lot of endurance as a salesman.


Drip: My friend owns an í86 Corolla. How would you sell that? 

Jeremy Piven: I would say, ďThis is a sleeper hit of the season. I know what youíre thinking, Ď1986 Corolla? Iím a grown man. What am I doing driving that?í But why donít you take this car, which is actually over-achieving and go completely under the radar. Live the dream.Ē

Drip: That sounds awesome. Iíll tell him that. 
Jeremy Piven: [Laughs.]


Drip: Is Ari Emanuel, the Hollywood super agent, which your character Ari Gold is based off, happy with your portrayal on Entourage?

Jeremy Piven: You know? I have no idea. I donít have a clue. But I could tell you that if he didnít like it, I would have heard about it. So I think silence is a good sign in that particular case.


Drip: You consider yourself a Jewish Buddhist. Can you expand on that? 

Jeremy Piven: Yeah, Iím just a student of Buddhism, and I just want to learn more and more about it. I think no harm can come from meditating. Anytime you go in working toward the presence, and not rushing, then I think thatís a beautiful thing. I was born Jewish, both of my parents are Jewish, and I was Bar Mitzvahíd, but I think you can be whatever you want to be in this life.