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

 

 

 manipulator

 

 

 now he rolls

 

 

 with his PR

 

 

 guy!

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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