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This story first appeared in the May 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
You might want to hold off blinking while watching the Entourage movie — you’ll miss a cameo. The 104-minute film is packed with at least 50 of them, from fan favorites who used to pop up on the show — Andrew Dice Clay is back, along with Bob Saget and Gary Busey (“I wasn’t doing anything, so I said yes”) — to faces so obscure even industry insiders might have trouble recognizing them (Jeremy Piven‘s tailor, Domenico Vacca).
“I remember when people said that the TV show had too many cameos,” says writer-director Doug Ellin. “But that’s the reality of life in Hollywood. You get on a plane in L.A., and there’s three celebrities sitting in first class.”
Wrangling that many celebs into one movie required flexibility. Kelsey Grammer‘s walk-by in a scene outside the office of Ari Gold’s marriage counselor (“Don’t waste your money”) was scheduled at the last minute, when a hole in the star’s schedule opened. Many were arranged through well-placed connections: Warren Buffett, who in one scene randomly rides by on a studio golf cart, shares an agent with Ellin — CAA’s Michael Kives, who himself gets a cameo in a backlot scene.
Other appearances occurred almost accidentally. Common happened to be working out at Equinox on the Sunset Strip when Ellin showed up to shoot a scene with Rex Lee, who reprises his role as Ari’s assistant, Lloyd (later in the film, Greg Louganis turns up as Lloyd’s fiance).
“It was very free-flowing,” says Ellin. “If someone could show up on Tuesday, I’d say, ‘All right, I’ll figure out how to get them in.’ “
By far the biggest boldface-name bonanza comes during a party scene at Turtle’s 20-acre seaside estate. Dozens of stars can be spotted frolicking by the pool, including Pharrell Williams, Ed O’Neill and the NFL’s Russell Wilson, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.
One dream request that failed to materialize was President Obama, who once told Politico he was a huge fan of the show.
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