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Sitting in the driveway of an oceanfront home in Palos Verdes is a Cadillac Ciel convertible, its shiny black exterior glittering in the sun and smoke slowly rising out of its two rear exhaust pipes.
The concept car is truly one of a kind, an idea of Cadillac’s launched in 2011, but scrapped after its glitzy debut.
So perhaps it’s the perfect car for the men of Entourage, who also thought their journey had ended in 2011 when the popular HBO show wrapped.
It’s a warm, sunny day in March 2014, and the stars of Entourage — Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara — are shooting a scene at a breathtaking cliff-side mansion for the new feature film that will revisit their characters’ glamorous Hollywood lives.
The Hollywood Reporter was on set to watch as the actors — and writer-director Doug Ellin — dove back into characters they’d put on the shelf three years earlier, and spoke to them about where we find their alter egos as the movie kicks off.
Here are 10 things we learned about the new film, set for release on June 3:
1. Months Have Passed
The film is set about seven or eight months after where the TV series wrapped up. “I wanted to jump right back in,” said Ellin. “With the show, I was always like, ‘Get us moving,’ and hopefully [with the movie] it’s quick and you don’t have to spend a lot of time catching up with them.”
2. Piers Morgan Brings the Audience Up to Speed
One of the many cameos in the new film will be Piers Morgan. The movie will open up with Morgan doing a piece on Vinny Chase (Grenier) and his acting career. That will help viewers (especially those who may not have watched the TV series) catch up with the characters and where they are now. Connolly told THR that he helped book Piers for the gig. “I’d met Piers Morgan a few times and he always told me that he was a big fan of the show,” he said. “I asked him a few questions to see if he was bullshitting me or not. … He’s seen every episode.”
3. Vinny Really Wants to Direct
Star Vinny wants to direct a movie, and enlists Ari to let him helm a $100 million project. Grenier admits that Ellin is often inspired by the actors’ real lives when it comes to their storylines (Grenier himself has also been directing films). Ari lets Vinny direct a film called Hyde. But who’s better at directing — Grenier or his character? “I don’t know. I might buckle under the pressure of a $100 million movie, but I’d love the opportunity some day,” said Grenier.
4. A Lot Is Riding on Hyde
Not only is Vinny directing Hyde (which was also the cover name for the Entourage film as it was shooting around Los Angeles), but E is producing, and Drama is also in the film. And it’s Ari’s first movie as a studio head. So everyone needs it to work. “The stakes are very high for all the characters,” said Connolly.
5. Turtle is Rich, and Not Fat
The storyline had to acknowledge that Turtle is no longer fat since Ferrara lost a lot of weight after the series ended. “I think Doug’s mad at me because he had to write all-new jokes,” said Ferrara. But even though Turtle is now thin and rich (he lives in fancy Palos Verdes mansion that they were shooting at), he’s still helpful to his friends. “What I love about it is he’s made all this money and he still drives the guys around,” said Ferrara. “He made all this money, he could easily sit back and be on easy street, but he still picks Vince up and drives the guys around.”
6. Vinny Lives in Madonna’s Old House
The Palos Verdes mansion is the set for Turtle’s house (but in the film its supposed to be in Malibu), but Vinny is also living large, of course (and his brother Drama is still living with him). The film used Madonna’s former Hollywood Hills mansion. The 7,700-square-foot house, which has 25-foot ceilings, is now owned by billionaire Leon Max of Max Studio. Grenier had never been to the place before. “It’s funny because I was just recently on a run up through the hills and I was just looking at the house and was like, ‘Wow, I’ve never been in there. I’d love to go in there sometime.'” he said. “And then Monday morning, there I am, inside the house.”
7. They’re Still Looking for Ladies
Of course, Entourage wouldn’t be Entourage if the guys weren’t looking to fill their lives and their beds with women. Drama falls for a woman that he meets at a party and “they get in trouble a little bit,” says Dillon. Turtle has his heart set on MMA fighter Ronda Rousey. But Grenier says that E (Connolly) has more luck in that department this time around. “This film is odd in that E gets more ass than V. E gets more A than V,” he said with a laugh. Connolly does admit that E meets a few new faces, but he’s still trying to make it work with Sloan, who is pregnant and still mad at E when the film begins. “Sloan is who he wants, and he wants to try to get his family back together,” he said.
8. There Will Be Throwbacks to the Series
There will be several moments in the film that pay homage to the TV series. Drama will be back in the Viking Quest outfit, and E will revisit Sbarro pizzeria. “We have so many [references] that are nicely woven in, that don’t feel like anything that if you don’t know the show you won’t be like, ‘What?’ said Ellin.
9. Cameos Galore
The early trailers for the film revealed plenty of cameos, ranging from Gary Busey to Jessica Alba and Liam Neeson. The actors say there were a lot of people interested in appearing in the project, but that Ellin would usually want them to come with an idea for what their purpose would be. Bob Saget, one of the most popular cameos from the show, is back because Ellin ran into him and they were able to come up with something that worked.
10. Will There Be More?
On set, Ellin told reporters he was focused on getting this movie right and not thinking about the possibility of another sequel if it works. Dillon and several of the other actors told reporters they would be open to another sequel. “I always felt like this show had legs. Eight seasons didn’t feel like enough for me,” said Dillon. “It felt like we could have gotten 10. Now with this movie it feels like we’re doing another season in a way, all wrapped up in one, which is cool.”
Warner Bros. will release Entourage on June 3.
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