Adrian Grenier and Kevin Connolly, who star as movie star Vincent Chase and his manager/friend Eric Murphy respectively in HBO's hit show Entourage, got good news before their interview with ABC News Now's "Popcorn With Peter Travers."
Entourage received four Emmy nominations, including best comedy series and best supporting actor in a comedy series (for Kevin Dillon who plays Vince's brother Johnny Drama). To date, the show has received 25 Emmy nominations and four wins, three of which were for Jeremy Piven for outstanding supporting actor in the role of agent Ari Gold. Entourage is now in its sixth season with 3.4 million viewers -- its largest audience in over two years and this season's premiere more than doubled last season's.
The show is loosely based on the life of actor Mark Wahlberg, one of its executive producers. Grenier's Vinnie Chase, a hot Hollywood actor, who kicks around town with his manager and buddies Eric (known as E), his less famous half-brother Drama and his assistant/driver Turtle (Jerry Ferrara). "It started more like Mark Wahlberg," said Connolly, "there is a real E out there that sort of runs Mark Wahlberg's life. There is a real Johnny Drama.. these characters sort of exist in Mark's world."
The unofficial fifth member of the entourage is Jeremy Piven's Ari Gold, as Vince's agent. Ari is loosely based on real-life Hollywood super agent Ari Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Grenier recently signed with the real-life Ari and notes some similarities to his alter ego.
"I actually just signed with the real Ari recently and it's remarkable," mused Grenier, "but I watch the show and there's one scene where Ari Gold comes in to sell these writers to come on or their show runners to come to the agent, agency but he has no intention of actually managing them or being part of their career. He's just going to be, you know, present and he comes in with a quick sell and then leaves and I had a flashback of when the real Ari did that to me because I haven't heard from him since that meeting and I'm like wow, I should have watched my show more carefully before I signed with Ari."
Piven is still facing a lot of criticism for pulling out of the Broadway play "Speed the Plow" over six months ago claiming he was suffering from mercury poisoning for eating too much sushi. His co-stars defended him, saying it was a tough time for him and something Piven takes very seriously. The cast are close, especially Grenier and Connolly, who are eligible bachelors.
"We have the most in common because we're single guys out and about … we've had a couple of good parties," said Connolly. "We had a slumber party at Connolly's new house," added Grenier, who was swiftly corrected by Connolly: "We had a party and he stayed over. He wanted to stay for a second night, I just said to him, buddy, one night's enough."
Piven was present at said party as was executive producer and creator Doug Ellin, whom both credit with the show's success. "It's Doug's. Doug is very particular about his words and the stories that he crafts and he lives, breathes, eats, sleeps the show and he cares very passionately so – more than anybody – so personally I follow – he's our great leader as far as I'm concerned," raved Grenier. "He's taken us this far, we'll just follow him the rest of the way," affirmed Connolly.
Entourage's sixth season will have a number of special guests including Tom Brady, Mark Wahlberg, Ed Burns, Zac Efron, Jay Leno and Matt Damon. It will also chart the changes in the group dynamic.
"Vince is starting to see his buddies grow up a little bit and move out the house so it's a whole new chapter for Vince," said Grenier. There is a scene when Vince comes home and no one is in the house. "It's a very poignant moment for not only Vince but it says a lot about the pitfalls of celebrity when you know you have a lot of fun, a lot of women and you know eventually you're going to find yourself alone. So I feel that Vince actually had a taste of what it's like to be on his own truly on his own. This is one moment where I really felt for Vince," said Grenier reflecting on his own life.
"I don't like being alone. I don't. You know when I was a baby, and I'm an only child, my mom said I wouldn't go to sleep until she put me in the stroller and walked me down Amsterdam Avenue (in Manhattan) with all the noise and all the people walking around and then I would fall asleep," he added.
Connolly, on the other hand, relishes his privacy. "I prefer to be alone. I certainly live alone, I eat the majority of my meals alone," he said emphatically. Connolly's love of solitude stems from the lack of it growing up; he and his brother shared a bedroom at their family house in Long Island until Connolly moved to California.
A love of music also unites these two co-stars. Grenier in 2002 joined The Honey Brothers. "They needed a drummer and I was filling in and I never left the band," he said with a smile. Connolly, who owns a bar at his home town in Long Island, wants the Honey Brothers to perform there but "can't quite meet their quote" and is humorously weighing offering his services pro bono to direct their music video as quid pro quo. Channeling a little of E's cautious managerial skills, Connolly grinned at Grenier and said, "I'm not ready to close the deal yet."