‘How to Make It in America’ Star: ‘We’re Just Trying to Pay Our Rent’

Oct 10, 2011 6:20pm
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Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk star in the sophomore HBO series "How to Make It in America."

The unfamiliar could be forgiven for billing “How to Make It in America” as the new “Entourage.” The HBO show, now in its second season, slid into “Entourage’s” old time slot. It also features a group of guys in a fast paced city and counts Mark Wahlberg as an executive producer.

But to “HTMIIA” star Bryan Greenberg, the two are as different as a red carpet and a factory floor.

“That show is about people living the dream and we’re just trying to pay our rent,” he said in recent interview with ABCNews.com. “You have a wish fulfillment show and then you have a grinding it out in real life show.”

Greenberg and co-star Victor Rasuk play Ben and Cam, aspiring clothing designers trying to launch their line in New York’s Lower East Side. Carrie Bradshaw’s Manhattan, this is not. They ride the subway. They live in shoe boxes. They hustle to make ends meet. It’s a lifestyle both actors can relate to.

“I was a mortgage broker’s assistant,” Greenberg said of his pre-Hollywood career. “I worked at a bar, an Irish pub, slinging drinks. I catered. That was my favorite thing — I catered at Sotheby’s. I did all their special events and auctions. It was a good job, I got paid like $20 an hour.”

“I had to silk screen shirts for a small boutique clothing company in Harlem,” Rasuk said. “At the same time, I was also trying to get, I guess, my artistic side, so I applied for a job hauling really antique paintings from storage into a gallery for this old Jewish woman who was so nice to me but it was such back breaking work.”

For Greenberg, “HTMIIA” is a sign of the times. If “Entourage” peddled in excess, his show scales back, offering a more true to life look at how today’s young people make awesome happen.

“I really think we, honestly, are doing something on TV that no one else is really doing,” he said. “We’re touching on a generation of people who after the economy has crashed — they haven’t given up their dreams and they’re forced to find new ways to achieve those dreams. We’re just living in a different time now and there’s nothing on TV that speaks to that world like we’re speaking to it.”

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