You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Doug Ellin and Cast Reunite for ‘Entourage’ New York Screening

Four years after the cast of HBO’s “Entourage” bid farewell, the long-awaited movie version of the popular series premiered at New York City’s Paris Theater on Wednesday night to loud cheers and big laughs.

Cast members Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven reunited with creator Doug Ellin, who wrote and directed the 104-minute feature film, for the special screening.

“To be honest, I wasn’t sure if the movie was ever going to happen,” Dillon, 49, told Variety on the red carpet. “We all wanted to make a movie from the get-go, but things took so long and some things had to be resolved before we could start shooting. I was like, ‘It’s getting late now. People won’t be interested anymore. We have to get this done.’ So it was a relief that we actually did it.”

One reason for the delay was the film’s screenplay. “Writing a story that could sustain itself for an hour and half was the biggest challenge,” said Ellin, 47. “I sat down with Stephen Levinson and Rob Weiss and we talked about ideas as stories for months. Getting the script done was the hardest. Everything else was pretty easy. Mark Wahlberg said to me, ‘Write the script and I’ll get it made.'”

Fortunately, Warner Bros. greenlit the project for $25 million and filming begin in February 2014. Ellin said he had no worries whether the television series, which ran for eight seasons from 2004 to 2011, could translate into a crowd-pleasing film. “We were a cinematic show to start with. We were doing things that no one was doing on half hour television,” he said. “We shot live at YouTube concerts, we shot at the Cannes Film Festival, Sundance and in Vegas, so we were capable of telling a story on a larger scale.”

The comedy — out in theaters June 3 — picks up a few months where the television series ended. Behind the show’s comedic shenanigans and its portrayal of Hollywood’s glitz and glamour, the central theme of “Entourage” is the strong brotherhood between friends.

“The show is about loyalty and the idea of what matters in this life,” said Piven, 49, who won three consecutive Emmys for playing the ruthless and foul-mouthed agent Ari Gold. “Through thick and thin you have to stick together and be people of your word.”

Connolly, 41, added, “Friendship has always been the message behind ‘Entourage,'” he explained. “It’s about the unconditional love and support that these guys have for each other. I can relate to them. In my own life, family and friends are the most important thing.”

As for the actors stepping back into their famous roles, Piven says playing the brazen agent is “fun and a blast to play,” but it’s physically draining. “It can be a little taxing, but it’s all a part of it. I welcome it with open arms.”

Ferrara jumped at the chance to reprise his breakthrough role. “Being part of ‘Entourage’ is one of the best things that’s happened to me,” he said. “I was 23-years-old when we started the show and now I’m 35, so it’s changed everything for me and my family. I’m so thankful. If all of the stuff that comes with acting went away, I still already won. I succeeded. I made friends that I will have for the rest of my life.”

For Grenier, 38, playing movie star Vincent Chase is the opportunity to live a fantasy. “I get to have the fun that I never get to have in real life,” he said. “It’s a total escape for me to play Vincent. It’s a fun ride. As Vincent, I can let go of any troubles and have a good time.”

Following the screening, hundreds of guests crowded inside Midtown Manhattan’s nightclub Lavo for a night of reveling. Newcomer Sabina Gadecki, who plays Connolly’s love interest, snapped a few photos with her co-star while Grenier greeted well-wishers near the deejay booth. Dillon and his daughter Amy briefly mingled with Ellin, who was the toast of the after-party.

“I have 50 people here tonight from elementary school and another 50 from high school and college,” said Ellin, a Brooklyn native. “There’s people here who I named characters after. My friend Scott Lavin who Scott Caan played, Andrew Kline who Gary Cole played and everyone from this girl to that girl I put their names in the show. It’s a special night and I’m happy to celebrate with them.”

More Scene

  • Director Peter JacksonWarner Bros. Pictures THEY

    Peter Jackson Talks Transition From 'Hobbit' Movies to World War I Documentary

    Peter Jackson remains a bit astounded at his transition four years ago from the Shire of Middle Earth to the French battlefields of World War I. Jackson introduced his documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” Friday night at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood, four weeks after it aired on Armistice Day on the BBC. [...]

  • Hillary Clinton'Network' play opening night, New

    Hillary Clinton Attends Opening of Broadway's 'Network'

    A 1976 film might not be expected to translate seamlessly to Broadway in 2018, but for the cast and creative team behind “Network,” which premiered Thursday night with Hillary Clinton in the audience, the story still feels uncomfortably close to home. “It was a satire then, and now it’s documentary realism,” said Lee Hall, who [...]

  • Children's Defense Fund

    Angela Bassett, Conan O'Brien Honor Young Students at Children's Defense Fund Gala

    Awards season may be right around the corner, but on Thursday, Hollywood took a break from the glitz and glam to celebrate five high school students who have excelled academically despite facing extreme adversity both at home and in the classroom. The 29th annual Beat the Odds Awards ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center featured [...]

  • Dolly Parton attends the world premiere

    Dolly Parton Hopes to Perform 'Dumplin'' Song at the Golden Globes

    It’s not easy to upstage Jennifer Aniston. But everyone at Thursday night’s premiere of her new Netflix flick, “Dumplin’,” seemed to be singing the praises of Dolly Parton, who earlier in the day received a Golden Globe nomination for “Girl in the Movies,” one of half a dozen new songs she wrote for the film. [...]

  • Lena WaitheVariety's Power of Women, Arrivals,

    Who Lena Waithe Thinks Should Replace Kevin Hart as Oscar Host

    Lena Waithe thinks Kevin Hart could have handled his Oscar debacle in a much better way. “I kind of wish that he would have taken a moment to let it be a teachable moment and to say, ‘Hey, what I said wasn’t right and I want to make that right,’ not just to keep the [...]

  • Christie Brinkley32nd Annual Footwear News Achievement

    Christie Brinkley at 64: 'Women My Age Cannot Allow the Numbers to Define Them'

    Christie Brinkley may be turning 65 next year, but don’t you dare try to tell her what she should — or shouldn’t — wear. “I think women my age cannot allow the numbers to define them. We need to constantly redefine the number,” Brinkley told Variety on Tuesday at the Footwear News Achievement Awards in New [...]

  • Gerard Butler, Haim Saban and Cheryl

    Why Haim and Cheryl Saban's $50 Million Donation to Academy Museum Almost Didn't Happen

    Haim and Cheryl Saban’s $50 million donation has landed them their name on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures building on Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, but the billionaire philanthropists’ contribution to the project almost didn’t happen. During Tuesday’s unveiling of the restored exterior of the new Saban Building (formerly the historic May Company department [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content