The perception of Jeremy Piven that many of you may have is that of the egomaniacal douche on Entourage or the coked-out douche in Smokin’ Aces, the neurotic douche in Very Bad Things, the lovable douche in Grosse Point Blank (“10 YEARS, MAN. 10 YEARS”), the mercury-poisoned douche, or my personal favorite, the inappropriately excited douche in Singles.
What many of you may not know, however, is that — in real life — Piven is a douche in a completely unexpected way, as Drew Magary recently found out while he was asking Piven questions during an Entourage interview for GQ.
…This results in a conversation about acting between Piven and me in which, despite my best efforts to ingratiate myself, everything I say winds up being hilariously wrong. Observe:
“One of the forms [of acting] that I did was commedia dell’arte,” he tells me, “which is an Italian form where you’re in one of four states—happiness, sadness, anger, or fear — at all times, and you’re ramped up to a 10, you know?”
“Like, very melodramatic?” I ask.
“No,” he says. “No disrespect, that’s exactly what you’re trying not to do.”
“Ah! You can tell me I’m wrong. I think of melodramatic as hammy.”
“If that’s your take on what I do…”
F*ck. “No, no, not what you do,” I say, frantically trying to recover. “I’m saying the Italian form you were talking about.”
“The Italian form is a heightened emotion that has to be rooted in sincerity. I ran into Tim Robbins, the actor and director who taught me the commedia dell’arte form, and he just laughed, because he knows that that character”—Piven means Ari—“is played completely in the commedia dell’arte form. Now, if I were to explain that to the average person who maybe likes Ari Gold, I don’t know—I don’t even know why I’m telling you, to be honest.”
Oof. Magary may have thought that was on him, but that’s 100 percent Piven, clearly experiencing some sort of major douche flare up. But don’t worry, it managed to get even worse for Magary!
Dinnertime is almost up, but I manage to say a few more wrong things to Piven.
“If people mistake you for Ari in real life,” I say to him, “it’s a sign that you’ve done your job well!”
“I guess there is some sort of compliment in there,” he replies. “I really wish I was evolved enough to get it.”
Later on, I make a Mumford & Sons joke. “I’m sorry,” he says, “but I actually really like Mumford & Sons, man.”
Who knew, all along we thought Piven was a spaz douche, but in reality, he’s a humorless douche, the worst variety of all douches.