Entourage, a heightened fantasy of what goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood is by far one of the most iconic TV shows of the mid-2000s. Through its eight seasons, the show and its cast picked up multiple awards, and its impact on pop culture is undeniable. But how much do you know about this TV show? Here are the top ten most interesting facts about Entourage.
The show is loosely based on Mark Wahlberg’s past
Initially, the idea for the show was to produce a documentary based on Mark Wahlberg’s early years in Hollywood. That idea was soon scrapped, and its replacement was a fictional show giving a satirical look into the Hollywood lifestyle but still loosely based on Walhberg’s past.
For example, Vince Chase’s big break film Aquaman is actually referenced from Mark Wahlberg’s first big blockbuster—The Perfect Storm. And in case you didn’t know, Mark Walhberg was one of the show’s executive producers.
The casting for Vince Chase wasn’t a walk in the park
The show’s creator struggled at the beginning to find the ideal actor to play Vince Chase. The show’s creator Doug Ellin initially envisioned Vince Vaughn to play the role, but that didn’t pan out. What they really needed was an actor who wasn’t yet a star but could be believable as a potential star.
Casting Adrian Grenier in the lead was a huge departure from the initial idea for the character since he wouldn’t be able to pull off Wahlberg’s demeanor. But Grenier ended up making the character his own, and as they say, the rest is history.
The Obama connection
While the show has had an astounding parade of guest stars, including James Cameron, LeBron James, and Martin Scorsese, some a-listers actually declined the invite. Believe it or not, former President Barack Obama was requested to make a cameo appearance on the Entourage movie, but sadly he declined. All the same, the former president has stated in an interview that Entourage is one of his favorite shows – along with The Wire.
The never-ending boxing match
Whenever a boxing match was shown on a TV in Entourage, it was the exact same fight. Jerry Ferrara, who plays Turtle, said: “I have that fight memorized.” Considering that HBO had a sizeable amount of televised boxing matches under its belt, they could have mixed up the footage a little more often.
Out of retirement
Kevin Connolly—who plays Eric—had retired from acting when he got the call about a role in Entourage. He nearly turned it down until he learned the part of Eric had been written specifically with him in mind. Wouldn’t you do the same?
The catchiest phrase on the show wasn’t in the script
The most famous quote from the Entourage is Ari Gold’s “Let’s hug it out, bitch”, in the second episode of season one. The line, however, was never in the script. It’s actually Jeremy Piven, who plays Ari, who came up with the catchphrase. Piven came up with the line as he knew his co-star Kevin Connolly hated being touched.
So this was his way to make it less awkward for the guy. Piven later said: “I thought it would be very unsettling to hug him, so it just kind of happened.”
HBO track record is what attracted Jeremy Piven
Jeremy Piven only accepted the role of Ari Gold when he learned that HBO was behind the show. Though he liked the scripts, he initially had misgiving about getting in a show without the lead role.
But HBO’s success with iconic shows like The Sopranos and Sex and the City convinced him that Entourage had the makings of a great show.
The worst script Doug Ellin had ever written
According to Ellin, the script of the pilot episode that aired on July 18, 2004 — had almost no story. According to the show’s writer.“HBO was very adamant that this should not be a story-driven show,” he said. “I was like: ‘this is the worst script I’ve ever written. There’s nothing happening; they smoke some pot, they pick up girls.’
That was the script that got green-lit.” HBO executives wanted the show to be less depressing and more comical. The show’s star Adrian Grenier, who plays Vinnie, was equally unimpressed when he finally got to read the script. “There’s no character here, and there’s nothing for me to do.”
Ellin would eventually add some more depth to the character but definitely not as much as he had envisioned when he was coming up with the idea for the show.
An interesting opening sequence
The license plate on the 1965 Lincoln Continental driven in the opening sequence of Entourage is a reference to the gang’s hometown. The plate reads “QSV 11427” – the zip code and abbreviation of Vince’s hometown of Queen’s Village, New York.
Also in the opening sequence, there is a pizza shop with a backward sign reading “azzip.” but it wasn’t changed until season 4 to read correctly. I wonder if that was intentional? Share your thoughts in the comments.
The film adaptation of Entourage almost never happened
When the Entourage series ended in 2011, reports from the main cast was that a movie adaptation of the show was in the works. Ellin, the series creator, initially said the film would pick up six months after the show’s season finale, but that didn’t happen.
In 2013, when asked about the film, the executive producer mark Walhberg said the guys(cast members) were holding back and being too greedy. Between production delays, contract negotiations with the cast, and Connoly breaking his leg on set, the movie didn’t happen for another four years!
If you enjoyed the article, read the rest of our TV shows and Movies Fact Series: