”Entourage”: The Leonardo DiCaprio threat
On a very special Entourage…Okay, it wasn’t that dramatic. But most of you are probably pulling your jaws up off the floor after the last-minute revelation that a certain Mr. DiCaprio is in line for Aquaman. Yikes. The moment Eric and Ari think they’re on a roll, the rug gets yanked out from under their Puma’ed feet. Until that point, it seemed the boys had it all. That new Spanish estate. Seventy-inch flat screens! Vince’s movie Queens Boulevard is going to Sundance! Calf implants! Leonardo DiCaprio? Uh-oh. Just when you thought it was safe to hug it out, James Cameron is attached to the project and ruins everything. They might as well have titled tonight’s show ”The Iceberg Cometh.”
Since this episode showed us a slightly more serious side of our favorite Hollywood series, I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to consider Entourage‘s actors during the current Emmy-nomination process.
Kevin Dillon (Johnny ”Drama” Chase) for Best Supporting Actor EW magazine has already singled Dillon out in its own recent Emmy wish list. Though I can’t say I’m pleased that the Entourage writers kept Johnny’s calf obsession as a developing story arc, last night was the first time Dillon showed us the true Drama. He’s a desperate man, looking to break back into the business that spit him out long ago. We finally saw him lose his sense of humor, snapping at Turtle that he wasn’t in the mood for some ribbing about how fake calves are equivalent to fake breasts. Underneath the chiseled exterior and tough-guy attitude is one very insecure human being. Somehow Dillon can show us both Johnny’s bravado and his anxieties while discussing something as preposterous as calf implants. (I almost fell off the couch when he told the plastic surgeon, ”My legs are my livelihood.”)
Jeremy Piven (Ari Gold) for Best Supporting Actor There are two ready-made Emmy clips right here: First, watch while Ari sits with his wife in therapy and keeps all that rage and hilarious sarcasm under the surface. If this was the first time you’d seen Entourage, you might have actually believed that Ari isn’t an attack dog. Of course, when ”the Batline” rings with the news about James Cameron, all that aggression comes right back to the surface. The second clip would actually be unusable during an Emmy broadcast — the censor’s trigger finger would get sore just trying to bleep out the sexual references and profanities. But when Ari finally gets Warner exec Dana Gordon on the phone and tries to make her produce an Aquaman contract, he goes through at least five different emotional states, ending with his barked order to his new assistant: ”Lloyd! Get in here. I wanna make out with you.” He works the speakerphone like a master, pulling out every stop (including threatening to tell all of Hollywood about the affair he had with Dana in Mexico). Jeremy Piven makes hating Ari a pleasure.
P.S.: Though I’m bummed that Ari’s former assistant, Emily, isn?t around, his interactions with Lloyd are comic gold. Let’s hope there’s more where that came from. On to the final nomination…
Joshua LeBar (Josh Weinstein) for Best Guest Actor When he appeared in season 1 to hand Vince Queens Boulevard on a silver platter, he was one of those characters we all knew must come back at least once. Sure, he isn’t anywhere near as funny as Ari. But for the entire minute Weinstein appeared in the scene where the boys are shopping for home furnishings, I was laughing, especially when he squinted at his starlet girlfriend and told her, ”Go check out a lamp, okay?” The character seems to be consciously or unconsciously imitating the Hollywood types he saw in movies back in the mid-’90s (you almost expect him to throw the pistol shape with his thumb and index finger and say, ”Vinny! Let’s do lunch!”), and it’s hilarious. Perhaps he’ll drop by more often and try to swipe Vince away for himself.
What do you think? Which actor on the show deserves an Emmy nomination? Do you think Vince will lose Aquaman to Leo? And will Johnny get implants?