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Entourage (2015)

Starring Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon, Jeremy Piven

Adrian Grenier
Born: July 10, 1976
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Mark Wahlberg
Born: June 5, 1971
Birthplace: Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Jeremy Piven
Born: July 26, 1965
New York City, New York, USA
Ari Emanuel
Born: March 29, 1961
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Kevin Connolly
Born: March 5, 1974
New York City, New York, USA
Eric "E" Weinstein
Born: July 11, 1964
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Kevin Dillon
Born: August 19, 1965
Mamaroneck, New York, USA
Johnny "Drama" Alves
Born: February 16, 1961
Birthplace: Massachusetts, USA
Jerry Ferrara
Born: November 25, 1979
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Donnie "Donkey" Carroll
Born: December 10, 1966
Birthplace: Massachusetts, USA
Death: December 18, 2005 (asthma attack)
Rhys Coiro
Born: March 12, 1979
Calabria, Italy
Rob Weiss
Birthplace: Baldwin, Nassau County, New York, USA
Maury Chaykin
Born: July 27, 1949
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Harvey Weinstein
Born: March 19, 1952
Birthplace: Flushing, Queens, New York City, New York, USA
What an interesting thing it would be to follow me and my guys around with all the craziness that was going on within my movie career, my personal life and all this stuff. And I said absolutely not, but we would be interested in creating a scripted series loosely based on my life. So we pitched it to HBO, they bought it right away. -Mark Wahlberg, IMDB Interview, 2015

Questioning the Story:

Is Ari Gold based on a real person?

Yes. Jeremy Piven portrays Vince's agent, Ari Gold, on the Entourage TV show and in the movie. Ari is based on Mark Wahlberg's real-life agent, Ari Emanuel, who began repping Mark in 1999 ( The real Ari shares similar personality traits with Jeremy Piven's character. Ari Emanuel demonstrated these traits at the initial pitch meeting for the TV show.

"...I went into the initial pitch meeting and met [Mark Wahlberg's agent] Ari Emanuel, who said, 'All right, it's Mark and his life. This guy is going to write it, and if it sucks, we'll fire him and someone else will rewrite it,'" recalls Entourage creator Doug Ellin. "I had never seen anybody in this business really talk like that. ... So I said, 'This guy is a character. He has to be in the show.'"

Not only did Doug Ellin mold the Ari Gold character after Ari Emanuel, Ellin himself was eventually represented by Emanuel, and it was Emanuel who insisted that Jeremy Piven play the part. Many of Ari Gold's clients on the show are actually Ari Emanuel's clients in real life, including Vin Diesel and Larry David. On a side note, Ari Emanuel is the brother of former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Ari Emanuel (left), Mark Wahlberg's real-life agent, was the main inspiration for Ari Gold, portrayed by Jeremy Piven (right).

Where did the line "let's hug it out, bitch" come from?

Ari Gold's quote, "let's hug it out, bitch," has become one of the most famous lines in television history, ranking number six on TV Guide's "100 Greatest TV Quotes and Catchphrases" list. However, the line was never part of the script and it has no link to Mark Wahlberg or his real entourage. Actor Jeremy Piven, who plays Ari Gold, improvised the line on a whim during the shooting of the show's second episode. Aware that fellow actor Kevin Connolly doesn't like to be touched, Piven added the line in order for Ari and Connolly's character, Eric "E" Murphy, to be forced to hug. "I thought it would be very unsettling to hug him, and so it just kind of happened," says Piven.

Where did the name Vincent Chase come from?

While some Entourage character names are similar to the names of the real-life counterparts who inspired them (e.g., Ari Gold and Ari Emanuel), "Vincent Chase" is noticeably different than "Mark Wahlberg." It has been reported that the character is named after the legendary Hollywood acting teacher Vincent Chase, who Mark Wahlberg became friends with in 1997 while working on the Bill Paxton movie Traveller. In 2013, TMZ reported that the real Vincent Chase sent a cease and desist letter to Warner Bros., demanding that his name not be used in the Entourage movie.

However, according to Entourage creator Doug Ellin, Vincent Chase is named after Vince Vaughn, the actor who Ellin had envisioned as the star when he was writing the script. "It sounds crazy now because Vince Vaughn makes $20 million a movie, but nine years ago when I first started writing this script, I was like, 'Do you think there's a way we could get Vince Vaughn?'" said Ellin. "It was done completely as an homage to him."

Why was Vincent Chase's first blockbuster movie called Aquaman?

Aquaman is a watery nod to Mark Wahlberg's experience with his first major blockbuster, 2000's The Perfect Storm, directed by Wolfgang Petersen.

Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and Mark Wahlberg go golfing in the HBO Entourage TV show's season six episode "Fore!"

Was the real Turtle's nickname really "Turtle"?

No. The real Turtle, Donnie Carroll, was actually known as "Donkey." He died of an asthma attack at age 39 on December 18, 2005. Donnie's sister, Debra Carroll, says that Turtle was modeled "to a T" after her late brother, who moved to Hollywood in the mid-'90s to be Mark Wahlberg's full-time right-hand man after the rapper-turned-actor hit it big. She also stands behind her brother's claim that the Entourage TV show was largely his idea, an idea for which he didn't receive credit. "For 10 years, Donnie talked about 'Let's do a show about us,'" says Carroll. "And for 10 years Mark said nobody gives a s— about that, nobody cares."

Donnie had claimed that the idea for the show had originated as a book idea, titled Hood to Hollywood, A Soldier's Story, centered on his own life and his role as a member of Mark Wahlberg's real entourage. Debra Carroll says that her brother and Wahlberg had a falling-out in June 2005, at which time Donnie stated in an interview that he still hoped Wahlberg would "take care of [him]" for his hand in conceiving the show ( "I've been by [Wahlberg's] side since Day One," he said. "And I got nothing [from Entourage]. Not 10 cents. Nothing."

"I love him a lot," Wahlberg told the Boston Herald at the time. "But when a guy reaches a certain age, he's gotta start taking responsibility. He doesn't want to work, he wants to rap." During his time at Wahlberg's side, the baseball-cap-wearing Donnie "Donkey" Carroll had spent years trying to launch a rap career under the stage name Murda One.

The real Turtle, Donnie "Donkey" Carroll (right), was upset that he wasn't compensated for Entourage. Photo: Nik Platinum

Is Vince's manager Eric "E" Murphy based on a real person?

Yes, as indicated in the photos of the Entourage cast and their real-life counterparts at the top of this page, Eric "E" Murphy is in part based on Mark Wahlberg's friend Eric Weinstein, a former junkie who Wahlberg met on the set of 1995's The Basketball Diaries (Weinstein had been hired to instruct the actors on how to shoot up). The real "E" became Wahlberg's assistant. "I don't think I could go anywhere without him," said Wahlberg.

To a significant degree, "E" was also inspired by Wahlberg's longtime producing partner Steve Levinson (Lev), and it is Levinson (pictured below) who arguably shares more similarities with Connolly's character on the show. "Kevin Connolly's character, "E," is loosely based on a combination of the real "E," who was my assistant for twenty-some-odd years, and Lev, who's been my manager and producing partner," confirms Wahlberg. -IMDB Interview

The actor who portrays "E" on the show, Kevin Connolly, had real-life experience being part of an entourage. He was the foremost member of Leonardo DiCaprio's real-life entourage. Connolly knew Mark Wahlberg from the set of The Basketball Diaries, where Connolly had been hanging out as part of DiCaprio's entourage.

Kevin Connolly's character is also based on Mark Wahlberg's producing partner and manager Steve Levinson.

What personality traits does Mark Wahlberg share with Vincent Chase?

After the casting for the TV show had been completed, Mark Wahlberg flew the TV entourage to Las Vegas to hang out with his real-life entourage. It was a "crash course," says Adrian Grenier, who plays Vincent Chase on the show. Grenier immediately picked up on Wahlberg's carefree attitude about fame. "I discovered that it's not about the luxuries … the bottle service, or going to the front of the line," notes Grenier. "It was about how Mark dealt with all this, which was the movie-star part, with his ease, his nonchalance, his confidence, his generosity. I was perfect for the character because I'm just by nature detached. I'm not looking to further my career at all costs."

In addition to Wahlberg, other people inspired the character as well. Ex-HBO head Chris Albrecht said that Vincent Chase is "more Leonardo DiCaprio."

Buy Entourage T-Shirts including the eye chart shirt seen above.
Is Mark Wahlberg really too lazy to read scripts like Vince is on the show?

"No, no, not at all," says Mark Wahlberg. "Anybody who knows me and how I approach my work, I'm a preparation freak." Mark says that he has accepted roles without reading the script first, but that's only when directors he admires and has great relationships with come calling, including Tim Burton and David O. Russell. However, he always does read the script. -Howard Stern

Who does Mark Wahlberg credit with the idea for Entourage?

"My assistant wanted to film my friends around me, because he just thought it was hilarious," Wahlberg told The New York Times in 2004. In order to have more flexibility in the storylines and to steer clear of Wahlberg's violent past (he served a month-and-a-half in prison as a teenager for trying to steal a Vietnamese man's beer and assaulting him using a hooked stick that took out an eye), it was decided that a fictional approach would be better than a reality show.

According to Entourage creator Doug Ellin, numerous people have claimed to take credit for coming up with the idea for the show. "It was [Steve Levinson] and Mark's idea, and maybe Eric Weinstein, and maybe about nine other people," Ellin told Vanity Fair in 2011.

Mark Wahlberg with friends and members of his real entourage in the late 1990s. This picture appeared on the cover of the Entourage documentary One Love Entourage, not currently for sale.

Is Johnny Drama based on Mark Wahlberg's own brother, Donnie Wahlberg?

No, Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) is not based on Mark Wahlberg's brother, Blue Blood's star Donnie Wahlberg. Johnny Drama is based on Mark Wahlberg's friend, John Alves, who he affectionately refers to as his "cousin." According to the website for the Wahlburgers reality show, which is based around Mark Wahlberg's family's burger joint in Boston, John Alves, who appears on the show and whose real-life nickname is "Johnny Drama," actually auditioned for the role of Drama but didn't get the part. Actor Kevin Dillon, who portrays Drama on the TV show, does have some things in common with his Entourage character. Dillon is the less well-known brother of movie star Matt Dillon.

Johnny "Drama" Alves had befriended Mark Wahlberg in the late 1980s after Wahlberg was released from prison for an assault charge. Alves, who was the cousin of a bodyguard for New Kids on the Block, was asked to help get Mark back on the straight and narrow, and bring him to LA where he could reconnect with his brother Donnie and his other friends. Alves, who was in a band himself, was hired to watch out for Wahlberg. "Wherever I went, Johnny went," recalls Wahlberg ( Like on the show, the real Johnny Drama also cooked, cleaned and did Wahlberg's laundry. He tried to land acting gigs too, appearing in Wahlberg's 1993 fitness video (Yahoo! TV). Creator Doug Ellin says that "he's definitely the closest [match]" when it comes to the characters and their real-life counterparts.

At the time of the Entourage movie's release in 2015, Alves, a father of three, was living in Plymouth, Massachusetts and performing as the leader of the band Johnny Drama & His Funky Entourage.

Actor Kevin Dillon and his real-life counterpart Johnny "Drama" Alves.

Is egotistical director Billy Walsh based on a real person?

Yes. The director of Queens Boulevard and Medellin, Billy Walsh (Rhys Coiro), was mainly inspired by Entourage writer Rob Weiss. "We came up with the idea of putting a director in, and I wanted it to be Rob Weiss," said Entourage creator Doug Ellin, who went to high school with Weiss and described him as "an extremely funny, slightly crazy, good-looking nutjob." Both Billy Walsh and Rob Weiss grew up part of wealthy New York families. Billy grew up in the New York suburb of Scarsdale. Weiss hails from the wealthy, predominately Jewish Five Towns area of Long Island.

Rob Weiss also shares a temper with his onscreen counterpart. He once shut down a set over a lost cell phone and got into massive screaming fights with actress Mira Sorvino, who starred in his 1993 film Amongst Friends, a Queens Boulevard-esque tale that was a favorite at the Sundance Film Festival that year.

The Billy Walsh character also shares some similarities with actor/independent film director Vincent Gallo, especially in appearance. They both are independent filmmakers and painters (on the show, Billy claims that he paints). Doug Ellin says that he also used his own experience as a novice director to inspire the character, in addition to finding inspiration in the stories of directors going crazy on sets.

Is the Miller Gold Agency based on a real talent agency?

Yes. Entourage's Miller Gold Agency (MGA), which was co-founded by Ari Gold and his former mentor, Barbara Miller (Beverly D'Angelo), is based on the real-life talent agency William Morris Endeavor (WME), which was formed by the merger of the William Morris Agency and the Endeavor Agency in 2009. The agency's co-CEO is Ari Emanuel, who was Mark Wahlberg's agent and the inspiration for the Ari Gold character.

Entourage's Miller Gold Agency (MGA) was inspired by the real-life William Morris Endeavor (WME) talent agency.

Did studio executive Harvey Weinstein like his Entourage counterpart, Harvey Weingard?

No. Miramax co-founder and film producer Harvey Weinstein was not happy about his Entourage doppelganger, Harvey Weingard. "I'm at a party. Harvey Weinstein just came over and told me to tell my producers they're dead," says actor Kevin Connolly, who portrays Eric on the show. "'Tell them if they ever mention my name again, they're dead.'" The interaction was later incorporated into an episode of the show. Luckily, the often coarse producer called Entourage creator Doug Ellin and told him that he liked the scene.

Is there any significance to the license plate seen on the Lincoln during the opening credits?

The license plate on the front of the 1965 Lincoln Continental Convertible is a reference to the hometown of the four main characters on the show. The plate reads, "QSV 11427," which refers to the name and zip code of Queens Village, New York, Vincent Chase's hometown. The hometown of most of the members of Mark Wahlberg's real entourage is Boston, Massachusetts.

Mark Wahlberg Entourage Interview & Related Videos

Further explore the Entourage true story and movie via the videos below. Watch a Mark Wahlberg interview during which he discusses the parallels between his real-life entourage and the characters from the TV show.

 Mark Wahlberg Describes Origins of Entourage Characters

In this Mark Wahlberg Entourage movie interview, Wahlberg discusses the TV show, the movie, and the origins of the Entourage characters, specifically the ones inspired by members of his own entourage.

 Entourage Turtle vs. Ronda Rousey Fight Scene Behind-the-Scenes

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the Entourage fight scene between Turtle and Ronda Rousey, a real-life mixed martial arts champion. She has won nine of her eleven MMA fights by armbar, the move she inflicts on Turtle in the Entourage movie.

 Entourage Movie Trailer

The Entourage movie continues where the HBO TV show left off. Movie star Vincent Chase continues his carefree lifestyle surrounded by his entourage of friends. His agent, Ari Gold, is now a studio head and agrees to bankroll Vince's directorial debut. When Vince significantly exceeds his $100 million budget, Ari must secure financing from a Texas billionaire (Billy Bob Thornton) and his son (Haley Joel Osment).

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