The bros of Entourage are back, this time on a big screen

Enjoying the high life in the movie are (from far left) Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier and Kevin Dillon. -- PHOTO: WARNER BROS
Enjoying the high life in the movie are (from far left) Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier and Kevin Dillon. -- PHOTO: WARNER BROS

The Entourage cast say life in Hollywood is boring compared with their jetsetting lives on set, and each one is still looking for success outside the TV series

Behind the scenes, Hollywood is more boring than you think. At least, that is what the stars of the Emmy-winning television drama Entourage, a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of Tinseltown, will tell you.

As the cast reunite for Entourage the movie, which opens in Singapore tomorrow, they take pains to point out that their own lives are not nearly as glamorous or easy as you might think.

Adrian Grenier swears to Life! that he is not a party boy or ladies' man like Vincent Chase, his alter ego on the television series.

"My social life isn't nearly as fun and cool as it is when I'm in character," insists the 38-year-old, who glided from one glamorous setting and one gorgeous woman to another in the hit show that ran from 2004 to 2011.

He sticks to this story even when this reporter tells him she knows someone who went to a party at his house while he was filming the series and claimed that there was, in fact, a pool full of gorgeous women - just like chez Vince.

"Look, I'm not a recluse," the actor chuckles.

"I'm a very social person. I have had parties and there have been girls there... And when I was in LA, I was renting a house that had a pool, so I would say that yes, that was probably true."

But life was merely a poor imitation of art in this case, Grenier says.

Being able to experience once again the vicarious thrill of life as Vince and his buddies was one reason he and the other cast members could not wait to reunite for the movie, which picks up where the series left off to find Vince newly separated and about to direct his first film.

Grenier says that making the series and movie was "seriously the best time ever" for him and the actors who play Vince's entourage.

They include Kevin Dillon as Johnny "Drama" Chase, Vince's less successful actor brother; Jerry Ferrara as his chauffeur Turtle; and Kevin Connolly as his manager Eric.

Ferrara, 35, says: "I would sometimes leave the set of Entourage and say, 'God, I wish that was real', because I would go home to something very different. My friends from back home, as well as fans of the show seeing our characters have a good time, think that in real life, we roll out of bed and open a bottle of tequila and start drinking and partying with all these girls.

"When my friends come to visit me, they have almost always been bored. I mean, our set was fun but they didn't realise it's a 12- to 14-hour day and you're studying your lines and doing the same thing over and over again. It's a lot of fun, don't get me wrong, but it's work."

As with the series - which was inspired by the real-life adventures of actor Mark Wahlberg and the posse of childhood friends he brought with him when he moved to Hollywood - the film will lift the veil on what really goes on in the industry, say the cast and director, who sat down with Life! at a press event in Los Angeles.

It will also capture how the industry has changed since the series aired in 2004, says director and screenwriter Doug Ellin.

"Now there are these oil and hedge-fund guys who finance movies, but they don't even watch movies or care about them," he says.

A character played by The Sixth Sense (1999) star Haley Joel Osment is one of these "new creatures", he reveals. And while the growing influence of such financiers is "kind of sad… how we play with it in the movie makes for an interesting comedy".

For the cast, another all-too-realistic note is how the series and film show the vicissitudes of a business where it is incredibly difficult to sustain - let alone find - success.

This is true even for the stars of a TV show as popular as Entourage was, with many of its stars struggling to find their feet professionally since the series ended in 2011. So closely associated were they with their characters, it was hard to avoid being typecast too, says Dillon, 49, who says his role as Johnny Drama "was the kind of character you have to fight your way out of".

He adds: "Sometimes it will take you years to break free of it... and then you do the movie and it pulls you back in."

Even breakout star Jeremy Piven - who won three Emmys and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Vince's agent Ari Gold - has failed to carve out much of a movie career post-Entourage, so it was no wonder that Ferrara, who play a supporting role as Turtle, had trouble finding any work at all.

"Basically, I had to start over because I didn't have a movie career - none of the movies I had done had come out," Ferrara says.

"So you kind of had to drop your ego. It was about going to auditions and showing people that there was more to you than Turtle."

Grenier believes Vince's relatively passive role in the story may have led some people to think that that is all he can do as an actor.

"Vince is almost about not doing anything. In a lot of ways, I was the 'straight man' - you know, you leave it up to Ari to chew up the furniture. Because if you have two people trying to steal a scene, there's nothing more annoying."

While he was happy "playing that role, I'm excited to show people what I can do outside of Vince", says Grenier, although to date, neither he nor the others have announced major acting projects outside of Entourage - apart from Piven, who has found success in Britain with the period drama Mr Selfridge.

Instead, as many actors do, the rest of the cast have dabbled in other things. Ferrara launched a chain of sandwich shops in Los Angeles and Texas. Connolly, 41, has tried to establish himself as a producer and director.

Grenier built up his portfolio as a documentary film-maker with titles such as Teenage Paparazzo (2010) and an upcoming piece about noise pollution in the ocean.

The actors and director-screenwriter Ellin are coy about whether their end game is to launch Entourage as a movie franchise, but the tightly knit group will say that they have not had this much fun working on anything else.

"I'll do it for as long as they need a Vince," says Grenier. "These are like my surrogate brothers."

stlife@sph.com.sg

Entourage opens in Singapore tomorrow.