In 2004, HBO unleashed the hit comedy series Entourage, and the world began to follow four guys from the mean streets of Queens, New York through gold-paved avenues of Beverly Hills. After guys were feeling excluded by the chick-focused humor of Sex and the City and the legions of female worshipers who inevitably followed, HBO finally embraced the demand for a “bro” show. Entourage succeeded in tapping an enormous market that network television studios had either ignored or never accurately explored: guys acting like real guys, even if they’re immersed in the excess and wild nights of Hollywood.
In its first two seasons, Entourage nailed it by providing a satirical look at the world of a rising movie star, while simultaneously portraying realistic relationships and conversations between guys that weren’t offered by network television shows hindered by censorship regulations and political correctness. Unfortunately, like many popular shows, Entourage ran out of road quickly after two seasons, and the six seasons that followed churned through too many meandering character storylines and misplaced romantic sub-plots. The four guys from Queens became too Hollywood and grew too old to be hanging out with each other so much. Most importantly, Entourage ditched a lot of the guy humor that initially made the show popular.
Similar to the series arc of Sex and the City, fans are again witnessing a popular television show that ran its course on the small screen, now looking to recapture the magic (and more cash) with a big screen two-hour movie. The Entourage movie premieres on June 3, 2015, giving audiences the chance to revisit the lives of Vincent Chase, Eric Murphy, Ari Gold, Johnny Drama, Turtle, and the numerous celebrities who make cameos in the film.
Now is the perfect time to take a look back at a few of the career missteps made by the actors who are bringing the Entourage universe to the big screen. The lessons they learned from these movie abominations are likely what led them to the biggest movie event of their careers. We’ve put together a list of ten movies the stars of Entourage pray moviegoers will forget about as one of the most anticipated summer movies of 2015 approaches. Hopefully for them and the show’s fans, the Entourage movie won’t turn out to be as disastrous as these films.
10. Kevin Dillon: The Blob (1988)
Kevin Dillon plays Johnny “Drama” Chase in Entourage, one of the most consistently entertaining characters on the show’s eight-year run, even when the show took a turn for the worse. As the older (but certainly not wiser) brother of Vincent Chase, Johnny Drama personified the struggling actor. He had a brief brush with fame on the fictional nerd favorite Viking Quest, and forgettable larks on famous 90’s shows like Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210. But he never recaptured his former on screen glory, often due to his self-sabotaging antics and anger management issues. Hence the nickname Johnny “Drama.”
Dillon started his acting career with a bang by landing two secondary roles in Oliver Stone’s Platoon and The Doors, but he drifted in and out of TV series and mediocre movies the following years before settling in as the bombastic Johnny Drama on Entourage. In 1988, he jumped on the 80’s campy horror movie train and played the role of Brian Flagg in the remake of the 1950’s horror classic, The Blob. In case you missed it, The Blob is pretty much what you’d expect. A gelatinous, alien blob wreaks havoc on a small town while the rebellious, motorcycle riding Flagg and the high school head cheerleader dodge becoming human Jell-O shots. The Blob maintains a respectable 61% on Rotten Tomatoes, but Dillon’s epic movie mullet will never be “certified fresh” in the memories of moviegoers.
9. Kevin Connolly: Rocky V (1990)
Kevin Connolly plays Eric Murphy (or “E” to his friends) in Entourage, the manager of Vincent Chase’s career and the chaos that surrounds his celebrity lifestyle. Eric’s primary function on the show is to serve as the only touchstone of normalcy among all the larger than life characters who chew up the screen in the majority of the scenes. Without Eric, each episode would simply be a montage of Vincent bedding models and starlets, Johnny Drama screaming at casting agents and causing property damage, and Ari Gold sexually harassing co-workers and yelling at movie producers. Some would argue these moments are what made the show popular in the first place.
Connolly has been in show business since he was a child, and like most child actors, he (and presumably his parents) jumped on any available role that offered a paycheck. His first big screen role was as Chickie, a Philadelphia school bully who targets Rocky Balboa’s son in the forgettable money grab attempt, Rocky V. The film was doomed to fail, because Rocky was too brain damaged to box anymore, and the film seemed more like a promotion for the now defunct acting career of Sylvester Stallone’s son. It’s fun to imagine the casting agent explaining to Connolly and his parents that not only will Rocky never set foot in the ring to fight during the film, but Connolly’s character is going to have his ass thoroughly kicked by Sylvester Stallone’s son decked out in acid washed denim head to toe.
Fortunately for Connolly, most people have never seen the movie, and the rest of us have erased it from our minds as the knockout haymaker punch of the Rocky franchise. We pretend it never happened at all. Rocky V was knocked unconscious by critics with an abysmal 26% on Rotten Tomatoes.
8. Emmanuelle Chriqui: You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008)
For a show that centers almost exclusively on the lives of men in Hollywood, Emmanuelle Chriqui has managed to enjoy a lot of screen time on Entourage as Sloan, the on again off again girlfriend of Eric Murphy, and the daughter of Ari Gold’s former boss and rival. Chriqui has appeared in a variety of films and TV shows during her career, including the horror flick Wrong Turn and a recurring role on The Mentalist.
In 2008, Chriqui made the mistake many young actors and actresses have made since the 90’s ended by starring with Adam Sandler in his latest embarrassing assault on comedy, You Don’t Mess with Zohan, one of his numerous unwatchable films since he peaked in The Waterboy. Chriqui played a beauty salon owner who somehow employs and becomes romantically involved with Zohan, an unstoppable Israeli special forces soldier who fakes his own death to fulfill his dream of becoming a hair stylist in New York. Sandler has made audiences suffer through some heinous films since the 90’s, but he took Chriqui along for the ride in one of his worst to date. Zohan’s 38% on Rotten Tomatoes is a kind assessment.
7. Perrey Reeves: Child’s Play 3 (1991)
Perrey Reeves plays the character known simply as “Mrs. Ari,” the wife of egomaniacal Hollywood super agent, Ari Gold. Reeves’ role in Entourage was limited in the first few seasons, but as the show began to focus more on Ari as the most interesting character on the show, Mrs. Ari’s screen time increased as well.
Reeves has appeared primarily in minor movie and TV roles outside of Entourage, including Old School as Frank the Tank’s wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith as a member of Angelina Jolie’s assassin team. Reeves’ big screen debut was in Child Play’s 3, one of several unnecessary follow-ups to the original popular 1988 horror flick. Reeves played a military school classmate of Andy Barclay, the same boy who is tormented again and again throughout the series by a ginger-haired two-foot murderous plastic doll, better known as Chucky. Luckily for Reeves, her character and her career survived this disaster that racked up an embarrassing 23% on Rotten Tomatoes.
6. Jessica Alba: Good Luck Chuck (2007)
Jessica Alba appeared in a cameo role on season one of Entourage as Vincent Chase’s co-star in his breakout movie. Alba is set to make a cameo appearance in the Entourage movie as well along with a host of other popular actors and actresses. She rose to fame during the two-year run of the popular series Dark Angel, in which she played the titular genetically-engineered character who eludes the government agents who created her.
Alba’s career has been a roller coaster ever since, including two incredibly disappointing Fantastic Four films and the two successful Sin City installments. Her most questionable film so far is undoubtedly Good Luck Chuck, in which she shared the screen with Dane Cook, a comedian and proven box office poison. Alba played an accident prone penguin wrangler who falls for Chuck, a man who capitalizes on women’s false belief that they will snare their future husband immediately after having sex with him. Critics put a hex on Good Luck Chuck as evidenced by its 5% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
5. Armie Hammer: The Lone Ranger (2013)
Armie Hammer has joined the long list of celebrities set to make a brief cameo appearance in the Entourage movie. He’s reportedly a huge fan of the series and couldn’t resist the opportunity to portray a Hollywood enemy of Vincent Chase who confronts him about a female conquest they have in common.
Hammer caught well-deserved attention from fans and critics in 2010 after playing the Winklevoss twins in the Facebook creation story, The Social Network. He also played J. Edgar Hoover’s lover alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the Clint Eastwood biopic about the controversial head of the F.B.I. Looking to capitalize on his popularity and also work with Johnny Depp, Hammer appeared as the titular character in the movie version of the 1950’s classic, The Lone Ranger.
The film wasn’t exactly an homage to the popular television show. Instead, it was an astounding 149 minutes of Johnny Depp trying to make Tonto into the next Captain Jack Sparrow and producer Jerry Bruckheimer turning the wild west into Armageddon. It’s a good thing Hammer wears a mask through much of the movie. Maybe most fans will forget he was in it. Even Tonto couldn’t save The Lone Ranger from a 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
4. Jerry Ferrara: Last Vegas (2013)
Jerry Ferrara plays Turtle on Entourage, the hat backwards wannabe rap producer and friend/chauffeur to Vincent Chase. Turtle is the least tolerable character out of the Entourage main foursome, because his screen time is primarily spent driving the crew around in Escalades and Hummers and scrounging for the groupies that Vincent deems unworthy of his A-lister bed. He’s the kind of star leach that most of us hate seeing latched onto celebrities in the real world, particularly since he possesses zero talent of his own to support himself.
Ferrara has managed to nab respectable small roles in popular films, including Lone Survivor and Battleship. But in Last Vegas, he once again found himself following around movie stars much like his character Turtle on Entourage, only this time the stars were all in their golden years. To Ferrara’s credit, at first glance Last Vegas must have appeared like a no brainer when he started checking the boxes of a potentially big hit coming together. Robert De Niro, check. Morgan Freeman, check. Michael Douglas, check. A script about four geriatrics dragging their tired old bones through Las Vegas. Hold on, what’s this movie about? In the end, no one really cared about the movie’s plot details. Viewers simply didn’t like watching old guys recreate an AARP version of The Hangover. Last Vegas was retired quickly by critics at 46% on Rotten Tomatoes.
3. Adrian Grenier: Drive Me Crazy (1999)
Adrian Grenier plays the up and coming actor turned movie star Vincent Chase in Entourage, a character who personifies the fame, money, and excess that most of us imagine the life of a Hollywood A-lister to be. We meet Vincent in the first episode as an actor on the cusp of becoming the next young star. Think Leonardo DiCaprio before Titanic. We left him in the final episode transformed from a womanizer to a married man, and one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.
Aside from his successful run on Entourage, Grenier’s career has been a mixed bag quite different from the character he embodies in the Entourage universe. He played a brief role in Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence that you may have missed if you blinked, as well as the role of Anne Hathaway’s boyfriend in The Devil Wears Prada. In 1999, Grenier also appeared opposite Melissa Joan Hart in the forgettable teen chick flick, Drive Me Crazy. Grenier played Chase Hammond, a grungy high schooler who agrees to undergo a preppy makeover and pretend to be the boyfriend of Hart’s character. The goal of this ruse has been played out several times in movies: by pretending to date each other, Hammond can make his ex-girlfriend jealous, and Hart’s character can catch the attention of the school heartthrob. Surprise, surprise. They fall for each other instead. Drive Me Crazy was better the first time we saw it in 1987…when it was called Can’t Buy Me Love.
Vincent Chase wouldn’t appear in Drive Me Crazy even in his darkest career and financial droughts on Entourage. Maybe Grenier shouldn’t have either. Drive Me Crazy drove critics mad as well and fetched only 28% on Rotten Tomatoes.
2. Jeremy Piven: Car 54, Where are You? (1994)
Jeremy Piven lit up the screen as super agent Ari Gold throughout the Entourage series, and he’ll continue doing so as a film studio head in the movie version. Ari took over the series in season two and never looked back while providing dozens of hilarious, insane scenes along the way. Ari Gold fans wish he would have starred in a separate spinoff series once the Entourage storylines and comedy went south, although 30 minutes of the maniacal Ari may have proven too much to handle.
Before landing his defining role on Entourage, Piven made a career of appearing in John Cusack movies, bizarre bit movie parts, and as the angry cousin on the sitcom Ellen. In 1994, he appeared in Car 54, Where are You?, the big screen version of the 1960’s comedy television show about two inept New York City police officers. Piven played Herbert Hortz, a witness to a crime under the protection of the two cops portrayed in the movie version. Piven’s acting highlight appears to be getting slammed into a lamp post head first at a carnival.
Car 54 can’t be explained away easily with the common excuse about young actors being forced to take every paid gig that comes along. Piven was already well into a moderately successful career before he inexplicably hopped behind the wheel of Car 54. The film received a resounding 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, so the critics made their point very clear. It was bad. Really bad. Sorry, Ari.
1. Mark Wahlberg: The Happening (2008)
Mark Wahlberg is the executive producer and creator of Entourage, and the show is loosely based on his real-life entourage experiences during his early days in Hollywood. Wahlberg also made a few cameo appearances during the eight-year run of the series, and he’s set to appear in the movie version as well.
Wahlberg is easily the biggest name in the Entourage movie, but his stardom hasn’t made him immune from appearing in several horrendous movies in his career. Whether it’s screaming at a door peephole in Fear or mouth breathing his way through Planet of the Apes, Wahlberg doesn’t always choose the best movie roles or provide an Oscar-worthy performance.
His most bizarre movie choice and acting performance, by far, is The Happening, the 2008 M. Night Shyamalan disaster about plants releasing suicide-inducing neurotoxins into the air to take revenge against humans for destroying the planet. Wait, what was that? Shyamalan experienced success with The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs, but The Happening was undoubtedly his first humongous bomb. Unfortunately, the actor formerly known as Marky Mark had a front row seat to feel the bad vibrations of critics and fans. “Yeah, you feel it, baby? I can too.”
But not all was lost. Without The Happening, fans wouldn’t be able to enjoy a clip of Wahlberg having a ridiculous 45-second conversation with a houseplant. The film was toxic for critics too, earning only 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently, forcing your lead actor to be out-acted by a houseplant will completely kill any movie.