In light of the new Entourage movie I thought I would share a story of something that happened almost exactly 5 years ago on my first trip to LA. The whole reason why I live in LA is because of my best friend Annabelle. We met in high school and then were living in separate places for a while and at the end of my time in grad school she decided it was time for us to both live in LA. I had never actually been to LA before so she flew me out in June 2010 for my birthday present and we stayed at The Roosevelt Hotel and had quite the adventure. One of the fun touristy things to do when you’re in LA is to get tickets to be in the audience for a late night show. We decided to get tickets to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on back to back dates because of the guests (the first day the guest was The Situation and I’m not going to get into why we were interested in seeing him in this post since that is a whole other story and the second day the guests were Jeremy Piven, Drake, and Louis CK). FYI if you want good seats at a show like this the secret is to dress up. The first day we were picked to sit in the front 2 seats and we made friends with someone in the band who got us out of waiting with the crowd the second day and instead we got to wait in the green room with a few of Drake’s entourage who stared at their phones the whole time and we were seated back in the front 2 seats again.
So we are lucky enough to be sitting in the front 2 seats which are directly across from Jay Leno and the guest. Jeremy Piven is the first guest and notices us and during the break he pretends like he is trying to reach out to us, but an invisible seat belt is keeping him in his seat since he isn’t supposed to get up. Jay asks Jeremy Piven about whether or not there will be an Entourage movie, what the hell happened when he got mercury poisoning when he ate too much sushi (which he is incredibly sensitive about BTW), etc. Next Drake is up performing “Miss Me” and during the performance the audience all stands up and moves closer to Drake and that is when Jeremy Piven comes up next to Annabelle and asks, “So are you guys here to see Drake or here to see me?” and she tells him we’re there for him and he slyly hands her his Blackberry and asks her to put her number in. The show continues with the Louis CK interview and instead of having a conversation Louis is telling stories that are pretty much the ones he tells in his stand up.
After the show is over we leave the building and are contemplating what to do next since it was only mid-afternoon and how we’re going to get back to our hotel (these were the days before Uber) when a black chauffeured SUV pulls up and guess who’s in side? Yup, Jeremy Piven. He asks us what we’re doing and we say the truth, that we were just talking about him and trying to figure out how we’re getting back. He is kind enough to offer us a ride back to our hotel with him and off we go. In the car he starts complaining about how Jay treated him at the show saying he was giving him a really hard time where as Louis just got to come out and be funny and do some bits. We then ask him what’s going on with Entourage and he says he couldn’t believe that HBO asked him to take a pay cut (I think for the movie) and how all HBO cares about is their stupid vampire show. We also talk about how he’s headed off to New York later that day for a taping of The View the next morning and how he was still trying to make up with Sherri Shepherd after she talked about how he seemed annoyed with her son on a flight and didn’t recognize Sherri even though he had just been on The View recently. He then had the driver stop at a place on Hollywood Blvd. and bought us all Thai iced teas that he had been obsessed with that were very tasty.
In the car I start to tell him what a huge fan I am, how he’s my top celebrity crush, and his picture is the desktop photo on my computer. I’m not sure what compelled me to do that (even though it was all true) maybe it was just word vomit, but if you ever meet your number one celebrity crush DO NOT DO OR SAY THOSE THINGS. He was polite and just like “aww thank you”, but changed the topic quickly and I think he actually changed seats to sit next to Annabelle after that. No one likes a creepy super fan!
Next he asks us if it’s ok if he has the driver drop him off first since he needs to pack and get ready for his trip and then he’ll have the driver drop us off at our hotel afterwards. Since this was my first trip ever to LA I didn’t know the different neighborhoods, but from the amount of time it took us to get back to the hotel and what the area looked like I would guess it was Larchmont or Hancock Park where he lived. When we arrive he asks if we want to come up and help him pack for a few minutes and he’ll have the car wait for us. Of course we want to see his place so we say yes. He actually did have us carry something like a box too which was kind of funny. The place was a very nice, old apartment building that had one of those old elevators where you have to close the gate. Inside the apartment was super luxurious with hard wood everywhere and it looked like a rich person’s bachelor pad because that’s what it was.
When we get inside I ask to use the restroom. HUGE MISTAKE. When I come out him and my friend are in the bedroom with the door closed and I’m stuck there just thinking “NOOOOOOOOOO” how could I have been so stupid? While Annabelle was a Jeremy Piven fan and thought he was attractive, she definitely had no interest in hooking up with him and because she’s such an awesome friend on the car ride there she was trying to refocus the convo back to me and how much I liked Jeremy. But there I was in his house, all alone, wondering how long I was just going to sit there and wait while my #1 celebrity crush and best friend are in his bedroom. I am PISSED and decided the best use of my time was to take pictures on my phone of the big framed Entourage photo he had up in his house and a picture of his Emmys to prove that I had actually been there. I thought I had posted them to Facebook, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to find them. Five minutes later they come out of the bedroom and Annabelle shoots me the wide-eyed BFF Bat signal nonverbally telling me “OMG don’t be mad at me I need to tell you what happened” look. I’m not sure how we transitioned to leaving, but I ask for a picture so I can at least get something out of the experience and he begrudgingly takes one with me:
He then wants to take one with Annabelle where he looks MUCH happier:
When we get back in the SUV Annabelle quickly explains to me that they were not hooking up, he had asked her if she wanted a tour and showed her his room and then all of a sudden he was like Quagmire and the lights were off and he was trying to make the moves on her while she still was trying to tell him “my friend Lindsay REALLY likes you.” Although I was still bummed about what happened we were able to move past it and enjoy the rest of our trip.
I don’t think Jeremy Piven is a bad person at all. He is just a man and he was more interested in my friend than me and while that’s disappointing, it doesn’t make him a bad person or a douche. I don’t think going home with him was a mistake I actually think it was the best possible scenario going in since it was the middle of the day, I had a friend with me, and there was a third party who knew we were there and was waiting for us (the driver).
Things I learned from this encounter:
- If you meet one of your celebrity crushes do NOT go on and on gushing about how much you’re obsessed with them. It’s so creepy and I cringe just thinking about it. If you’re a fan of their work you can mention that 1 time in a short and sweet manner, then MOVE ON. I will not make this mistake again if I run into Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell, etc. I don’t think it necessarily would have changed what happened, but it’s just embarrassing.
- Trust your friends and look out for them!
- Actors are not the characters they play on TV. Jeremy Piven is not Ari Gold in real life he is a very sensitive dude.
Annabelle is still one of my best friends we just hung out last night and reminisced about this adventure. She is a very funny and talented comedian and writer here in LA. If you want to keep up with her be sure to follow her on Twitter @AnnabelleLee417. You should also tell her she needs to revive her amazing blog. She actually was in the same Yoga class as Jeremy Piven this week. LA is a small town sometimes.