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Jeremy Piven Speaks About Jumping from Entourage to Mr. Selfridge

Mr. Selfridge - Jeremy Piven

For eight seasons, Jeremy Piven shined on the hit TV series, “Entourage.” Playing Hollywood agent Ari Gold, Piven’s energetic, high-strung and sometimes out-of-control portrayal of a member of the entertainment community took his star appeal to a whole new level. However, his turn as Harry Selfridge in the revered drama, “Mr. Selfridge,” soon became just as notable for the actor.

During a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Piven noted that when fans now approach him, they’re more likely to call him Harry, as opposed to Ari.

“He fancied himself an artist and retail was his theatre,” said Piven of Harry Selfridge. “He was so evolved during the work hours and then he loved to go gamble. He was kind of a risk junkie. He didn’t drink, but he loved to gamble.”

Mr. Selfridge - S3   Mr. Selfridge - Jeremy Piven

When comparing the role of Ari Gold to that of Harry Selfridge, Piven explained that as much as Gold gave off the impression that he was a truly outlandish figure, he didn’t hold a candle to what Selfridge was like.

“Switching gears completely [from Ari] and then playing Harry Selfridge was really, really great,” explained Piven. “Because he was a guy that lived in the light, but at night, he was much more of a train wreck than Ari Gold. Ari Gold was all bark and no bite, because he was monogamous, and he had a wife and all these things. He professed to be such a pig, when the reality was he was at home with the wife every night – whereas Harry, during the day, was the model citizen, and was out gallivanting at night. So it’s kind of the inverse.”

What’s a little less intense was Piven’s appearance this week at a Chicago Cubs game. There, he not only threw out the first pitch, but he also led the crowd in a rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. You can watch that performance right here:

-Adam Grant

Season 3 of “Mr. Selfridge” airs Wednesdays at 10pm ET/7pm PT, following all new episodes of Downton Abbey at 9pm ET/6pm PT.

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