By Barb Oates
Thursday, July 28 – The last panel for HBO was bittersweet as the cast of Entourage took the stage for the final time. While writer Doug Ellin said the series could have gone on forever, after eight seasons he felt it was a good time to end.
“Mark [Wahlberg] and I sat down at the beginning of the year, before I started writing, just to talk about what kind of vibe we wanted for the show, and what was important to me more than any kind of story things was to leave it with an element of hopefully that the audience goes, ‘We loved hanging with these guys, and we’ll miss them.” Ellin said. “So it wasn’t about leaving it open‑ended. It wasn’t about closing up anything. It was really just kind of finding that moment, which, hopefully, we’ve achieved, that people go, ‘Do you know what? I really had a good run with these guys.’”
From the first season the show immediately became a success providing fans with a behind the scenes look at celebrity life and an inner circle of friends. The hundreds of guests appearances, where most stars played themselves, made story lines feel real and provided plenty of water cooler conversations.
“The cameos themselves were incredible because I remember doing the first episode, and I was basically the only one who was going to do it,” Wahlberg said. “And then Ali Larter was kind enough to agree to do it. And usually a show takes a couple of years before people trust it and feel confident in portraying themselves. And it literally was, like ,overnight; you couldn’t go anywhere without somebody saying, ‘Dude, you’ve got to tell them to put me on Entourage. Put me on Entourage.’ Athletes,entertainers, people in the business. Everywhere you went, somebody wanted to play themselves on the show.”
And that response never let up, as the taping of the final episode turned out to be a circus of people dropping in.
“The last day was like the last day of high school. We all had senioritis,” Jeremy Piven said. “It was really hard to get anybody focused. The crew, they were chattering. Everyone was exchanging numbers, passing notes, signing yearbooks. And David Nutter, he was having a really difficult time getting everybody to realize that we still had a whole scene – a lot of work to do.”
“Not only that, it was the last scene of the show, so it was an important scene, and there was a lot of work that had to be done,” Kevin Connelly added. “And it was just trying to keep everybody focused. We were all in the scene. Everybody is together [apparently at Van Nuys airport]. I don’t want to give anything away, but.”
“And there were probably about a thousand set visits too,” Adrian Grenier said. “Everybody and their mothers were coming to say goodbye. ..We’ve spent, you know, countless hours, you know, weeks, you know, creating something that we are all very, very proud of. And it’s not only sad to say goodbye to each other but also what we’ve created. We are all very proud of it, and we know that we are going to have a lasting impact, and we’ll always be connected to everybody on some level.”
“It’s very, very bittersweet for me,” Jerry Ferrara said. “You know, it changes daily, actually. There’s, like, some days where it’s, like, excitement of starting new things and going in a different direction, and the very next day, I just will reflect back and be, like, wow, it’s such a unique eight‑year run. Like, you just wonder if it’s ever going to be like that again. But we’ve all made some lifelong friendships that is probably the greatest thing that I got out of the whole thing.”
“The last day was like trying to act in the middle of a riot … we were like a ride at Universal,” Piven concluded.
So when the final curtain dropped, cast members did reflect, some grabbing a souvenir to remind them of a run that was unlike anything they ever did.
“I took the chair, the Entourage seat covers,” Kevin Dillon said. “I gave it to one of the crew members.”"
“I took my E paperweight off my desk. Now I have it at my house,” said Kevin Connolly.
“Doug was kind enough to let me walk away with this fine watch – that Ari Gold wore for a number of years,” Piven added. “And it’s really, really beautiful.”
As for a feature film. Wahlberg was pretty confident they could make it happen.
“Well, I said if I had to finance it myself, I would do it. I was looking at that clip on the big screen, and it looks like a movie to me. I mean, you have to take into consideration that anytime HBO cuts a promo reel together, it’s the f@#$ing greatest thing you’ve ever seen.”
“Like I said before, ever since the beginning of this, the movie Diner was a big influence on me,” Ellin added. “The end of the movie Diner kind of left me with ‘Oh, I could see these guys in 10 more movies because I just loved being with them.’ So there’s no – there’s no major deaths. There’s no major things.It’s really, hopefully, just a vibe and kind of where we were first season where people just used to go. These are my boys. I got a friend like E. I got a friend like Turtle or Drama. Or I wish I had a – Johnny Drama or Turtle, whoever I said. So we just want to vibe. That was it. It wasn’t a major plot thing.”
And, on that note, we too will enjoy the final vibe with the boys, thankful we were part of the “entourage.”