The Schmooze

Jeremy Piven on Ari Gold and 'Mr. Selfridge'

Jeremy Piven has had a long and successful career. Now he can add “distinguished” to those adjectives.

Piven’s first break came in 1992 when he played Jerry, the head writer on “The Larry Sanders Show.” But his breakthrough role was manipulative agent Ari Gold, based on real-life agent Ari Emanuel, on “Entourage.”

Over the course of the show’s eight seasons, Piven received four Best Supporting Actor Emmy nominations, winning three. That’s long and successful. But distinguished starts at the end of this month, when he invades Helen Mirren territory.

Piven stars in “Mr. Selfridge,” an eight-part Masterpiece Classics mini-series that airs Sundays on PBS starting March 31. It’s about an American who moves to London and founds a successful department store different from anything the British have ever seen.

Piven spoke to The Arty Semite about actor’s insecurity, growing up the son of acting teachers, and the sense of community he found in the synagogue and onstage.

Curt Schleier: You spent eight years on “Entourage” and enjoyed a great deal of success. As it came to an end what went through your mind?

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Jeremy Piven on Ari Gold and 'Mr. Selfridge'

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