Q&A with Jerry Ferrara: Bringing Turtle Out of His ‘Entourage’ Shell

[IMG:L]Entourage’s wisecracking chauffer and wannabe music mogul waxes philosophical on keeping Turtle humble, and enjoying fame outside of the tabloids and “getting” Lisa Rinna on the show.

Hollywood.com: What is your personal vision for Turtle’s future? Do you want him to become a big deal on his own, maybe in the music business?
Jerry Ferrara:
I do and I don’t. I’m kind of conflicted with that, because if he becomes his own thing, which is good because then he kind of develops more and matures more. But then if he becomes this music manager with clients, it takes him away from the guys a little bit too much and that’s the dynamic of the show that I think really works. The show is called Entourage, so you don’t want to see all these guys with their own separate businesses. So I think it’s a fine line that we’re going have to dance and I think that it could actually be good. Because there are a lot of areas that we could go into that we haven’t gone into before.

HW: Do you have your own entourage these days?
I don’t, man. You know “entourage” is just a fancy word for good friends. And I do have a lot of good close friends that I grew up with and I’m very loyal to them. But I don’t have, like, 75 people like MC Hammer riding on a tour bus. Or the pants [Laughs].

HW: Have you had a crazy Hollywood moment that would be great for the show?
We all kind of have. And we talk with Doug Ellin who’s the creator of the show and writes pretty much almost every episode, and they have so many great stories of their own. Like the amount of material that we have, it’s almost like we’re never actually going to get to use all of it because there is just so much. I mean, I’ve grown up through this show and I’ve learned a lot about the business being on this show. So this season actually you get a lot of the crazy Hollywood stories.

[IMG:R]HW: Do you think the show will end with everyone growing up and going their separate ways?
You know what I’ve never really thought that far ahead. I don’t know if any of us really have like I think we kind of go year by year. I mean I guess if you talk long term like eventually these guys can’t live together forever. I don’t think anybody wants to watch a bunch of 50-year-old guys living together. You know, maybe in the old folks home walking around. Maybe we’ll end it like that: flash forward to 30 years from now we’re all in a old age home. I’m wheeling Vince around.

HW: In L.A. do you feel you guys have the keys to the kingdom whenever you walk into a club or restaurant?
Well, the good thing is that we’ve actually shot at pretty much every club and restaurant in LA and the people are actually very gracious to have us. Like they enjoy having us – it’s good for them, it’s good for us because we really get the show in real places. Nobody wants to see L.A. on some sound stage, you know, especially when we’re really here. So I would say yes to that question only because like we’ve actually made relationships with these people by working at their establishments. They would take very good care of us and have…Like we did an episode at Hyde [a Sunset Boulvard nightclub favored by celebrities]. I’ve been to Hyde. You know I go to some of the restaurants, like we’ll have lunch there while we’re shooting and its like the foods great, I’ll be there next week. It’s a great way to actually explore and learn LA. I’m like the luckiest bastard in the world.

HW: How many times does a real Turtle come up to you?
A lot. Well a lot of guys come up and say like, “I’m you in my group of friends.” And that’s what works about the show, is that everyone can identify with someone. Whether you identify with me or Kevin Connolly’s character or Adrian [Grenier]’s character. You identify with someone. The whole fantasy element about what these guys are going through. What makes it work is that they’re all kind of like regular guys. So you almost feel like “Hey, that could be me and my friends.” Like I’m a short chubby Italian kid, there’s a lot of short chubby Italian guys out there that could be in my position. So it’s the whole fantasy element.

HW: What’s it like to be famous for what you are doing and not your personal life?
Honestly, I couldn’t even imagine how some people go through that. I mean, I’ve had a very limited experiences with that. Like I’ve had people film me when I’m eating breakfast. But its like, you picked the wrong guy if you want to see me wipe ketchup off my face and struggle to eat my omelet. That’s cool, but like there’s nothing interesting. My life is interesting to a degree, but nothing that people would want to read about. So it’s kind of good, I like it that way.

HW: Would you be comfortable with Vince Chase’s level of fame?
I don’t think so. First of all, I just know that like even if I ever got to that level, like my personal life is not – I don’t go out to clubs every night. They would be so bored following me around it would be ridiculous. They’d be like “This kid plays golf and video games and then goes to dinner with his girlfriend and goes to bed and then goes to work.” Like they’d have nothing [Laughs].

[IMG:L]HW: What have you been most surprised to find out about Turtle?
You know, nothing really surprised me. What I’m most surprised about is that no one really understands how kind of insecure he is. Like because he’s always kind of a cocky guy in the fact that his friend is a movie star. Himself, he’s a little insecure and it’s kind of come out.

HW: Saw a little bit of it in the Lisa Rinna episode – but he got Lisa Rinna
Got Lisa Rinna! And the girl from last season, Lauren London, who played like my love interest. Like when she asked me to take my hat off and it was kind of like, even in the script it was like, ‘Turtle begrudgingly takes off his hat.’ He’s always with his hat. It’s kind of like he’s naked without his hat, so it was basically like “I’m going to take my clothes off for this girl right now.”