Actor Jeremy Piven credits theater legend John Malkovich for his debut Broadway performance - because the star "put the fear of God" into him after he took on the role.
Piven makes his Broadway debut in David Mamet play Speed-The-Plow on Thursday (23Oct08). But he admits his long hiatus from the stage to take on his role as cut-throat agent Ari Gold in hit U.S. show Entourage left him nervous.
He tells the New York Post, "Before I ever hit on camera I worked in theater. I come from a theater family. But after Entourage, which is about Hollywood, another vehicle with the same backdrop was not what I had in mind. Besides, I was tired. I've worked 20 years with no stopping. I actually needed a break..."
"This show, you're a slave to the words. Such dialog and timing that it's a f***ing symphony. So I'm talking to (John Malkovich) in Toronto. He's always been one of my major inspirations. As a kid, I saw him for the first time. His work was so alive, so visceral. So I tell him I'm going to do this, and he asked, 'How long do you have to rehearse?' I said, 'Three weeks.' He said, 'Not enough time.' John Malkovich put the fear of God into me."
But Piven insists he's ready to take the stage, because the nerve-wracking experience pales in comparison to his other life challenges. He adds: "As for the nervousness of being on Broadway... I'm really not scared. I lost my father and got through it. You survive turning points. You go on. You think about what really matters in life. I know to just work really hard and not let the trappings of Broadway get to me." (JMA/PYN/ZN)
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