Hi reddit. Jeremy Piven here. My latest show is Mr. Selfridge which is on PBS MASTERPIECE Classic. We are currently in the middle of season 2. If you guys need help finding PBS, I am in a service position for all of you. Victoria from reddit will be assisting today.

Ask me anything.



First of all, I want to say how grateful I am for anyone who's even paying attention this moment, whether you love or hate me, it doesn't matter, I appreciate that you're here at this moment, and all I ask is that you just watch a bit of Mr. Selfridge because I think we're all looking for that show, and I really believe in that show, I really do.

And it's the kind of thing where if you stick with it, you won't regret it. It's the true story of an American at the turn of the century who went to London and essentially invented shopping as we know it. And his life was so unbelievable, when I first heard it, I thought it HAD to have been made up. And I'm pretty excited to share it with everyone.

And I will come to each one of your houses, and show you how to find PBS. And the best news is.... it's free.

Please follow me on twitter @jeremypiven, I really value your opinion and I'd love to see what your take on the show is. Because I am also producing the show, and we're basically going to do 4 seasons. That's how British people do it, and I want to hear what your take on it is, I'd love to hear your reaction.

Thank you for your taking the time with me, and I'd love to do this again. And thank you for your patience, and for your loyalty, it means the world to me.

Comments: 1861 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

DayOldTurkeySandwich692 karma

How does it feel to be one of only 2 actors to have ever played George Costanza on Seinfeld?

JeremyPiven_1365 karma

You know, what an incredible honor. I think everyone loves Seinfeld. And the horrible truth that I'm so embarrassed to reveal is that at the time, I was very young, I was in my mid-twenties when I played George, and I didn't have a TV... so I had never seen Seinfeld. But I was doing my first TV show, the Larry Sanders show, and I knew Jason Alexander from the lot, and they asked me to audition to play the role that he played and I said "sure" and they said "have you seen it" and I said "yeah, yeah, yeah" so now I can finally reveal this DEEP DARK SECRET. So I had never seen George Costanza, so when I was auditioning I just did my Jason Alexander impersonation. I have to say that I'm terribly ashamed. But I feel like a weight has been lifted.

rahul4real623 karma

Why do you think the Mongols never invaded Australia?

JeremyPiven_586 karma

Wow. That is a very obscure question. I can't even wrap my brain around this.

skipskee504 karma

Hi! When can we expect a PCU Part 2?

JeremyPiven_623 karma

Well, PCU Part 2: Electric Boogaloo has been in R&D for 20 years. And I don't think that's ever going to happen. I appreciate the love, and the fact that it's become a cult classic. I certainly enjoyed doing it, I made some good friends in it, Jon Favreau was great in it, I got to hang out with the great George Clinton so that was amazing.

marcellocioffi409 karma

Just how fun was it filming the paintball scene at the end of series 6 on entourage?

JeremyPiven_575 karma

It was really fun. Maybe TOO much fun. I didn't want that day to end. It was just a way of extending the power and fury of Ari Gold, but not having it actually be violent (which is the key). And it was just a really great comedic device.

aryasneedle42366 karma

how did you hear about reddit and doing an AMA?

JeremyPiven_777 karma

I heard about it actually, I was getting these amazing Sonos speakers put in. And there's a guy here that was helping me, and he mentioned it to me. I can actually give you his name, he was really cool. And we were having a conversation about how frustrating it is to have a show that you love and care so much about, and not having a way to get more people to know about it. Just because when you're on PBS, it's tough because they can advertise internally but they don't have the funds to go outside of that, so I was expressing my frustration, and he suggested this. His name is Nick DeVita. He's the one that told me about it. And then I told my publicist, and she reached out to Victoria. And here we are.

Jux_533 karma

TV guy didn't know.

Refrigerator repair man didn't know.

That home audio guy though, he came through.

JeremyPiven_670 karma

Yeah, he totally came through. I'm having fun, this is actually really fun.

aryasneedle42390 karma

also can I just say that it is so amazing that you love something so much that you go out of your way trying to promote it. You arent promoting it because its in your contract or you have to, you are promoting for the love of it. You sir are just awesome.

JeremyPiven_922 karma

I think you're my mother.

broncobluster341 karma

How many times a day are you asked to hug it out, bitch?

JeremyPiven_451 karma

I think that people have mercy on me, so they usually don't go for the obvious. So not as often as you may think.

Wabbitzzz292 karma

After playing Ari for so long in Entourage did his characters personality rub off on your real personality at all?

JeremyPiven_1255 karma

I don't know what the fuck you're talking about!!!

JeremyPiven_493 karma

The only thing that did rub off is that it was incredibly gratifying, and also draining. Because, you know, it's one thing to throw a temper tantrum. It's another thing to do it repeatedly. And I don't really know how to fake it, I don't know how to phone in a performance, so I had a very seasoned actress, Angela Landsbury came backstage on time, and she said "My dear boy, you need to develop a b-show to save yourself." And it was great advice, here she is, with incredible longevity, she's in her 80s going back to Broadway, and I'm still trying to figure out what my B-show is.

tbonebullcrusher235 karma

Give me a reason why I should watch Mr. Selfridge

JeremyPiven_339 karma

Hahaha. You know, it's almost best to not take MY word for it, and take the word of people that have seen it. I've never heard such a response to anything I've ever done. The folks that have seen it use words like "addicting" or "can't wait for the next episode." They really fall for the characters and need to find out what happens in their lives. I can tell you from working with these actors that they're very inspiring to me. They're working on a very high level, and the directors are very inventive so it looks huge and lush, and the writing is very fresh and alive yet it takes place at the turn of the century. It's a big hit overseas, and here we're on PBS and they are funded by the people and as a producer of the show, it's presented a beautiful challenge in that there's not really any money to promote the show, so it's up to me to get out there and do my part.

Puppy34141 karma

The show's costume and production budget must be huge because everything is very impressive.

JeremyPiven_270 karma

By US standards, they don't have a big budget, but they are so incredibly inventive that everything looks much more lush and expansive than what they're actually given.

mxwll212 karma

Was it difficult to act so intense all the time when you played Ari? Thanks for this AMA, huge fan.

JeremyPiven_332 karma

Yeah, I mean, you have to continuously - that is your job, obviously as an actor, is to enter into the moment as fully, as deeply and as presently as possible. And so you keep swinging until it's over. And to use a bad sports analogy, you have to leave it all on the field.

dr_pepperpenis178 karma

Jeremy, what's your favorite suit from your entourage wardrobe? Also, you were awesome as Ari - can't wait for the movie!

JeremyPiven_326 karma

Domenico Vacca was my wardrobe in entourage, and I was supposed to go with him TONIGHT to a documentary about the NY Knicks that was produced by Doug who created Entourage, but instead I'm on the couch with you guys. And my favorite suits are DEFINITELY the ones that are going to be in the movie, because Ari has a lot of movement in the movie, so I wanted Domenico to do some 3 piece suits to show that movement, keep that blazer open and that vest buttoned.

rivensky167 karma

I just arrived for my first trip to Chicago today! What should I absolutely not miss?

JeremyPiven_437 karma

Immediately walk to Oak Street Beach and grab a bike, or walk along Lake Shore Drive and take a look at the skyline and the water, and it's just one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And go to the Piven theater, go to the Steppenwolf theater, go get some dinner at Sunda.

JeremyPiven_399 karma

Play some pool at Rocket Bar & Grill, and get the sweet potato fries.

aryasneedle42161 karma

What were your first thoughts about entourage, either when you were considering it or when you first filmed it.

JeremyPiven_298 karma

My first thoughts were that I knew Mark Wahlberg, and I knew it was loosely based on his experiences, and he is quite a fascinating and authentic guy. And that people would be very interested in the backstage life of a movie star, so I knew we would get some kind of an audience just based on that.

crochunter100146 karma

How was it being in the WWE ring with John Cena!?

JeremyPiven_339 karma

I was blown away by the professionalism of everybody who worked for WWE. They're like a traveling band of brothers and sisters. And Cena is like a beast, he's a very articulate and talented guy, and I was lucky enough to jump off the top ropes and into his waiting arms, and I was used as a battering ram. I felt like I got to live another life, that's what actors do, and it was quite an honor.

jayshekk144 karma

Big fan!, Who was your favorite Cameo on Entourage (the show) to work with, and what about the movie. Thanks for doing this by the way.

JeremyPiven_327 karma

Wow. There are so many cameos in the movie, that you could literally have a drinking game every time you see a cameo, you'd be drunk by 11 minutes into the movie, there are so many cameos. But doing a scene, a serious scene, with real, like dense dialogue with Mike Tyson was such an interesting journey, just to be around this guy who made a brutal transformation in his life. He had just dropped 100 pounds, he had become a vegan, and I think for whatever reason I just ended up working with him and coaching him and it was an honor. So that was amazing. It was very surreal, actually. He's a really transformed person, he's actually pretty inspiring.

Metalgrowler142 karma

Thank you for explaining to the world how to not be "that guy" I use that all the time.

JeremyPiven_172 karma

Thank you, that was an improv with Jon Favreau a million years ago doing PCU. And look how the world has changed! Jon has become this brilliant, prolific and wildly successful director. I couldn't be more proud of that guy. I hate to be one of those "I told you so" guys.

SneakyHobbitses120 karma

One of the first shows I have a distinct memory of watching with my dad was Cupid. You made that show so believable and wonderful. Still sad it never came out on DVD.

My question is: are you actually Cupid?

JeremyPiven_134 karma

Well, I think that show was a little bit ahead of its time. It was incredibly ambitious, and so much of anyone's career is luck. And that show didn't have very much of it.

JeremyPiven_120 karma

If I am Cupid, I'm pretty bad at it.

sillstaw116 karma

I was wondering what you thought of these three jokes about you:

  1. The nightclub “and Jeremy Piven” on the fourth season of “Arrested Development”
  2. The Onion’s “NBC Cancels ‘Piven’ After 5 Seasons
  3. David Mamet’s claim that, after you dropped out of one of his plays due to mercury poisoning, that you would be pursuing a career as a thermometer.

JeremyPiven_176 karma

First of all, David Mamet is one of our great American playwrights, and a very good friend of my family's. We have a lot of history with David, and I had a great experience working with him, and in true Mamet style, he had a great zinger, so, you know, I celebrate his wit. And the "and Jeremy Piven" - listen, when I started Entourage, I wasn't really, I had a very small role, I had a very limited contract, and the billing was - because I didn't really have billing, they kind of put an "and" there to spice it up. And so they did a little play on that. I don't know how healthy it is to be reactive. I find it flattering that people want to take shots at me, it's nice. And it's also motivating. So I'm very grateful for the motivation.

SuperCyborg110 karma

Hey Jeremy, thanks for doing this AMA. My question is was there anything from the set of Entourage that you wanted to take as a memento but didn't and why?

JeremyPiven_238 karma

You know what, I probably wanted to take that paintball gun, but they had mounted it on my wall, and I thought that if we were ever lucky enough to do the movie, they'd put it up on my wall. So I felt guilty - I broke SO many props as Ari Gold. The propmasters hated me, I mean, look at how many computers or phones I broke. Ari was constantly clearing desks, or breaking phones. I would break the interior of cars.

Corzaman107 karma

Hi Jeremy. What style of drumming is your favorite? If there was one band you could take over the drumming throne for, who would it be?

JeremyPiven_201 karma

Wow, that's a great question. Stewart Copeland, who was the drummer from the Police, was an incredibly innovative and brilliant drummer. And I know he's a trained jazz drummer who was very influenced by reggae. I am very aware of my limitations, and I could never play like Stewart. I was lucky enough to play WITH him once, very lucky, you can find that somewhere on YouTube.

HiiPower8098 karma

Do you think Kelly Ripa really liked your British accent for Mr. Selfridge?

JeremyPiven_181 karma

Ha. You know, it's funny because she's such a sweet woman that has many children and an incredibly full life, and either screwed up or hadn't seen the show (either one, doesn't matter to me) and Michael is a huge fan of the show, and has seen many episodes, and the days of being offended are long gone.

rbs1887 karma

Would you be up for hosting SNL again?

JeremyPiven_186 karma

I would LOVE to get another crack at SNL. Growing up in Chicago and being at second city, the holy grail is to be on SNL. And when I got my shot it was to promote Smokin Aces, and I was already on the road doing press. I would love to go there again. It would be an honor.

rickfinkel86 karma

Which celebrities have farted in front of you?

JeremyPiven_168 karma

You know, I think that if I were to say that, it would cause some controversy. It wasn't silent, and yet it was deadly.

tszaj80 karma

How was the Auction for your mom's theater?

JeremyPiven_126 karma

It's going great, anyone can log on to PivenTheater.com and take a look. And if anyone wants to study there, that's where I studied and they are all still there teaching, and they get such satisfaction out of mentoring kids and adults. So any donation that you guys give are much appreciated because they are trying to build a new theater at the moment.

tszaj80 karma

If you needed any Passover food you should have gone to my friend Lisa on Long Island she could have gotten any food you needed and sent you home with a care package. She does that for her kids & their friends. She even mailed me food here in California. NY is the best place to be for this holiday.

JeremyPiven_135 karma

Lisa, where have you been all my life?!?! Oh my god. I want to eat brisket with Lisa.

Blue_Sky_Blue77 karma

What's it like being in London when filming Mr. Selfridge? Do you get a lot of time to explore the city, how are you liking it? Any favourite spots yet?

JeremyPiven_166 karma

Believe it or not, I do love the store Selfridge's. It's laid out so perfectly that even a dummy like me can shop there easily because he really had the whole thing down to a science. And it's still the experience that he created 100 years ago, just going there, it's an event. The thing about London is they have so many great theaters, both in the West End and the National Theatre, they are obviously loaded with brilliant actors, so I highly suggest going and seeing a play. And they also really take care of their own, so although there's not a ton of space, and you'd be surprised that some of the homes are obviously bigger in the states, they have these enormous beautiful parks. So they really take care of their own. So you can go round, hang out in the parks or whatever. And the architecture is stunning, and they take such good care of the city as well. There's a great deal of pride.

Wickedawesome3170 karma

Would Harry Selfridge be on Ari Gold's good side?

JeremyPiven_111 karma

I think Ari Gold would admire Harry Selfridge and the balls that it took to forge a path in a new country that hadn't been done before. He was a true American original. Their methods are completely different, Ari rules with an iron fist and Harry does it with love and inspiration. They do rule, but in totally different ways. I could tell you how different I feel playing them, so it's hard for me to have the perspective and see what you guys see, but I can tell from playing them how different they are.

pm_ur_dicks_girls67 karma

What's it like being absolutely fucking awesome?

JeremyPiven_176 karma

Haha. I think you should ask yourself that.

TomBad8765 karma

Who are some writers, directors, actors, etc... that you dream of working with? Are there any that were on this list 10 years ago that you have been able to check off the list?

Big fan of your work on Entourage, sadly I haven't seen Mr Selfridge yet (I operate years behind people on TV... I just finished West Wing recently...) but I am looking forward to it!

JeremyPiven_135 karma

I would love to work with John Woo, Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze, David O. Russell...

Well, don't hesitate because I know everyone is looking for their next big show and from what I've heard it's hard to put down, so I'm one of those people that's incredibly selective as well. I binge watched Breaking Bad too.

skinsballr60 karma

What's your best/favorite movie you've acted in?

JeremyPiven_235 karma

Oh good question. I'd say Apocalypse Now...oh wait, I wasn't in that. That was definitely one of my first inspirations, though, seeing that movie. I think Grosse Point Blank was an example of a dark comedy that had a tone that was hard to achieve, that I'm very proud of, as well as movies like Smokin Aces. And the upcoming Sin City sequel that I was lucky enough to be in that will be out this summer.

Kknowsbest52 karma

What is your greatest memory from when you first started working on Entourage?

JeremyPiven_118 karma

Well, every day going to work and playing that character was incredibly fulfilling and challenging. And draining. So I'm grateful for all 8 seasons and a movie. It was all just a gift, really.

rexbry49 karma

Hey Mr. Piven, huge fan. Just wondering if you do anything to celebrate Passover?

JeremyPiven_102 karma

Unfortunately I'm away from my family, so I'm not being very Jewish tonight. I'm obviously working so that's not very Jewish. But the theater, I grew up with my family in the theater, and that was very much a part of our religion, so I'm honored to be doing this.

aryasneedle4246 karma

What is your favorite hairstyles from all your roles you've had?

JeremyPiven_112 karma

Probably Smokin Aces, because it wasn't my hair, and it was like, long beautiful hair that I could never grow.

darkenrahl1744 karma

If you could meet the real Harry Selfridge, what would you ask him?

JeremyPiven_73 karma

Excellent question. I would ask him if it was all worth it, and if he could do it again, would he do anything differently.

DAMORGAN39 karma

Got any tips for growing such a magnificently rugged beard?

My housemate loves you and she says its mainly down to the facial hair.

JeremyPiven_114 karma

Yeah. I take a supplement called Viviscal. And it's supposed to help speed up your hair growth. And I really think it works, because my beard grows really fast and I have to get a haircut once a week while using it.

DariaDAMMIT37 karma

When did your love/practice of Buddhism start, how were you introduced to it?

JeremyPiven_101 karma

You know, I'm a student, and a student of Kabbalah, and open to anything that helps you go inward and be as present as possible. I don't think that will hurt anyone.

tbonebullcrusher35 karma

What do you do to stay in shape?

JeremyPiven_59 karma

I love to box. I just think it's like, the variable is just doing something, anything, and trying some consistency with it.

jayshekk33 karma

at this exact moment... how much do you feel like Pharrell Williams?

JeremyPiven_73 karma

well, I think that what he's tapped into is pure joy, obviously, and everyone is just gravitating towards it. He did a cameo in Entourage, and he just has a very brilliant, like, presence, that you could tell he was someone that is just very grateful for where he's at.

danielson123433 karma

Convince me to watch Mr. Selfridge in 3 words or less.

JeremyPiven_130 karma

Listen, I travel to London for seven months a year. This is my third year, I'm about to travel over there. And this is all for love of the game. I leave my home to spend my summers in London (which are not the most sunny). This is an incredible show that is inspiring to do, and I am incredibly blessed to be a part of it.

And you guys know me, I can't say anything in 3 words.

IPleadThaFifth32 karma

Which do you like better, Mr Selfridge or Entourage? I loved you in both but Mr Selfridge is slowly dethroning Ari Gold. Keep doing what you do!

JeremyPiven_52 karma

Well, I appreciate that, because one of the great things about exploring Harry is that he was an actual real person, and the trajectory of his life was incredible, and it really does play out like a greek tragedy and it's all true, so I'm just incredibly lucky to be able to play him. So in terms of Ari vs. Mr Selfridge, you ain't seen nothing yet!

Joshua1930 karma

How long does it take you to grow that beard for Mr. Selfridge? Wait... it is real right? If so, how do you handle having facial hair for so long?

JeremyPiven_73 karma

It takes about 3 weeks to a month to grow the beard. And yeah, you just commit to the beard. And it's a race against time, because I have to start shooting season 3 on Thursday!

darkenrahl1727 karma

What was the last song you listened to? And what was the last film you've seen?

JeremyPiven_81 karma

Good question.

The last song, London Grammar, Strong.

Last film I saw was La Vita E Bella, the Italian film.

boumtjeboo25 karma

What's one crazy thing about Harry Selfridge none of us know about?

JeremyPiven_43 karma

Well, he appeared to be so confident, and he was a visionary, but I think he had his fears and insecurities like anyone else. And that's one of the great things to hang your hat on as an actor, to play the duality of someone who is able to lead the charge and have such confidence, but also be so vulnerable.

tbonebullcrusher23 karma

What was your first acting gig?

JeremyPiven_40 karma

Well, when I was 8 years old, I was in The Seagull with my mother and my father, and that was the first time I was in a production. And my first movie was Lucas, and my first series regular role I did was the Larry Sanders show.

ajlposh15 karma

Growing up, which actors did you admire?

JeremyPiven_31 karma

I of course loved Marlon Brando early on. And so everyone from Marlon Brando to Javier Bardem today, and people like Cate Blanchett are kind of fascinating to watch. They never cease to amaze you. There's a stage actor named Mark Rylance, he was just in Twelfth Night and Richard the Third, he is probably one of the greatest living stage actors and kind of a genius.

tay2k4310 karma

What's your favorite color?

JeremyPiven_26 karma

I like green.

darkenrahl177 karma

Who are some of your inspirations in life?

JeremyPiven_13 karma

I think people like anyone from, you look at someone like Bruce Springsteen for instance, who, for over four decades, has been working at the top of his artistic game, doing shows that are 3 and a half hours long, and giving it everything that he has, his entire life to me is just an inspiration.

JeremyPiven_21 karma

And I was lucky enough to spend some time with Dave Grohl, and to see him live too, and he is one of those ridiculously talented, ridiculously humble guys. His particular talent, I don't think people realize, going from the drummer in Nirvana to being the frontman in the Foo Fighters, to be that prolific and eloquent in his art is just very rare, so I think he's pretty inspirational too.

ffxdrummer6 karma

I'll be in LA with my wife and some friends this summer, where should we eat?

JeremyPiven_19 karma

There's a great vegan place called Crossroads that no one will go to. Crossroads is amazing.

JeremyPiven_18 karma

And another spot called Cook's County.

christianbendana5 karma

How does Harry Selfridge, an American with an American wife, have a son with a British accent? How does that work?!

JeremyPiven_8 karma

Well, he went to a British boarding school. And we try to keep it as factual as possible.

24_frames5 karma

Hey Jeremy Piven! I’m a film guy from Evanston, Illinois and so are you! You were once interviewed by my best friend’s dad (Tony Adler) for the Chicago Tribune.

What memories and thoughts do you have about our hometown? Any advice for us starving artists on breaking into the biz?

Also how come ETHS doesn’t have your picture on the wall?!

JeremyPiven_10 karma

Huh. Well Tony Adler's a great guy and it was a really fun interview. And my mother is in Evanston as we speak. I just spent a few months with her in California, and the Piven theater is still very much there and thriving. We're all incredibly proud of it, it's a non profit organization and a lot of the kids are on scholarship, and they have a subscription series so you can go see plays there. If I had any suggestions to young actors, it's to work as much as possible and to love the hours and to never think a job is beneath you, because there's always something to be learned from it. And don't be afraid to be outwardly curious and ask questions, because you'd be surprised. People want to let you in on what they know. So you just kind of have to break through your preconceived notions or fears or whatever, and you'll be surprised at what you can achieve.

Joshua195 karma

Would you rather live like Harry Selfridge or Ari Gold?

love you in Mr. Selfridge btw. That stache is wicked!

JeremyPiven_17 karma

Well, they're both so different, and the reality is that the way I played Ari Gold, you couldn't actually live like that because you'd probably have a heart attack. So it would be a lot healthier to be Harry Selfridge.

Ali_Parker174 karma

Beach or mountains? Socks or barefoot? Coffee or tea? Boxers or briefs? mani or pedi?

JeremyPiven_7 karma

Well, I think the combo in places like Brazil, where you have the mountains and they can meet the beach, that's a rare combo.

Barefoot, and actually, running barefoot's the best.



I don't really get manicures, so I guess I only get pedicures?

mmurdock911 karma

I'm terrible at questions for these things, but I just wanted to say I absolutely love your acting and you were my first actor crush! You are wonderful!

JeremyPiven_2 karma

That's very sweet. Thank you very much, I'm honored.