With Spy Kids: All The Time In The World set to hit theatres on August 19th, we sit down to talk to Jeremy Piven, who plays the villain in the film. While the actor is most recognized for his brilliant portrayal of Hollywood agent Ari Gold on HBO’s Entourage, Piven is starting to branch out.
With Entourage coming to an end this year, Jeremy Piven is looking to add a couple more film credits to his resume and what better way to start off than in a franchise like Spy Kids?
Read on for our interview with the actor where we discussed what it was like being part of the Spy Kids series, how he enjoyed shooting at Troublemaker Studios, what he thinks of director Robert Rodriguez and more.
Question: What was it like being part of the Spy Kids series?
Jeremy Piven: Well, it all starts with Robert Rodriguez, who is a genius. I love him and I’ve been a fan of his for a while. After working with him on Spy Kids, I have even more respect for him now than I did before. He’s created this world for himself where he can create in his backyard and you go and play in his world. I grew up on the stage so I’m used to playing multiple characters and having fun and being larger than life and that’s exactly what this was. To me, this was like going home.
Question: Which character was the most fun to play?
JP: Probably Tick Tock, as soon as I put on that outfit, it lent myself to doing these weird things. I was lucky enough to find the voice very early and during hair and makeup, I saw this wig that I thought would be great. I wanted to really find a way to seamlessly disappear so that you didn’t know it was me. That was the goal and then to have it be a reveal at the end.
Question: You were able to craft a pretty dynamic performance, just because this is a villain who isn’t your typical take over the world guy, he has these kind of intentions, was that something you were interested in fleshing out?
JP: It was really all there when I got to it and a lot of the themes spoke to me. My father also passed away and I would have loved to have spent more time with him, and that’s at the root of this movie. Even though he’s an evil character, he’s got good intentions.
Question: What’s it like shooting at Troublemaker Studios?
JP: It’s unbelievable, I marvel at Robert’s whole set up, it’s just perfect. I grew up in a theatre family and we had a theatre not too far from us, so it feels very similar. Robert gets it, you have your family and you have your life and very few people are able to put both together. But for Robert, he doesn’t go to Hollywood, Hollywood comes to him. It’s very smart, we were lucky to be a part of his world.
Question: Robert is an amazing director in that he has two sides to him. He can do films like Machete and then go off and make kids films like Spy Kids, does that interest you, how he can do both?
JP: It does and I’d love to do that with my career as well. And it does sort of feel like I’m doing that right now. I just came from eight seasons of Entourage playing this edgy character and now I’m having fun in this kids movie. Next, I have the most dramatic role I’ve ever played in a film called I Melt With You and after that I’m playing opposite Miley Cyrus, so I’m kind of all over the map. I love it though. The one thing you don’t want to do as an actor is repeat yourself.
Question: What was your reaction when you found out that the film would be 4D?
JP: I thought he was kidding! Everyone I told, they’d be like ‘come on, really?’ I’m telling you right now, this is the sign that the movie is worth watching. Here’s the story. I’m watching the film surrounded by children and I’m laughing and they’re all telling me to be quiet. Because they’re laughing at certain things and I’m laughing at certain things. there’s something for everyone.
These kids were with it and they couldn’t take their eyes off the screen. Then, when the little ding-ding-ding sound played to notify you that your card had to be scratched, I’d look around and see an entire audience of kids just sniffing and staring at the screen.
And listen, kids don’t lie. They didn’t know it was a screening and they didn’t know why they were there. That was a real response and they absolutely loved it.
Question: How was it working with the two kids (Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook) on the film?
JP: The moment I saw Rowan I went ‘oh my god, you look like you can be my daughter’ and she went ‘you look like you can be my dad’ and then she hugged me. They didn’t know who I was when I walked in so they didn’t even know that I was playing the character. It was just a fresh way to start with them. They both have great instincts and I learnt a lot from them. You can always learn a lot from kids.
Question: Tell us more about the Miley Cyrus film.
JP: It’s called So Undercover and I basically play a character that puts Miley undercover and it’s the type of role that I’ve never played. It’s straight laced, button down, FBI agent and Miley and I verbally spar quite a bit. I loved it though and I had a great time with Miley. There’s some great chemistry between us.
Question: What about the Entourage movie, are you still going to do it?
JP: They want to do it, it’s all about Doug Ellin though. They’re basically like “write this movie” and he needs to pick it up. We need to get on this guy.
Question: What’s it like to leave a character like Ari, who has been so defined by you and having to just stop it now?
JP: If it wasn’t for this season, I would absolutely feel like there was unfinished business. But after the completion of this season, I got what I wanted. I wanted for this character to be brought to his knees and for you to see his humanity in some way, shape or form. The only thing holding him together is his wife and kids. If they leave him, he would be completely lost.
So now you get to see this character navigating through some uncharted territory and I just couldn’t be happier. It’s such an amazing season and an incredible way to end it. I feel very grateful and there’s nothing bitter about it. I feel great.
That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Jeremy Piven very much for talking with us. Be sure to check out Spy Kids: All The Time In The World, in theatres on August 19th.