IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jerry Ferrara Talks 'Last Vegas,' 'Think Like a Man Too' and 'Entourage' Movie

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 12:16 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jerry Ferrara Talks 'Last Vegas,' 'Think Like a Man Too' and 'Entourage' Movie

Jerry Ferrara is so much more than just Turtle!

While the actor is best known for playing Vincent Chase’s BFF and assistant on the popular HBO series Entourage, he has also starred in several other high profile projects including Think Like a Man, Battleship, and Empire State with Dwayne Johnson. Not to mention that he just finished filming Think Like a Man Too, will appear in next year’s Lone Survivor with Mark Wahlberg, and is in talks to reprise his role as Turtle in an Entourage movie. But first, Ferrara can be seen opposite four of the greatest actors alive – Michael Douglas (Wall Street), Robert De Niro (Raging Bull), Morgan Freeman (Now You See Me), and Kevin Kline (Darling Companion) – in Last Vegas, which opens in theaters on November 1st.

Last Vegas was directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure), and written by Dan Fogleman (The Guilt Trip). The film revolves around three sixty-something friends (De Niro, Freeman, and Kline) who take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal (Douglas). Ferrara plays Todd, a Vegas hot shot that starts off as an antagonist to the four leads and ends up learning to respect his elders. In addition to Ferrara and the four Academy Award-winners, the film also features Academy Award-winner Mary Steenburgen (Back to the Future Part II), Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (Freelancers), Michael Ealy (Takers), and Romany Malco (The 40-Year-Old Virgin). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jerry Ferrara about his work on Last Vegas, as well as Think Like a Man Too, and the rumored Entourage movie. The accomplished actor discussed his new film, working side-by-side four Oscar-winners, learning from their acting process, his character’s arc, director Jon Turteltaub, shooting in Las Vegas, finishing work on Think Like a Man Too, and making an Entourage movie. 

Here is what Jerry Ferrara had to say about Last Vegas, Think Like a Man Too, and the Entourage movie:

IAR: To begin with, can you talk about working with legendary actors Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline on Last Vegas? It must have been the high point of your career so far, correct?

Jerry Ferrara: No matter how many times I will get asked that I don’t care because it’s an easy question to answer. I really could’ve only hoped to work with maybe one of them in my career. The fact that I got to work with all four of them at one time is amazing. I don’t know how these unique things keep happening to me and this is definitely one of the most unique career moments I’ve ever had. 

Had you met any of them socially before making the film?  

Ferrara: No, I have not met any of them before, which made it even sweeter to have our first meeting be in a work environment. That was pretty cool. 

What was it like for you the first day you met them?

Ferrara: The first real moment I had with them was at the table reading. I walked in and of course the first two people there were Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas. I was early and they were already there! Table readings are usually very relaxed but those four guys were ready to shoot that day. That’s how ready they were. That’s how I knew that this film was going to be as professional as it gets. I remember the first scene we shot as almost being an out of body experience for me. 

When you were filming with them was it hard for you to stay in character and not start thinking, ”Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m working with these guys?”

Ferrara: No. I reluctantly refused to do that. I was not going to fan boy out on them. To their credit, and I don’t know if it’s a conscious thing for them or not, but they just defuse it right away. We were introduced, we talked, and it all seemed very normal. By the second hour he was Bobby not Mr. De Niro. It was like that sort of short hand quickly and that’s a lot to their credit. They made it very comfortable from the first moment. 

It’s funny that you mention that because I’ve actually heard Matt Damon say the same thing about working with Clint Eastwood. That right away an actor of that caliber wants you to get over the whole “living legend thing.” Do you think that is something that consciously these iconic actors know to do in order to make the working process easier on everyone else?

Ferrara: I wonder. That is a great question for them and they have so much humility that I don’t know if they would even reveal an answer or if they realize that they do it because they are just acting normally. But a side effect to that is that there are good guys as well as and I was immediately made to feel comfortable. It was really cool, and I’ll always take that with me.

Did learn anything from their acting processes that you will be able to use in your own work on future projects? 

Ferrara: I didn’t necessarily pick up on their process. That’s the cool thing specifically about acting. What works for De Niro might not work for Morgan Freeman, and every actor has his or her own process. What I saw was just how respectful they were, not only just of acting but also of the entire filmmaking process. I think Morgan Freeman was really sick one day from some kind of flu and obviously it’s hard to work under those circumstances. He could’ve easily gone home and had an early day and rested up. But the guy was like, “No, it’s going to put us behind.” He worked through that whole day with definitely a fever for sure and you’d never know when you look at him on screen. The fact that he put that kind of professionalism ahead of everything else was amazing. This is a guy who could’ve really just gone home with chicken soup and laid in bed for fifteen hours and he worked through that. Let that be a lesson to every young actor out there that complains that they have the sniffles sometimes. Morgan Freeman is working with the flu guys. He’s working with the flu so let’s step it up. I’m sorry you’re hungover or whatever but that is your problem, power through it. 

Your character Todd has a great arc in this film. He begins the movie as a real jerk to the four leads and then ends up almost their servant by the end. Can you talk about that and was it hard for you to pretend to be such a jerk to these legendary actors that you actually respect so much?

Ferrara: I can answer in two parts. I am not trying to compare this to Apocalypse Now and say how hard my role was. But it actually was pretty hard. The hardest part was to be a dick to these guys that I respect so much. I didn’t want to do it. There were moments I didn’t want to call Michael Douglas an old fuck. I didn’t want to push Kevin Kline. I didn’t want to, but I did it. Because they brought me right into the acting part of it, I was able to turn it on. But I know that guy. I mean I even was that guy when I was younger. You’ve seen that guy in Vegas that’s just drunk and having his moment. What I love is you always hear about guys like that and they’re just really insecure. So I wanted to let all his insecurity really show. 

Can you talk about working with director Jon Turteltaub on this project?

Ferrara: I’ve always been a fan of Jon’s work. First of all I give Jon a ton of credit. Imagine directing Douglas, De Niro, Freeman, and Kline! You really have to be the captain of the ship and that’s exactly what Jon was. Jon was a great captain and besides being a good director he’s just hysterical. He has a very unique brand of comedy that is sometimes so dry you have no idea if he’s kidding. He brought so much to this movie. If I could work with just Jon for the rest of my career I’d be happy and it would probably be really funny. 

I recently talked to your co-star Mary Steenburgen and she mentioned that it was tough shooting in Las Vegas because with Douglas, De Niro, Freeman, and Kline, everywhere you go people are stopping to shoot pictures. Did you have that experience as well while you were making the film?  

Ferrara: Shooting in Vegas is challenging for several different reasons, but there really is no place like it. You can’t fake Vegas somewhere else. You just got to be there. It also adds energy when you’re actually there. But that being said, now we’re shooting scenes all over Vegas with the Mount Rushmore of acting. They are probably the four most recognizable people in the world next to Jesus. There were just a lot of people shouting, and who were trying to take pictures. It was incredible! It was like walking around with The Beatles. There were a ton of fans that just wanted to have their moment with them. 

Have you finished shooting Think Like A Man Too yet?

Ferrara: Yeah, we actually wrapped about a month ago and we shot that in Vegas for about eight weeks. The whole cast is back. It’s weird, Entourage is my first family and now I have a whole other family with Think Like A Man. I actually got to work with Romany Malco and Michael Ealy in Last Vegas so it’s a very good acting family.         

Finally, since you just mentioned Entourage, is there still talk of making an Entourage movie?

Ferrara: Yeah, it’s still going. It’s actually been going for quite a while. I can speak for the other four guys when I say that we just want to make the best possible movie. That’s always been the goal to make the movie and it’s just so unfortunate that these things do take time. There is a business side to it as well but it’s all on track, which is a great thing to be able to say. As long as there’s a calling for it we’re going to make it. I feel like there’s actually more of a calling for it now than maybe even a year ago. I think people have begun to miss it. So we’re close.

Have you been surprised by the longevity that the series has had?

Ferrara: You know what’s kind of cool? It’s been about two years since our finale aired and we have a whole new group of fans now through HBO GO. Recently I’ve been having eighteen and nineteen-year-old kids coming up to me and saying, “I love the show.” I’m like, "Wait a second, you were ten years old when the show started, you can’t be watching." They’re like, “No, I watched all eight seasons in three weeks!” It’s weird. We’re getting a whole new generation of fans, which is exciting. 

That's great. Well, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me today Jerry and best of luck with all your upcoming projects. 

Ferrara: Thank you Jami. We just basically had a conversation, that wasn't even an interview. Well done man, I appreciate it. I hope to talk to you again.

Last Vegas opens in theaters on November 1st. 

To read our exclusive interview with Mary Steenburgen about Last Vegas and a Bored to Death movie, please click here

Think Like a Man Too is currently in post-production.

The Entourage movie is currently in development. 

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