By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
A group of well-kempt 30-somethings, the kind who use expensive bath products and wear clothes that require dry cleaning, trickle into an old Tudor-style home on a tree-lined street barely in the hills of Los Feliz. This is the house where Vince lives, or rather, it’s the home of the actor Adrian Grenier, who plays Vince on HBO’s Entourage. Tonight he’s playing host for a party he’s calling a fund-rager. Everyone pays $100 for all the drinks and Whole Foods crudités they could want; the money goes to Kiva, a San Francisco–based group that makes microloans to entrepreneurs in developing countries.
My only problem is that I’m the plus-one of a friend who’s already in the party and my name’s not on the list. Also, I’d been told that since I have less than $100 in my bank account I could “just bring 20 bucks or something,” but I’m starting to doubt that advice.
As I palm a wrinkled twenty, shiny people ahead of me swipe their credit cards at a machine on a table in the foyer while Grenier welcomes his guests, smiling and hypnotizing them with his sultry blue eyes. When it’s my turn to face Grenier, I nervously explain my plus-one status and, feeling particularly unglamorous and uncool in my 7-year-old Seven jeans, hand him my folded bill. I can’t bear to watch the disdain that will certainly appear on his face as he uncrumples the bill and realizes that I’ve shortchanged the citizens of developing nations, so I rush through the door to find my friend.
I self-consciously walk around, taking note of the nice, but not-too-flashy décor. It looks very much like Vince’s house on early Entourageepisodes. I’m a bit surprised that Grenier doesn’t live in the Hollywood Hills like his character, but near the bottom of the Los Feliz hills, and that he has a roommate. And that he’s in a book club. Not very Vince-like.
My friend is busy networking across the room, but luckily I run into a more successful friend of mine, who enlists me into making frozen margaritas. Anything to avoid sitting in a corner by myself. In the tasteful, well-stocked kitchen, I check out the pictures on the Sub-Zero of Grenier riding a roller coaster with his girlfriend. She’s gorgeous, like a young Claudia Schiffer, and he looks so... so... lucky, with a grin from ear to ear, his hands raised in the air without a care in the world. He has the look of someone who doesn’t worry about car payments or student loans, the uncreased, well-rested look of someone with a charmed life.
Later, I find my friend, who is looking to interview Grenier. We find him, drink in hand, a little glassy-eyed.
“Are you loving yourself?” he slurs.
My friend almost takes it as an insult. “Am I loving myself?” she asks him quizzically.
“I mean, are you enjoying yourself?” he corrects.
“Oh, we’re having a great time. But I still need to get some quotes from you at some point,” she smiles, attempting to walk away.
“Oh, then you better do it now,” he says, aware of his fading condition.
Ah, now this is more like Vince. As I watch Grenier mingle, giving everyone their hundred bucks’ worth of star power, I get the feeling I really might see him in a film version of Aquaman.
Miraculously, I find some more friends, and they’re talking with Kevin Connolly, a.k.a. Vince’s grounded manager Eric on Entourage. Then Carla Gugino, who guest-starred on a few episodes of Entourage, joins the group. Unfortunately, she had to dye her raven locks strawberry blond for an upcoming role, and the color doesn’t really suit her, but Connolly compliments her anyway. Out on the patio Willie Garson, who played Carrie’s gay pal Stanfordon Sex and the City, entertains a casting director and her radio DJ husband with tales of disturbed public masturbators who have traumatized his life.
Back inside, while looking for a bathroom, I spot Grenier, his girlfriend and another couple head up the stairs that have been partially barricaded. Out for a good story, I grab my friend and follow. When we get to the top of the stairs, they’ve vanished; the hallway is dark except for a glowing light under one door. We wait, uncertain of what to do. We discover the lit room is a bathroom when a girl comes out.
“Perfect,” says my friend, dashing for the toilet. We go in together to discuss our next move, when in walks Grenier, all tousled hair and permanent grin. My friend, pants and panties by her ankles, legs spread eagle, looks up at him. She’s so shocked, she doesn’t even make an attempt at modesty. He stares down at her, then looks up at me. I look at her, she looks at me, we look at him. Finally, what’s happening slowly filters into his brain, so he excuses himself and walks out another door. She pulls up her drawers.
But, ah, we’ve found the nucleus. I open the second door, without thinking, into a bedroom. Grenier, his girlfriend and the other couple are in a huddle. They are talking so fast, the room is at a feverish pitch. Grenier spots me staring at them and rushes over, putting his arm around me.
“The bathroom’s free,” I say, “in case you needed to go.”
He smiles guiltily, turns me around, and with his hand softly on my shoulder, walks me out of his room, waves and closes the door.
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