Jeremy Piven Talks SPEED-THE-PLOW Exit and Whether He Feels 'Betrayed by His Own Community'

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In an interview with The New York Times, stage and screen star Jeremy Piven talks about his early exit, due to mercury poisoning, from 2009's Speed-the-Plow on Broadway and the subsequent breach-of-contract dispute. When asked, "As someone raised in the theater, did you feel betrayed by your own community?", Piven responded:

"No. I think once a stage actor, always a stage actor. I'm from a theater family. I am what I am. You really can't control the rest of it. You can try. You can rail against the universe for being misunderstood. But I don't know how healthy that is."

Read the full interview here.

When Piven left David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow, he was replaced by Tony-winner Norbert Leo Butz and William H. Macy. The show's producers then took their complaint to the Actors Equity Association, claiming Piven's exit jeopardised show earnings.

The cast for the 2009 production also featured three-time Tony-nominee Raúl Esparza (The Homecoming, Company) and Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men). Neil Pepe (David Mamet's Romance, Ethan Coen's Almost an Evening) directed.

Piven is well known for his role as 'Ari Gold' in HBO's "Entourage", which earned him a Golden Globe and two Emmy Awards. He will star in the PBS Masterpiece Classic series "Mr. Selfridge" beginning tomorrow, March 31.

The actor grew up on the stage at Chicago's Piven Theater Workshop, which was created by his parents, Joyce and Byrne Piven. In 2005, Piven returned to his theater acting roots when he starred alongside Keri Russell and Andrew McCarthy in the off-Broadway hit, Fat Pig by Neil LaBute. For his role, Piven received a Distinguished Performance Honor from the Drama League.

Film credits include The Goods for Paramount Vantage, Rocknrolla, The Kingdom, Smokin Aces, The Player, Runaway Jury, Old School, Serendipity, Black Hawk Down, Very Bad Things, Singles, Rush Hour 2 and The Family Man. On the small screen Piven was a series regular on Cupid and Ellen and appeared on The Larry Sanders Show and in the telepic Don King: Only in America.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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