Q&A: Adrian Grenier talks creating a monster with Teenage Paparazzo, becoming a pap, and life on Entourage
We know him best as Vinny Chase, the doe-eyed lead from HBO’s Entourage. But recently, Adrian Grenier added something new to the equation as a documentary film maker. It started when he was dealing with the paparazzi–a part of daily life for him in LA–when he noticed one of the shutterbugs was surprisingly young. As in, 13-years-old and still young enough to look cute in a Justin Bieber haircut. Austin Visschedyk, the pre-pubescent who realized he could make a whole lot more cash staying out til 4 a.m. snapping pics of Paris and Lindsay than, say, keeping a paper route. He would become the subject of Grenier’s intrigue and his next film, Teenage Paparazzo. We had a chance to chat with Grenier about making the kid famous, his own relationship with the paps, and, because we couldn’t resist, we talked Entourage.
On making the kid famous: “Well, yeah, I didn’t expect it, but I guess on some level, I guess I was teaching–or at least learning from myself and at the same time trying to teach him how best to be famous. If you’re going to be famous, do it the right way, with grace and humbleness and self-reflection, and don’t take it for granted.”
On creating a monster: “Yeah, but at the same time that little monster who was so intriguing, he’s a great star–he’s a star! He’s like something you’d see in a Spielberg film. Exploit him. [laughs]”
So did he like the kid? “I gotta say, I was a bit intimidated by him, he was a bit–I didn’t know how to control him. I was literally chasing him around.”
On getting TMZ to comment in the film: “Yeah, well I had a hard time. I called Harvey Levin and tried to get an interview and he couldn’t do it cause he was booked up until 2012. [What if] TMZ alone is like the cause of 2012…2012 implosion?
On grabbing a camera and becoming a pap: “It touched this primal side of you where there’s this chase, the hunt and that’s undeniably exciting and wonderful. And they get that rush every day. It’s more than a lot of people can say about their daily jobs. It’s hard to judge them on that. And also if they’re just trying to make some money, make a living, support their children, often, and a lot of these guys are out of jail with criminal records, so they [may] have a harder time getting a legitimate job. So it sort of makes sense to me.”
Does he still let the paps take his picture? “No. Now I just call them by their name and go ‘Okay Joe! Get outta here, Joe!'”
On his current relationship with Austin: “Yeah, it’s evolved into…he doesn’t really take my picture anymore, he’s totally not interested. I mean, he could get so many embarrassing photos of me, but he has new interest. And I think partly because that chase element is gone. With a lot of the paparazzi too, there’s less urgency. There’s nothing to capture because I’m right there in front of them, speaking plainly.”
On life after Entourage: “I want to make one more documentary at least. One at a time. And them I have a couple features that I’m developing but I don’t know. They’re hard so it’s going to take a while.”
On how Entourage went this season: “I have to say that I’m happy to be able to do something different, so it’s been enjoyable on an acting level and it’s nice to see some change in Vince. Vince is always the cool even guy who supports his brothers but it’s Vince’s turn.”
On Entourage ending: “Um end? What?”