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The Real-Life Bros of ‘Entourage’

Meet the dudes who inspired movie’s Hollywood players and pals

Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon, Jeremy Piven

Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven in 'Entourage.'

Claudette Barius

When Entourage hit the airwaves in 2004, it was common knowledge that the show was based loosely on the exploits of executive producer Mark Wahlberg and his hometown buddies who accompanied him to Tinseltown. This summer, the wayward Hollywood heroes are back with their own movie — so it's time to meet the actual guys who inspired Vinnie, Turtle, Drama, E. and Ari, and see what's become of them.

mark wahlberg and adrian grenier

Kevin Winter/Getty (2)

Vincent Chase (Mark Wahlberg)

How Similar Are They to Their Character?
Entourage was inspired by Wahlberg's arrival in Hollywood in the Nineties, but other stars shaped Chase too. Ex-HBO head Chris Albrecht said the character is "more Leonardo DiCaprio."

How Do They Feel About Their Portrayal?
"I will never own up to which bits are real!" Wahlberg has said. " 'Deny until you die' is my motto," adding that his experiences "were always a lot more dark and edgy."

Where Are They Now?
In addition to producing the Entourage movie, Wahlberg appears as himself in the film. In June, he'll reunite with cinema's favorite foul-mouthed stuffed bear for Ted 2.

donnie carrol and jerry ferrara

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty; Nik Platinum

Turtle (Donnie Carroll)

How Similar Are They to Their Character?
Donnie "Donkey" Carroll was Wahlberg's childhood friend and occasional assistant. "The similarities really end at the name and the wardrobe," says Entourage creator Doug Ellin.

How Do They Feel About Their Portrayal?
Accuracy aside, Carroll was bitter about the show. "I've been by [Wahlberg's] side since Day One," he said in 2005. "And I got nothing [from Entourage]. Not 10 cents. Nothing."

Where Are They Now?
Carroll tried to make it as a rapper (his stage name was Murda One), but his hip-hop career never took off. In 2005, he died of a reported asthma attack at the age of 39.

johnny alves and kevin dillon

Albert L. Ortega/Getty; Stefanie Keenan/Getty

Johnny Drama (Johnny Alves)

How Similar Are They to Their Character?
Unrelated Wahlberg "cousin" and musician-actor Johnny "Drama" Alves has the outsize personality of Kevin Dillon's C-list stud. "He's definitely the closest [match]," Ellin says.

How Do They Feel About Their Portrayal?
Alves didn't just audition to play himself, he also tried out for the Ari Gold part. He didn't get either, but took it in Drama-esque stride. "Kevin did such a great job," he said.

Where Are They Now?
A father of three now living in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Alves was on the Wahlburgers reality show and fronts the funk band Johnny Drama and His Funky Entourage.

kevin connoly and eric weinstein

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty; Ray Tamarra/Getty

E. (Eric Weinstein)

How Similar Are They to Their Character?
A former junkie, Weinstein met Wahlberg consulting for The Basketball Diaries, then became his assistant. But, Ellin says, "the show's E. is closer to Mark's manager, Steve Levinson."

How Do They Feel About Their Portrayal?
Weinstein has said that E. is more a reflection of the writers' personalities than his. Still, Weinstein added, "I love [actor] Kevin Connolly. He did a great job."

Where Are They Now?
Weinstein is still Wahlberg's right-hand man. He's even had small roles in several of the actor's recent movies, including Broken City, Ted and The Fighter.

Ari Emanuel and Jeremy Piven

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty; Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty

Ari Gold (Ari Emanuel)

How Similar Are They to Their Character?
William Morris Endeavor co-CEO Emanuel is known for his brash style. "He's fast-talking, on the move, and Jeremy Piven was able to capture that amazingly," Ellin says.

How Do They Feel About Their Portrayal?
"That's not who I am," Emanuel said in 2011. Wahlberg tells a different story, saying that Emanuel once proclaimed "I'm the real Ari" to a group of Entourage fans.

Where Are They Now?
The second-most-hardass member of his family (his brother is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel), Ari personally reps Martin Scorsese, Larry David and Oprah Winfrey.

In This Article: Entourage, Mark Wahlberg

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