Interview: Kevin Dillon (Unedited)

This interview was taken in 2010 before the final season of Entourage aired. I was 23 then, hence the excitement in the interview!

Hello?

Nick? Nick? How are ya?

Hey Kevin! How are you, man?

Good, good, good talkin’ to ya.

I really cannot tell you how cool this is to actually speak to you. We are such huge fans of Entourage in India. You probably have no idea of the massive fan following here.

No, I don’t have any idea, I’m very surprised by that, I think it’s great.

And especially your character… we all love Johnny Drama! He’s epic!

(Chuckles)

Yeah, in fact, I told a few of my friends that I’m going to speaking with you, and they really want to kill me just because I’m getting to speak with YOU! So thanks so much for your time man.

(Chuckles) Oh, you got it, buddy! You got it.

I want to ask you a lot of questions about Entourage. But before that I want to ask you, do you know anything about Bollywood? Have you seen any Indian… Bollywood movies?

I have seen some Bollywood movies, yeah, all the great dance sequences, all the beautiful Indians, all the nice dresses, all the colourful dresses they wear.

I am just curious – if you were ever offered a Bollywood film, would you consider taking it up?

I guess so, maybe, I guess it’s a possibility. They do make a lot of movies there.

Yeah, they do.

That would be fun, yeah!

Have you been to India yet?

I’ve never been to India. But I’ve been dying to go. I’ve seen places like Thailand and the Phillipines and stuff, but never been to India.

Entourage fans will probably go beserk if they spot you when you are here.

(Laughs) I’ll have to go then, I’ll have to come on out then. There’s an island out there I wanted to go to. Like a tropical island, isn’t there? I forget what it’s called but I’ve wanted to go there.

Andaman and Nicobar Island?

Yeah, that’s it! That’s it. I’ve been dying to go there. It looks like a really nice place.

Yeah, it sure is.

I really don’t have a connect with India yet. I recently watched that… junkyard dogs was it… or what was the… the movie..

Slumdog Millionaire?

What was it?

Slumdog Millionaire?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Slumdog Millionaire.. I saw that recently. It was so good and so well done, it really captured. I just loved that movie! But that’s… I really don’t have any real connection to Indian movies at all. But I just love all the dance sequences.. they are so cool.

Right. So I want to talk to you about Entourage now. As a fan, I cannot tell you how crushed I am to know it’s coming to an end next season. What about you?

Awww, you are not the only one. I’m pretty busted also. I’m gonna miss Johnny Drama.

When you first came to know Entourage is coming to an end, how did you process the information? How’s life going to be for you after seven-eight seasons of Entourage?

It’s gonna be tough, you know. But I’ve always known that it’s gonna come to an end and that it’s gonna be tough times, but we still got one more season yet. So, it’s not over yet, but it’s going to be a sad day when we shoot that final episode. I’m gonna miss the guys going to work. We really do have a great relationship with all my fellow actors, you know we all get along well. Most of all though, just to get a character like Johnny Drama, they don’t come along that often, to get a character that’s that good and that much fun to play. I’m going to miss that the most, I think. Having a character that’s so exciting to play, so much fun to play. He had so many problems, that’s what makes him fun to play. (Chuckles) He’s got a lot of issues, Johnny Drama.

You know, fans are really dying to know, how similar or different are you from Johnny Drama? I had seen an interview of yours where you said you’d put in a lot of yourself into the character. Can you tell me exactly tell me how much Kevin Dillon there is in Johnny Drama?

(Chuckles) Yeah, you know, I think all actors put themselves into their characters a bit. Yeah, you know, Johnny Drama’s, he’s got a lot of heart.. and I get a lot of that (laughs). I try to get a lot of that.. I try to put a lot of heart and a lot of ummm… he’s persistent. And I think I’m that way also. He doesn’t give up. And that’s what I love about hm. He’s got a lot of really bad qualities too (laughs)… but he’s very insecure, he’s kind of got a big ego, a big ego and very insecure, and I don’t think I’m that way. So… but I take the good with the bad. And that really, I didn’t protect the character so much, like some actors will protect their characters, ‘My character won’t do that. I won’t do that, I wouldn’t do that.’ I didn’t do that with Drama. I’d say, ‘Yeah, he WOULD do that.’ So, uhh, he’s open for anything. So that’s why he’s unpredictable. And anything can happen with Drama any time. That’s what makes him fun to play, really does.

In the seven seasons you’ve played Drama so far, are their any traits of Drama that you’ve picked up? Has that happened?

Any traits of Drama? Oh yeah, you know what, I say bro now! Which is a total Johnny Drama thing. ‘Hey bro! Hey bro!’ I never used to say ‘bro’ (chuckles), you know. That was something that was written for Drama. ‘Hey bro! Hey bro!’ I actually do say that a lot. Yeah, you know what, I’ve learnt to cook, which is a Johnny Drama trait. I didn’t cook before, and I had to get good. If I had to play Drama, you know, I’d have to learn how to chop right, look like I know what I’m doing in the kitchen. I’ve got a lot better at it since I’ve started cooking a little bit. So I’ve gotten much better at that! I’ve become a ping pong player now. I never played ping pong before. There are all these things I had to learn as an actor because of Drama, I had to learn how to do this, you know. So, uhh… I don’t think there are any others, but it’s always great when you get to learn stuff from your role.

Of course, like you said before, Drama’s really unpredictable too. So there’s a lot of stuff that Drama’s done – bad stuff – that you’d probably not do in real life. But is there anything that you do that you could Drama doing?

Uhhh yeah.. like I drive into Malibu, and I live in Malibu. Johnny Drama hates Malibu, remember, I don’t know if you remember from season 2, he can’t stand Malibu, and I ended up living in Malibu, personally. So uhhh.. Johnny Drama thinks, ‘Malibu! Too far! Too much traffic!’ And that’s where I ended up living in. Let’s see… (thinks)… uhh.. there’s probably a lot more. Can’t think of any more.

What about the other way round? Drama’s done some pretty outrageous stuff. Any thing in particular Drama’s done that you could never imagine yourself doing in real life?

(Laughs) Oh yeah, there’s probably a lot of things Johnny Drama things, like sneaking into the mansion. I get to walk into the mansion now (laughs)… the Playboy mansion! You know, uhh, you know, just the way he explodes all the time.. he’s like, all up at any given time. I’d like to think I’m a lot more calm than that, you know, I wouldn’t do that. But, uhh.. that’s what makes him fun to play though, that he’s so explosive.

Yeah, he keeps having all these meltdowns.

Yeah, the meltdowns are great. And he’s self destructive. Everytime something’s going well for Johnny Drama, he manages to screw it up and ruin it.

Are there any qualities in Drama that you feel you don’t have – qualities you wish you had?

Actually there is, yeah, you know… my career’s going pretty well right now, and a lot of it’s got to do with Johnny Drama. The reason why my career’s going so well. But Johnny Drama’s struggling a little bit with his career right now. One thing that I really love is how he never quits, he’d be really down, he gets knocked down, but he gets back on his feet and he keeps trying. And I love that about the character more than anything at all. He’s just so great in that way. He gets knocked down but he keeps getting back on his feet, he never gives up. No matter how bad things get. There’s another quality too that’s really great about him. He’s very loyal to his friends and very protective of them. And he’d do just about anything for his friends, for his brother Vince, you know. He’s good in that kind of way. Though I’d like to think that quality I have also (chuckles). But that’s something that’s great about Drama. One of those things, part of this heart that makes him pretty likeable. Cuz he does some pretty bad things (chuckles), but he’s really great in some other ways. So, these are some of his great qualities.

Drama also gets some pretty funny storylines that no one else gets. Is there any stuff in the storylines that’s been inspired by what you’ve done in real life? Have you put any stories from your life that you’ve put into Drama’s?

Uhh, you know, I’ve had ideas that I give to the writers, and they take it somewhere. From my memory, just the thing about Turtle and Drama kind of battling it out for the girl, trying to out to each other on the bus. That was my idea and they wrote a whole script about that. Umm, you know a lot of times I’ll have ideas and I’ll send them to Doug Ellin. Another thing was, as an actor I’ve been to a lot of auditions, you know. And I’ve been in auditions where, you know, the guy would be playing around with his blackberry. And I’m like, hey man, do you mind? I’m trying to audition here, and you’re playing with your Blackberry. Drama has that big explosion at the audition room – I’ve been in auditions where that’s happened before, where people answer cellphones and that kind of thing. And I didn’t do what Drama did. I wish I had, I wish I could’ve, I wish I had, if I could say, the balls to do it. But I didn’t do it.

And I’ve had so many actors come up to me and say, ‘Wow! I wanted to do that! I did that in the audition – I told them to do this and do that!’ And that’s where Drama becomes like, for all actors, he becomes this kind of look upto, because he stood up for himself in an audition. Then, you know, I’ve always wanted to do that, but I don’t think I could. (Laughs) Takes a lot of guts, really.

Haha. Now tell me, there’s this one thing that we’ve all been dying to know – Is it actually that much fun? The guys on Entourage live this life every guy dreams of. Is it really like that in real life too?

Yeah, it kind of is, actually! You know, it’s all about friendship. And if you have, or if you are with, like in our case, we got four great friends. So if you are with three of your great buddies, and I guess a lot of its got to do with the fame too, and the money, and being able to go anywhere and that. But yeah, you’ll have a great time in Hollywood. Everything, if I go, went out with all the other actors right now, we’d have as much fun as the characters do on the show (chuckles). Yeah, I mean, it really is. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun to go out. But it’s really about – it’s about the friends you’re with really.

(Pauses) I think I’ll have just as much fun in Bolly if I’m with the right people, you know?

Haha, yes, that’s true. You know, I want to also ask you this one thing I’m curious about. You guys work with some of the most beautiful women in Entourage. How distracting is that? Is it, or is it not distracting? Especially with Emmanuelle Chriqui around too – who’s like one of the hottest girls ever!

(Laughs) Haha, yeah, well she is very beautiful girl. She’s a really sweet girl as well. You know, it does get a little bit distracting. It’s one of the real plusses of the show – that we have just the background girls who are beautiful. If you look like, in any of the scenes you look at the back, they’re gorgeous, you know. They do hire the best extras – they call them extras – so we have really, really hot extras on the show. And I guess, it’s kind of real life, because, in agencies, you’d see, you know, a lot of actresses, you know, a lot of pretty actresses. And in night clubs you’d see a lot of beautiful girls out here in LA, in the nightclubs! So, I think it is more or less true. Maybe it’s a little more so on our show. We have more beautiful girls on the show than in real life.

We keep reading that you guys have become really good friends now. Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Connolly were the best men at your wedding. Do you guys have an entourage too, when you guys go out together? Or is it just the four of you?

I guess, you know, I guess, you can kind of call it an entourage. But yeah, we all do hang out together. As a matter of fact, today, we are going out to dinner in LA. We are about 7 or 8 guys who are really close, and we’re going out for dinner tonight. And that’s, I guess it’s kind of like our own entourage. But umm, but there’s no leader, there’s no Vince. Everyone’s doing really well. Kinda like Entourage without Vince.

Now I really want to ask you about the movie. There’s so much talk of a movie – is there anything you can tell us about it?

You know, there isn’t right now – the movie’s just a rumour. I’d love for it to happen, I think that would be great, and I would be up for that. And I’m sure all the guys would do it. But right now, you know, I won’t believe it until I see a script. Until they make an offer, because right now it’s just a rumour. But I hope so, I’ve got my fingers crossed. I think it would be great – it would be nice to have an unlimited budget to do what we want!

Because, you know, our show is a very expensive show to make. And a lot of times HBO complains about the price and the budget of our show. So if we did a movie, we’d be able to do what we want without any complaints.

What about the final season? I know you wouldn’t know what’s happening in the final season. But since you’ve played Drama for so long, how would you like it to end for him? Do you have something in mind for him?

Well, I did. There is a way I’d like him to end, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. But I always thought that Johnny Drama won an award. Like an Emmy, or a Golden Globe, or something. That would be, that would be just, the ultimate Victory, for Johnny Drama. You can see him winning the award and screaming Victory. That would be cool for it to happen. For him to be on the Golden Globe. I doubt that will happen, but if I was writing, I’d probably write that.

I wanted to take this moment to tell you, that I adapted ‘Victory’ as my personal catchphrase ever since you started saying it on Entourage!

(Laughs)

Yeah, you have no idea – my friends would think I’m nuts but every time something good would happen to my life, I would shout Victory!

(Laughs more)

And I can’t believe I’m getting to say this to you personally! This is so cool!

Haha, aww that’s so cool. I loved hearing that. I loved hearing that (chuckles). You know a lot of people have been doing that, actually. I’ve seen that. If I’m watching, like ESPN, or something, I’ll hear the players go Victory! People are saying it all the time and I love to hear it!

Yeah, but there was very little Viking Quest this season. Is Viking Quest something you’d love to explore beyond the show? It could be a great idea for a comic strip or a comic series of its own after the show ends.

(Laughs) Yeah, that would be funny. You know, I always thought it would be cool if we shot a little footage of Viking Quest, to use when I’m watching a rerun. I think that would be really funny to see me in Viking Quest gear, a really poor production of a TV show. That, to me, would have been hilarious. But I think what you see next year, and I don’t really know if they’ve written the scripts, but I got a feeling you might see some more of Johnny’s bananas – the cartoons, with Johnny as a gorilla. I think you’re probably gonna see more of that. So that should be interesting. Like they say, Johnny Drama, he’s got the face for radio! (Laughs)

You know, it’s so cool that you’re cool with all the insults that Johnny Drama gets on the show. But was it something that you discussed with the writers when taking on the show – how much insult is okay?

(Chuckles) Yeah, Drama does go through a lot of abuse. And I guess, I’m just cool with that. We’re all, we all kind of abuse each other a little bit. Like I’ll beat up Turtle.. or .. well he’s just got so skinny now that I can’t call him fat anymore. So I guess he’ll be skinny now. Well, yeah, Johnny Drama, being that he’s the oldest, he kind of gets picked on a little bit, but that’s all part of his character. That makes lukewarm a little bit harder, they pull for him, because they want to see him do well. Every time someone insults him or everytime he fails at something, they really wanna, they root for him, they want him to succeed at something. You know, it’s all part of the character.

Yeah, that’s really true. You know, this is just a hypothetical question, but do you think a Johnny Drama spinoff is possible after Entourage ends? Or a Viking Quest, for that matter? The character’s cult, for sure.

Yeah, I think they actually could spin off Johnny Drama. I don’t think they will, but I think it, I mean, I would be interested, I mean I would talk to them if they would. But I think that’s only if they were to spin him off and you could do that, and still bring Turtle back maybe as his buddy and maybe Vince, and the other guys could keep popping up now and then. And then Entourage could still be somewhat alive, and there could be cameos by all the other guys. I think that’s something that very, very easily could happen but I don’t know if it would. But I think that would be fun.

So before we end, is there a funny/Entourage-ish incident from Kevin Dillon’s Hollywood story that you could tell us?

Umm… you know, I really can’t think of one off-hand. Basically everything that happens on Entourage, does happen in Hollywood though. All these things have happened, they are not so outrageous that they are unbelievable. They do happen, they happen all the time. They do happen and they will happen again. I really can’t think of a story now, off-hand.

Something that defined your years in Hollywood?

Well, I grew up in New York, so I didn’t really grow up in Hollywood. But at the same time, my brother, Matt, was a big teen idol, when I was a kid, growing up. So I was around all this – you know, when I grew up, he was being chased down the street by girls, he was a big teen idol. I don’t know maybe even in India, but in America, he was like the Beatles, he’ll be chased around, you know. So I grew up with that kind of situation with, you know, girls driving by the house. So I had, kind of a strange growing up you know, being around a movie star brother who was so famous, you know.
Kinda like the show, like Johnny Drama and Vince, but reversed, you know (chuckles). There, the younger brother is famous, even though the older brother was doing it first. That’s the genius of Entourage, that they came up with that plan.

Finally, I just want to ask you – now that there’s going to be a year-long gap before the next season of Entourage, so what are you going to be up to until then? And after Entourage is over, what are your plans?

Hopefully, I’ll continue to movies. I always try and do movies during the off-season. So I hope to, that I’ve at least got one movie, between now and shooting. That’s the plan. And uhh, I will hope to always have my movie career going. You know, I’ve done 20 movies before Entourage. So been doing movies for a long time. And I hope to continue doing that. And maybe, you know, maybe I could take another TV show. Something like that could be a good idea. But it’s gonna be, like I said, (chuckles) it’s gonna be a very sad day when Johnny Drama bids farewell.. the last day of Johnny Drama is going to be a sad day, it really is. It was a brilliant character to play, and I have to say that I’m a lucky actor. I really am. A lot of actors would love to play this guy. I really am.

Honestly, I think we are really lucky fans that you played the character! You’re saying that the last day of Johnny Drama is sad, but I really think Johnny’s going to live on with Entourage! It’s been such a cult show, I don’t think fans will ever get tired of seeing it over and over.

(Laughs)

Thanks, Kevin! This has been the most incredible interview of my life!

Aww, thanks a lot buddy, I really appreciate it. It was really great talkin to you! You know, I want to come out to India, I really do. I might even try to come out before next year.

It will be great man! I wish I could interview you in person some day.

What part of India are you in?

I live in Bombay – the place where Bollywood’s at.

You’re in Bolly? Okay! Okay, well, maybe I’ll try and track you down when I come down there. We’ll go out for lunch, all right?

Haha, it would be a dream come true, man!

Oh well, maybe I could do that! If I could try andmake it out there, because I’m seriously considering doing that.

Yeah , I’ll definitely show you around. I could be your entourage!

Haha, all right, that sounds good, that sounds great! You can show me around Bolly, that’d be cool. I bet Bolly’s a lot of fun.

Yeah, it sure is.

Yeah, that would be cool.

Thanks, Kevin. Thanks so much for your time. I’m really looking forward to the last season, I hope the movie happens and I also hope that there’s a Johnny Drama spin off, or at least a Viking Quest comic book – because you’ve made the character cult, man!

(Chuckles) Yeah, it is cult. It is cult. That would be cool to see too. The Viking Quest comic. An animation version of it, would be great!

Yeah, thanks Kevin. This was so cool!

All right buddy, it was great talkin’ to you man!

Take care, man

All right, take care.

Note: An edited version of this interview first appeared in Hindustan Times
Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

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