A phrase likely rooted in stage theatre, the expression “behind the curtain” has long signified the revealing of a hidden workings of something. It is often used in the context of stage productions, but it can also be applied to movies or anything else that has a certain theatrical flair. It is an image that has become a part of popular culture, perhaps most famously in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz when Frank Morgan’s character, the Wizard of Oz himself, attempts to convince Dorothy and her friends to ignore the fact that their magical wish-granting Wizard is just a man behind a curtain operating a complex array of special effects.
Jeremy Piven is no stranger to the behind-the-curtain Jeremy Piven magic, having spent his life as a thespian and enjoying the work that comes with it. He is a master craftsman who enjoys the challenge of taking a screenplay and molding it into being. His role on Entourage, the HBO series that skewered and celebrated Hollywood in equal measure, made him a household name. He did the near-impossible, turning the nigh insufferable Ari Gold into television’s most lovable agent.
Piven is a native of Chicago, and while he loves spending time in more classically metropolitan, faster-paced cities such as New York and London, he is firmly a son of the Windy City. He is a diehard fan of many of the area’s professional sports teams, including the Blackhawks, Bears and Bulls. He credits his Chicago upbringing with giving him the skills he needed to succeed on stage and later on screen.
As he looks ahead to his next project, Piven is clearly excited about the film he is working on with Mark Pellington. The movie will be released by Netflix, a move that is a nod to the streaming giant’s commitment to independent films and to the fact that it can bring audiences into the theater in ways that the big studios cannot.
Behind the Curtain: Exploring the Magic of Jeremy Piven’s English Craft opens Friday, Sept. 9 at the Red Rock Ballroom. Tickets are available now.
This article originally appeared on The A.V. Club and has been reprinted with permission from the author. For more about this and other stories, visit the A.V. Club website.
Jeremy Piven is an American actor who recently starred in the BBC/PBS period drama Mr. Selfridge, for which he has received critical acclaim both in the United States and the United Kingdom. He stars as Harry Gordon Selfridge, the flamboyant English retail magnate who built one of the world’s finest department stores in early 20th century London.
Jeremy Piven is an American actor who has worked extensively in the theater, on Broadway and on television. He is best known for his roles as Spence Kovak on the HBO series Entourage and as Harry Gordon Selfridge in the British period drama Mr. Selfridge. He has been a member of the Board of Directors at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center since 2010. Piven lives in New York with his wife, Laura, and their two daughters, Sophie and Zo.