Oscar winners James Cameron and Paul Haggis had definite ideas about how they wanted to play themselves on “Entourage.”
In the HBO series about behind-the-scenes Hollywood, Cameron directed a fictional big-budget titled “Aquaman,” starring upcoming actor Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier).
“Mr. Cameron didn’t want ‘Aquaman’ to bomb, which, fortunately, we figured out a way to make sure that didn’t happen,” executive producer Doug Ellin said at the Television Critics Association’s summer meeting this week.
The crew showered Haggis, who wrote the screenplay for “Crash” and “Million Dollar Baby,” with compliments.
“Paul Haggis was just great. He was open to everything, and he was very, very, very cool,” Ellin said.
“Good actor as well,” said Kevin Dillon, who plays Johnny Drama.
“They seemed happy to not be directing, happy acting,” added Kevin Connolly, who plays Chase’s manager, Eric.
The show never addresses whether the fake “Aquaman” was a critical success, a decision Cameron also influenced.
“Two things I’ll say about it is he didn’t insist, but he asked nicely and he’s got a strong presence, so we decided to go with that,” Ellin said. “I don’t think he’s made a bad movie. So we like to think this was a very good movie.”
Now in its third season, the show’s success has changed the lives of its little-known cast.
“I just bought a house that I can’t afford,” Connolly said. “We’re still in the early stages of it, so hopefully it continues for a few more years.”