Douglas Reed "Doug" Ellin is the creator of the HBO television series Entourage. Ellin also served as executive producer and head writer for the series. He attended Tulane University.
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Let’s hug it out, reddit! Hi guys, I’m Doug Ellin and you may know me as the creator of Entourage. With the movie premiere coming up on June 3rd, I thought you all might have some questions about what went on behind the scenes.
Before we start though, I also wanted you guys to know that I’m helping to raise money for the Noreen Fraser Foundation and Mobile Kitchen Classroom through my friends at Omaze. If you join me in supporting these great charities, you could win a trip to Hollywood to walk the red carpet and party with me, Adrian Grenier, and the whole crew at the world premiere of the Entourage movie. We’ll even let you bring a friend. Sound like fun to you? Click here to enter to join us: http://omaze.com/entourage
Edit: Alright guys, thanks so much for letting me do this. Please go see the movie JUNE 3rd. But more importantly, donate to Omaze for a couple great causes! Maybe we will see you at the premiere!
Another edit: Here's a special video message from me and the gang inviting you to the premiere. Do it, or else Ronda Rousey might destroy you!
Need any more?
Nailed it. It's just a fun ride.
Thanks for doing this AMA – I’m a big fan of Entourage!
I’ve often heard that Entourage as described as “Sex and the City for guys” do you take offense to this description or as a compliment?
Are you a fan of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” and if so who’s your favorite character?
Finally what is the funniest incident you recall dealing with Ari Emanuel (who was the inspiration for Ari Gold)?
1) Sex and the City was an amazing, groundbreaking show. I didn't set out to be compared to it, but I take it as a compliment!
2) Love GOT. Dragons are my favorite characters.
3) In the first pitch meeting, before I had a chance to speak, Ari said "it's about Mark Wahlberg and his friends. This guy (me) is gonna write it. If it sucks, we are gonna fire him and someone else is gonna rewrite it."
Can you give a high five to Scott Vener for me? His music selection was incredible for the show.
He's a little low energy for a high five, but yes I will do that.
I met Ari Gold (in character at the Barnes and Noble in NYC) and told him that the character inspired me to be doing what I'm doing and how I'm where I am because of the show (I'm a lawyer working in the entertainment business) and he shattered my life by saying that it's fake and making me feel like an idiot.
I ask you this, Doug, am I an idiot?
No, you are not. Remember the words that Ari speaks on the show were written by someone else. The words he spoke in the bookstore were written by him.
Big fan of the show and looking forward to the movie! My one question is are Ari Gold's lines mostly written for him or does Jeremy Piven improv a lot (most?) of his now classic lines?
99.9% of the words that came outta Ari Gold's mouth were on the page. Very little improv. Check out The Gold Standard Book.
I'm so excited about the upcoming Entourage movie!
I have two questions: 1) What made you give E and Sloan the happy ending at the end of the series? 2) How was it hanging with some of the Warriors for the movie screening you did not too long ago?
Thank you for doing this AMA!
1) I like happy endings.
2) And I love the Warriors.
The only thing that would've made me be a bigger fan of Steph Curry is if he was a Knick, like he was suppose to be.
Who are guest stars you really wanted on the show or in the movie but couldn't get them?
Jimmy Page. David Gilmour. Russell Crowe.
Would Mark Wahlberg play me 1 on 1 in basketball? Not going to lie, he'd lose
I can't speak for Mark, but I've never seen him lose. He'll beat you up if need be.
Hey Doug, would you ever consider making a spin off of Entourage? Maybe about Billy Walsh??
I'd do anything with Rhys, he's a genius.
how did Turtle get the nickname Turtle?
Mark had a friend named Donkey and I was looking to differentiate them but still have a 4-legged creature.
Hey Doug, Love Entourage. I was wondering, How is Mark Walberg in person? Any stories from him as a producer?
Mark is amazing. Driven, supportive, and his best story is when Eli Manning bailed on the show, I didn't know where to turn. A week before shooting, Mark said how bout Tom Brady and I do it? As a die hard Giants fan, this was obviously an enormous conflict, but turned out great. Love Tom and love Mark!
Have you eaten at Fat Sals?
Yes, love it.
How did getting Eminem on the show happen?
He called me. He put a Johnny Drama reference in his song, So Bad... "Word to Johnny Drama, keep my entourage with me."
Did you have any influence in the Nike Entourage shoes? Like the Air force 1's and SB Dunks?
What is your story about those?
That's what I wear.
Hey Doug, big fan of yours.
Any advice for a group of guys trying to make their own TV show?
Yeah, go out and do it. With digital cameras and everything now, nothing should be holding you back. When I was younger it cost a fortune, now you can do it for next to nothing. Go write a script and Go!
Hi Doug, awesome of you doing this AmA :)!
On many occasion, we could hear about 3 Entourage movies! So is there going to be 2 others movies no matter what or everything will lean on the success of this movie ?
Lean. Leaning Tower of Pisa! So get out there and go see the movie. Bring everyone you know! Even if you go see Spy, buy a ticket for Entourage. We need the support more than Melissa does.
How did you come up with the idea of entourage, or when was the first time you approached Mark with idea and what was his first reaction to it?
Mark brought it to me.
I love Johnny Drama. In a strange way, as much of a buffoon as he is, he's a kind of role model to me. Did you (and company) intend to give him this depth? Is he based on anybody you can mention?
Kevin brought so much to it that the character definitely grew the second we cast him.
1) Who was the most difficult cameo to schedule (movie or show)?
2) Did anyone on the team try to get Adrian the Aquaman part in the new Batman movies? Because that's my one and only Aquaman.
3) Fuck the squirrel.
Maybe his agent?
Who is Dramas character based off? Is he truly that hilarious?
Can I come to the premiere? Entourage was a big part of my growing up and holds a special meaning to me and at what was a tumultuous time in life (highschool)
Drama is based on two people. 1, Mark's cousin Johnny Drama who is absolutely hilarious. 2, one of my closest friends from elementary school who is not quite so hilarious.
And if you want to come to the premiere, how bout you donate to our charities run by Omaze for a chance to be there?! http://omaze.com/entourage
Is there any chance we might see a similar thing to Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, in that Ari Gold has his own spin off show?
How much of Drama's awesome one liners are improvised and how much of them are actually based off the script?
What's your favorite Entourage episode?
The Pilot, because it got us to where we are today.
Doug, the New York Rangers getting a W tonight? LGR!
Yes. They saw the movie last night, we are hoping that gives the New Yorkers a little bit of luck.
What tv show are you going to produce next?
Working on several things with HBO right now, stay tuned.
Favorite porn star?
Sasha Grey, obviously.
Hey Doug, UW Badger here and a huge fan. I almost got a chance to skype with you a couple years back through UW Hollywood Badgers, but it was cancelled last minute.
Anyway, my question is that I've been dying to ask: What words of advice would you give to a fellow filmmaker and actor who is just getting started out in LA? Start making shorts and hope someone notices? Any key advice for writing riveting material? Thanks!
Write and film something ASAP!
I had a chance to see the movie on Wednesday for an Advanced Screening and loved it! I'll be seeing it again opening weekend.
Without giving anything away, do you plan on continuing the story in any way? The movie felt like a rejuvenation.
Thank you, appreciate that! It's just a story of friendships, so it could go anywhere.
What inspired you to direct this movie rather than just producing and writing?
Whenever scripts were finished, I would direct. Since I had no other episodes that needed to be written, I was obviously going to direct.
You're the man...you inspired me to want to get into the business.
As only a 2nd year college student, what advice can you give me to get my foot in the door and gain some experience?
Try to get a PA (production assistant) job on a set. And if you're a writer, write at night. Write as much as you can, as often as you can, even though I do not.
Hi Doug, who was your favorite guest star cameo on Entourage, and why?
Mark Teixeira because he got me access to Yankee Stadium, and I fulfilled a childhood dream by shooting on the field with my children and my father present.
What was the driving factor to create the movie after the show ended?
We always thought that the show was a very cinematic show, and I always wanted the chance to see it with a large group of people in a theater.
Favorite film location for the movie coming out?
Hey Doug Ellin! I'm a huge fan! What's your favourite Johnny Drama moment?
Grand Canyon. VICTORY!
What's a fun hobby of your's?
Basketball is my favorite thing on earth, unfortunately I'm getting older by the second.
Hi Doug, I love Entourage and I'm stoked for the movie!
One thing I noticed when I went back and watched the show again. At the end of the episode "I Love You Too" the boys see U2 live. And you can be seen standing next to them. This brings up a continuity error, since on the show you play a role in casting Drama, on multiple occasions. Since Drama hates your character, it's funny that you both end up standing next to each other at the U2 concert. Did you ever notice this?
I always found that quite interesting. Regardless, love the show!
Maybe we were both fucked up and just didn't recognize each other?
I was so happy when I realized you played the Director that Drama hated… Any reason why you wanted to play that specific role (other than the obvious Director / Director reasoning)?
Least amount of dialogue, so hopefully I wouldn't screw it up.
Big fan of the show. A bunch of my friends are going to go see it when it hits theaters.
Is there any chance of another Entourage movie coming out if this turns out well? Or maybe a spin-off?
Edit: Oh yeah, any chance I could be a background character in the next movie if it happens? Maybe raking some leaves or a crazy homeless guy like in The Other Guys? Can't hurt to ask.
Yes! Absolutely! We need all of your friends to go. Once, twice, three times! Don't forget we are a small movie and need support. Also, why not try and win tickets to the premiere while also helping some good causes!? http://omaze.com/entourage
Were there any celebrities that approached you to appear on the show, but you just couldn't make it work?
Hi Doug! You changed my life when I was deployed and bought a bootleg of Entourage in Afghanistan back in 2006. I haven't looked back since and moved to Burbank to become a writer. Thank you for everything. Would you ever work on a show that would have kind of the same premise as Entourage, or do you always expand your horizons with different types of plots/stories?
I'm always up for the best idea. And thanks so much for your service!