Q&A: Jeremy Piven

Jeremy Piven earned rave reviews as a hard-charging Hollywood agent in HBO's "Entourage," and now he's to star in "Lucky 13," a movie about the cutthroat world of bar mitzvahs. He talked to NEWSWEEK's Hilary Shenfeld.

NEWSWEEK: What kind of entourage do you have?

Piven:I am an entourage of one.

Don't your agent and publicist count?

Sure, I have a team, but in terms of a driver, an assistant, all of those things that go along with it--a blazer consultant, a hair-tinting consultant--I don't have that. I'm not that guy.

So you don't have an entourage. But you did have a bar mitzvah.

The highlight was getting my Torah portion right and having Melissa Bruce touch me. She was, to me, the hottest girl in school, and maybe because I was the bar mitzvah boy or maybe I had a little something going on, but I'll always remember it.

And yet, still no wedding bells for you.

I think I might be a late bloomer in terms of being ready to step up. I feel I've shaken myself out of a long slumber and I'm now ready for possibilities.

By the way, you and I both went to Evanston Township High School. My friend Kara and I used to crank-call you and say, "We love you, Jeremy!"

Wait a minute, was she a senior with you when I was a junior?



Of course, another classmate was John Cusack.

You don't have to tie me in with Johnny. Those days are done.

Are you enemies now?

We have nothing but love for each other, but you know I have my own voice as a professional.

Are you tired of being linked with him?

I'm not getting tired of it, but you approached me for me and what I've been doing.

So how come you two never invite me to your Hollywood soirees?

As soon as you get here, you're in.

Charlize's Pain in the Neck Turns out, fiction is stranger than fact. After Oscar winner Charlize Theron was injured on the Berlin set of her new movie, "Aeon Flux," reports were mysterious. It wasn't clear how the South African beauty had been hurt, or what part of her body was in pain. The film's publicist said Theron's injury was "vague and nagging." By the next day, though, she had flown to Los Angeles, and the production shut down "indefinitely." With no more information available, rumor filled the void. Was the 29-year-old actress paralyzed? Was the injury invented so she could quit? The truth: "Aeon Flux" is a futuristic action film, and Theron does a lot of stunts playing an assassin rebel. According to two sources close to Theron, she hurt her neck while doing a back handspring off a trampoline. She was in a lot of pain and, for obvious reasons, a little scared. "Neck injuries aren't something you mess with," said one source. So Theron flew back to L.A. to meet with specialists. By Thursday her pain had lessened, and she's expected to make a full recovery. She could be back kicking butt in three to six weeks. "She's more bored than anything else," said one source. But clearly, never boring.

Battling Brothers Forget the Bush twins. The hottest family affair last week was the Battling Baldwins. After born-again brother Stephen stumped at the RNC, Alec cautioned that the GOP would ultimately "throw you in the wastebasket." Stephen, who hadn't heard that warning until NEWSWEEK relayed it, was stunned: "I'll continue praying for his understanding." Won't Election Day at the Baldwin house be fun?

Serena Is Always in Fashion

The cutouts, the catsuit, the minishorts--SERENA WILLIAMS is almost as famous for her fashion statements as she is for her ground strokes. Last week Williams raised her game to a new level when she wore boots at the U.S. Open. A look at her on-court couture.