Jeremy Piven Stars as Jewish Tap Dancer in The Performance

In the world of cinema, where transformative roles are celebrated, Jeremy Piven’s latest film, “The Performance,” stands out as a beacon of artistic brilliance. Portraying a Jewish tap dancer, Piven transcends his previous roles, tapping into a rich tapestry of emotion and culture. This film not only showcases his versatility as an actor but also illuminates the profound impact of dance in storytelling. 

In this blog post, we dive deep into Piven’s captivating journey in “The Performance,” exploring how he brings his character to life with a mesmerizing blend of rhythm and raw emotion. Join us as we unravel the layers of this extraordinary film and the spellbinding performance that lies at its heart.

Key Takeaways

  • Jeremy Piven is a celebrated American actor, known for his role as Ari Gold in ‘Entourage’, which bagged him three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe; he’s also branched out into stand-up comedy, podcasting, and philanthropy.
  • Born into a family with a strong acting background, Piven’s early influences include his parents who ran the Piven Theatre Workshop and his training at various prestigious institutions; his Jewish heritage profoundly shapes his professional and personal endeavors.
  • Beyond portraying Ari Gold, Piven’s acting career features diverse roles in television and film including ‘Mr Selfridge’ and a rich filmography, and he continues to explore his range through projects like the film ‘The Performance’, directed by his sister Shira Piven.

Who is Jeremy Piven?

Born on July 26, 1965, in New York, USA, Jeremy Samuel Piven is a renowned American actor and comedian, best known for his role as Ari Gold in the popular comedy series Entourage. His knack for comedy is evident through his portrayal of Ari Gold alongside Rex Lee in the hit series, Entourage. His performance in Entourage was so captivating that it won him three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.

But acting is not the only string in Piven’s bow. Apart from his illustrious acting career, he has ventured into stand-up comedy, podcast hosting, and philanthropy. He has also made significant contributions behind the scenes as an executive producer and voice actor.

In addition to his acting career, Piven is an enthusiastic philanthropist and environmental advocate, supporting various charities and initiatives to make a positive impact.

Early Life and Background

Jeremy Piven’s career in acting has deep roots that can be traced back to his family. Born to a family of actors, Jeremy was destined for the performing arts. His parents, who established the Piven Theatre Workshop, played a key role in his acting career, along with his experiences at Harand Theater Camp in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and his training at the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut.

Born in New York, Piven:

  • attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, before transferring to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts to further his acting education
  • was raised in a family of actors and was exposed to the world of acting at a young age
  • had to climb the ladder of success one step at a time

We’ll examine his family background and its influence on his career in the sections that follow.

Family of Actors

Coming from a family of actors, it seems Jeremy Piven was destined for a career in performance arts. His parents, Byrne Piven and Joyce Hiller Piven, were both actors and drama teachers who managed payment services for their Piven Theatre Workshop. This early exposure to the acting world significantly influenced Jeremy’s career and played a key role in shaping his success.

Jeremy’s sister, Shira Piven, contributes to the acting industry as a director and producer. She has worked with actors like Adam Fiedler in her projects and is recognized for her contributions as a co-writer and director of the independent film ‘Fully Loaded,’ released in 2011. This family collaboration extends to Jeremy’s upcoming films, showcasing his continuous work in the film industry.

Jewish Heritage

Jeremy Piven’s Jewish heritage has had a profound impact on his life and career. Raised in the Jewish faith, he had a bar mitzvah and has maintained the observance of Jewish traditions throughout his life. This cultural background has greatly influenced his acting career, adding authenticity to his performances. He has expressed that his Jewish upbringing has significantly impacted his major roles and that he takes pride in being involved in the Jewish community.

Piven’s Jewish heritage has also been a driving force behind his support for Israel and the Jewish community, a topic we will explore further in the following sections. Before we delve into that, let’s examine Piven’s filmography and the roles that skyrocketed his career.

Jeremy Piven Movies and Tv Shows

Jeremy Piven is a highly versatile actor with a rich filmography that includes both television shows and films. His film credits include prominent movies such as:

  • Judgment Night
  • Grosse Pointe Blank
  • Singles
  • Very Bad Things
  • Black Hawk Down
  • The Kingdom
  • Heat
  • PCU
  • Old School
  • Rock N Rolla
  • Serendipity
  • Smokin’ Aces
  • Runaway Jury

In these films, he has worked with actors like Paul Higgins. From leading roles to supporting characters, Piven has displayed various facets of his acting prowess.

In ‘PCU,’ Jeremy had a leading role, while in ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ and ‘Very Bad Things,’ he portrayed the characters Paul Spericki and Michael Berkow, respectively. In the military-themed films ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘The Kingdom,’ Piven portrayed CW4 Clifton Wolcott and Damon Schmidt, respectively, contributing to the films’ representations of military operations and political intrigue.

On the television front, Jeremy Piven has portrayed significant characters in shows such as ‘Mr Selfridge’ and ‘Entourage.’ In ‘Mr Selfridge,’ he played the titular character, Harry Selfridge, while in ‘Entourage,’ he played the role of the high-powered agent Ari Gold, for which he is most renowned. Next, we’ll explore these roles in depth and discuss how they propelled Piven into the limelight.

Rise to Fame: Best Television and Film Roles

Jeremy Piven’s rise to fame was not an overnight phenomenon. His portrayal of Jerry in The Larry Sanders Show is considered his breakthrough role, but it was his role as Ari Gold in the popular comedy series Entourage that catapulted him to stardom. Ari Gold, a high-powered and ruthless agent, is a character that resonates with fans of the series and is often quoted in popular culture. Piven’s portrayal of Ari Gold garnered praise from both fans and critics due to its authenticity, depth, and humor, earning him three consecutive Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for his exceptional performance.

In addition to his role in Entourage, Piven also portrayed Harry Selfridge, the founder of the London department store Selfridge, in the TV series ‘Mr Selfridge’ for four seasons from 2013 to 2016. The series, which is a British period drama, revolves around the life of Harry Gordon Selfridge and his department store in London. We’ll examine these roles further to understand their iconic status.

Entourage: Ari Gold

As Ari Gold, Jeremy Piven was the star of Entourage, an HBO series that depicted the life of a young actor in Hollywood and his entourage of friends. Ari Gold was known for his fast-talking wit, ruthless business tactics, and hilarious one-liners, making him one of the most memorable characters in television history. The character’s intense ambition, hard-driving work ethic, and occasional displays of vulnerability made him both relatable and compelling to viewers. This portrayal of Ari Gold earned Piven numerous awards, including the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series at the 2006 Emmys and a nomination for a Golden Globe in 2010.

Piven’s portrayal of Ari Gold was both critically acclaimed and financially rewarding. In the period of 2010-2011, Piven received a payment of $350,000 for each episode in which he portrayed Ari Gold in Entourage. The character of Ari Gold left an indelible mark on Piven’s career and established him as a versatile actor capable of delivering exceptional performances.

Harry Selfridge

Following his successful run in Entourage, Piven took on another challenging role as Harry Selfridge in the British period drama series, ‘Mr Selfridge.’ The series focused on the life of Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of the Selfridge’s department store in London. Piven’s portrayal of this flamboyant and visionary entrepreneur was well received, and he successfully brought the character to life with his nuanced performance.

The series ‘Mr Selfridge’ offered a glimpse into the golden age of retail, highlighting the innovations and theatrics introduced by Harry Selfridge that revolutionized the retail industry. Piven’s performance as Harry Selfridge added another feather in his cap, showcasing his ability to portray diverse characters with depth and authenticity.

Notable Film Appearances

In addition to his roles in television series, Jeremy Piven has made his mark in the film industry with notable performances in several films. In ‘Serendipity,’ he starred alongside John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale in this romantic comedy about the search of two individuals for each other years after their initial meeting. His portrayal in the movie was well-received by both critics and audiences, playing a role in the film’s success.

Jeremy Piven’s role as Buddy Israel in ‘Smokin’ Aces’ marked another significant milestone in his career. As Buddy Israel, a Las Vegas magician turned mafia informant, Piven showcased his ability to deliver intense performances, contributing to the commercial success of the film, which grossed over $57 million.

The Performance: A Family Collaboration

Jeremy Piven’s latest venture is the film ‘The Performance,’ a family collaboration with his sister, Shira Piven, who helms the project as the director. The film revolves around:

  • an exceptionally talented tap dancer and American Jew, Harold May
  • who catches the attention of a German attaché during a tour in Europe
  • setting off a series of events

Jeremy Piven, born July, portrays the character of Harold May, showcasing his acting versatility and depth under the watchful eye of his sister.

‘The Performance’ is much more than a film for the Piven family. It’s a culmination of their shared love for performance arts and a testament to their acting prowess. The film is a perfect blend of family collaboration, Jewish heritage, and historical events, making it a significant milestone in both Jeremy and Shira Piven’s careers.

Working with Sister Shira

The film ‘The Performance’ marks a fulfilling collaboration between Jeremy Piven and his sister, Shira Piven. Shira, an esteemed American director, actress, and producer, is renowned for her contributions to independent films, including directing the 2014 film ‘Welcome to Me’. In ‘The Performance,’ she takes the directorial helm while Jeremy steps in front of the camera, embodying the complex and multifaceted character of Harold May.

Working with Shira on ‘The Performance’ wasn’t just a professional experience for Jeremy; it was a significant and long-awaited collaboration between the siblings. The film allowed Jeremy to delve deep into his roots and explore his Jewish heritage, which has shaped his career and personal life.

Impact of Jewish Heritage

Jeremy Piven’s Jewish heritage plays a significant role in his portrayal of Harold May in ‘The Performance.’ Brought up in the Jewish faith, Piven uses his personal ties to Jewish culture to add authenticity to his role. The film showcases a range of elements from Jewish culture, including:

  • storytelling
  • music
  • theater
  • family dynamics
  • religious traditions

These elements resonate with many individuals on a personal level, and the internet is already buzzing about Piven’s performance.

‘The Performance’ holds significant resonance within the Jewish community due to its portrayal of a protagonist navigating the complexities of Jewish identity. The film also incorporates universal themes that resonate with many individuals on a personal level, making it not just a movie, but a reflection of the Jewish experience.

Palm Springs International Film Festival Premiere 

This weekend at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, attendees are in for a treat as Jeremy Piven’s latest film, “The Performance,” makes its much-anticipated premiere. Known for his dynamic and versatile acting career, Piven takes on a role that promises to showcase his exceptional talent in a new light. The film, which has already garnered critical acclaim, is a testament to Piven’s continued success and ability to captivate audiences with his profound depth as an actor. With his recent foray into stand-up comedy also drawing in crowds across the United States, Piven’s star power seems to be shining brighter than ever. “The Performance” is set to be a highlight of the festival, reflecting Piven’s remarkable journey in the entertainment industry and his knack for constantly reinventing himself and taking on challenging and diverse roles.

Post-Entourage Career: Podcasts, Comedy Tours, and More

After the end of Entourage, Jeremy Piven didn’t fade away from the limelight. Instead, he ventured into new territories, exploring his talent beyond acting. He delved into stand-up comedy, launched a podcast, and continued to act in movies and television shows, showcasing his multifaceted talent.

Piven’s post-Entourage career has been marked by continuous experimentation and expansion. He ventured into stand-up comedy, using it as a platform to showcase his varied talents and interests beyond his well-established acting career. He also launched a podcast, ‘How U Livin’, J. Piven?,’ where he hosts insightful discussions with prominent celebrities and business figures on life and comedy. Next, we’ll explore these ventures further.

Podcast: “How U Livin’, J. Piven?”

‘How U Livin’, J. Piven?’ is a podcast hosted by Jeremy Piven where he engages in insightful discussions with prominent celebrities and business figures. The podcast covers a wide range of subjects, including life and comedy, showcasing guests such as Jamie Foxx, Tiffany Haddish, Common, Mark Cuban, and UFC stars.

The podcast has garnered favorable reviews from both audiences and critics, who commend Piven’s inquisitive and analytical hosting style, as well as the compelling blend of humor and insightful conversations featured in the show.

With new episodes released every Wednesday, the podcast offers a weekly dose of insightful and entertaining content for the listeners.

Comedy Tour

Apart from his podcast, Jeremy Piven also embarked on a comedy tour to showcase his humor and wit. Known for his observational and witty style of comedy, Piven emphasizes the creation of a distinctive and personalized experience by directly engaging the audience through humor.

The comedy tour included cities such as Schaumburg, IL and Houston, TX, showcasing a broad geographical coverage for his stand-up shows. Piven’s venture into stand-up comedy is another testament to his versatility and his ability to entertain and engage audiences in different mediums.

Supporting Israel and the Jewish Community

Given his Jewish heritage, Jeremy Piven has always been a vocal supporter of Israel and the Jewish community. His support for Israel is influenced by his upbringing and strong ties to the Jewish community. He has expressed how his Jewish background has shaped his major roles and has even performed stand-up comedy in Israel, considering it his most memorable performance.

Piven’s advocacy for Israel includes:

  • Visiting the country as part of a trip organized by Omri Casspi
  • Performing stand-up comedy in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
  • Signing an open letter in support of Israel alongside other celebrities and Hollywood leaders.

Piven’s Advocacy

As an advocate for the Jewish community, Jeremy Piven has taken significant measures to support and raise awareness about the current situation in Israel. Some of his actions include:

  • Commemorating his second bar mitzvah in Jerusalem
  • Participating in a visit to Israel to promote the country
  • Reciting a portion of his Torah reading at his bar mitzvah

Piven’s involvement with Israeli organizations includes recognition from United Hatzalah, an emergency medical services organization in Israel, where he was honored with an ambucycle as part of their response team. Additionally, he participated in a trip to Israel organized by Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA.

Relevance to Current Events

Piven’s support for Israel and the Jewish community is particularly relevant in light of the current situation in Israel. He has been vocal about the escalating tensions between Israel and Hamas, expressing his condolences and showing support.

Piven uses his platform to support the Jewish community. His advocacy for the Jewish community is a testament to his commitment to his roots and his desire to create a positive impact.


From his early days in the world of acting, influenced by his family of actors, to his rise to fame with his iconic roles in Entourage and Mr Selfridge, Jeremy Piven has proven his versatility and talent time and again. His Jewish heritage has played a significant role in his life and career, influencing his performances and his advocacy for Israel and the Jewish community.

Piven’s journey is a testament to his commitment to his craft, his roots, and his desire to create a positive impact. Whether it’s through his acting, his podcast, or his stand-up comedy, Piven continues to engage and entertain audiences, showcasing his multifaceted talent and leaving an indelible mark in the world of entertainment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What did John Cusack say about Jeremy Piven?

John Cusack stated that he and Jeremy Piven grew up together in Chicago and that there is nothing but love between them, emphasizing that he is very happy for Jeremy and wishes him the best.

What is Jeremy Piven doing now?

Jeremy Piven is currently focused on performing stand-up comedy at different venues, including the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. He has also ventured into podcasting and environmental advocacy to engage audiences across various platforms.

How many movies are John Cusack and Jeremy Piven in together?

John Cusack and Jeremy Piven have appeared together in 10 movies. Some of these movies include One Crazy Summer, Say Anything, The Grifters, and Grosse Pointe Blank.

What is Jeremy Piven best known for?

Jeremy Piven is best known for his role as Ari Gold in the hit comedy series Entourage. He portrayed the character from 2004 to 2011.

How many awards has Jeremy Piven won for his role in Entourage?

Jeremy Piven has won 3 Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and a Satellite Award for his role in Entourage, showcasing his exceptional talent and contribution to the show.


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