By Jen Herring
In a recent telephone interview, Emmy award-winning actor Jeremy Piven talked about his life and his lead role as slick talking car salesman Don Ready in the comedic film, “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard.”
“I read the script and the last time I laughed this hard was [the movie] ‘Old School,’” Piven said. “It was one of those moments where I knew immediately I had to do it.”
“The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard” is about a smooth car salesman named Don Ready who is hired to ramp up sales over the Fourth of July weekend. Ready and his team have to sell over 200 cars in three days. Once he gets going at his new job, he finds a new distraction: the boss’ daughter.
Piven mentioned his character is most likely perceived as a “pig” who finally gets to the point where he realizes he needs to settle down.
Piven said there are many different layers to this film and it really depends on how the audience looks at it. He said the film could be either a “fun romp” or “a comment” on what’s going on with our current economy.
“I think it is a sign of the times. [It’s about] a renegade group of slashers or car salesmen to move cars off the lot,” Piven added.
Piven said he feels honored to have been a part of this movie and mentioned he looked forward to going to set every day because of the comedic cast.
“[There were] so many comedy snipers in this movie that any of them could have done the lead,” Piven said.
Comedian and renowned actor Will Ferrell directed the movie, which was the first production collaboration between him and Neal Brennan (co-creator of the Chapelle Show). Other actors in the movie are Ed Helms (recently seen in this summer’s comedy hit “The Hangover”), Craig Robinson, Jordan Spiro, Kathryn Hahn, David Koechner, James Brolin and Ving Rhames.
“I’m so proud of this movie and the response I’ve gotten is like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Piven said. “I think it’s the kind of comedy that will hold up as well.”
Piven has an impressive resume of over 40 films such as “The Entourage,” “Smokin’ Aces,” “The Kingdom,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Rush Hour 2,” “Cars” (in which Piven voiced the character Harv), “Chasing Liberty,” “Old School” and many more.
Piven has won three consecutive Emmy awards for his role on the HBO series “Entourage.” He got his acting start when he was 8 years old at “The Piven Theatre Workshop,” the theater his parents founded in Chicago.
He joked about how important his family’s theater is to his career and said, “If it wasn’t for the Piven Theatre, I’d be selling curly fries somewhere.”
Piven also had advice for students studying theater and said writing your own content is key.
“Get on any film you can put in hours,” Piven said. “You have to get to the point [where] it’s second nature and that’s when you start growing as an artist.”