Last year the "Entourage" film crew spent a Friday in our Variety offices, filming a scene for the show in which Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) confronts a Variety reviewer (loosely based on our own Brian Lowry) after getting a bad review.
We were allowed to hang around our desks while the scene was shot... but a slew of younger, better looking extras also populated the room.
If you watch the episode, you'll catch a good glimpse of my head. Yup, my pay cable debut. No, you won't see my face. But the back of my head is now working on getting its SAG card.
Brian wrote about the whole experience in a Variety column:
Because the glitz-filled "Entourage" has a certain hipster image to uphold, the producers populated the newsroom with extras, ensuring that Fake Variety's staff was more attractive, stylish and younger than Real Variety. A few of us actual journalists observing this alternate reality felt a bit like Woody Allen in "Stardust Memories," wondering how we wound up on the ugly train.
In the scene, Drama -- so vulnerable the possibility of negative reviews causes near-paralysis -- bursts in and berates the critic as a "sad little fat hack fuck." Technically, just two of those adjectives are accurate.
Variety's Fake TV Critic dresses shabbily and wears glasses denoting years of solitary TV viewing (definitely true), eats lunch at his desk (occasionally true), acts unfazed by someone barging in to personally lambaste him (mercifully untrue) and has his own assistant (so untrue the Real Critic is still laughing his ass off)...
Anyway, there's plenty of excitement around Variety about "Entourage's" encore, perhaps because it's so nice to see the place temporarily adorned in prom-night finery -- even if it's as realistic as a newspaper, circa 2007, whose budget provides an assistant for critics.
"Entourage" is back to tape another scene at the Variety offices next Friday, for a future episode.