If you’re a devotee of the HBO hit Entourage you know how hard it is to picture Ari Gold practicing yoga. And Jeremy Piven, who plays the profane, slur-spewing stereotyping uber agent sounds a bit like his character when he talks about his introduction to yoga. He thought “you have to wear a leotard. I mean, do you have to wear a bindi and hold incense,” Piven says in the August issue of Men’s Fitness.
But although Ari may regularly blow off marriage counseling, Piven is devoted to yoga. “I loved the way it made me feel. It opens you out and you get great twang. It’s incredible. Ari’s got some quick-twitch anger, and to do that repeatedly you have to come from a place of stillness. It´s so funny because I´m naturally kind of calm. To be healthy you have to have those dualities in your life.”
Piven is back at full speed after a bout with mercury poisoning caused him cancel his Broadway debut in Speed the Plow. He addresses the issue directly in the Men’s Fitness interview, saying: “I panicked early. I went to a doctor, and he said I have never seen levels of mercury like this. I think it was nature´s way of saying you’ve got to stop. The feeling I can equate it with is when you’ve slept for an hour but just continue to keep going. That´s the state I was always in. I haven´t touched a piece of fish in nine months, and Ive finally taken a break. I haven´t rested in 20 years. If you don´t balance your life, you´re going to be brought to your knees–that´s basically what happened to me.”
The issue goes on sale July 13.