As far as expressions of celebrity entitlement go, there is perhaps none more satisfying than, "Don't you know who I am?" a disarming classic we've always felt more than adequately communicates to any service professional that he or she is in the presence of an individual whose impatient demands far exceed their actual accomplishments. Two recent Gatercrasher items in the NY Daily News (one from today and one from Sunday) reveal that Entourage star Jeremy Piven is doing his best to claim a spot as Hollywood's foremost practitioner of the entitled arts, materializing from the fame-ether like a spoiled, abusive wraith at impossibly crowded eateries both local and far-flung to demand immediate satisfaction. First, today's report of Piven's Valentine's Day run-in here in L.A.:
Now a source adds that the "Entourage" star had a similar showdown with a hostess at the restaurant Off Vine in Hollywood. Piven, who did not have a reservation, was reportedly unhappy a table could not be found because the restaurant was booked solid on Valentine's Day.
"Believe it or not, he used the 'Don't you know who I am?' line," laughs the source.
"He proceeded to berate [the hostess] about her treatment of him." Piven allegedly left in a huff, "but not before slamming her about her working in a restaurant," says the spy.
Piven's rage in this instance is understandable; after all, there is no aphrodisiac as panty-meltingly potent as the ability to be seated in a popular restaurant without a reservation on perhaps the busiest day of the year; his successful display of power would have driven his date so mad with desire that a stall-rattling quickie in the nearest restroom would be required before appetizers were ordered.
Second, Sunday's story about how Piven allegedly managed to earn a ban from the fine Nobu Matsuhisa family of sushi restaurants for his behavior at their Aspen outpost:
"He came in with a large group of 12 or more without reservations and asked for a table. It was a very busy night, but a table, although cramped, was provided. On his way out, he made a nasty comment to the manager: 'Thanks for nothing.'"
Piven was at the HBO-sponsored festival to appear on a panel with fellow "Entourage" stars. Allegedly his tip also left something to be desired.
"He left a DVD of the first year of 'Entourage' to one of the waiters. [An employee] ran up the stairs and hurled it at him as he was leaving."
As a gesture of "Don't you know who I am?"-ness, substituting an expected gratuity with an example of the fine work which should afford him the instant entertainment of every restaurant-going whim is pretty high-level; the only more potent display of fame-enabled privilege available to Piven in that situation would have involved the actor standing up at his cramped table, climbing upon his chair to announce, "I got twelve fucking people into this dump without a reservation. I am the King of Motherfucking Matsuhisa!" for all to hear, then openly urinating on the floor, forever marking his territory. That Piven quietly left behind his calling card instead of initiating such a spectacle is a clear testament to his class and restraint.