"He was fired," says an integral player in the David Mamet play, about the banal evils of Hollywood. Yep, according to our pivotal insider, J.P. got booted for diva-like behavior. Like what? Like showing up two minutes before showtime, being a general d-bag toward the cast and crew and sending his understudy on if he didn't like the size of the audience.
"He wanted out of his contract for about a month—he was trying to get out of it," says another major Plow player, claiming the Emmy-winner was "disappointed" doin' it live night after night. The mercury poisoning excuse was a way out to save face.
Since we would never impeach Casablanca's credentials and the stories of Piven misbehavior certainly sound true, we've got some advice for the producers of Speed-the-Plow: if you're planning on firing your most famous actor, maybe use the meantime to line up a backup actor with more star power than Norbert Leo Butz. You coulda had the guy from Wings! No, the other guy. No, not Shalhoub! No, not the Sideways one, either. Steven Weber!