Though Jeremy Piven's ungraceful, sushi-related exit from Speed-the-Plow has at least secured him future savings on his Matsuhisa tab, he may part with that extra cash if the play's backers have their (angry) say.
According to the New York Post, many involved with the production are pushing to have Piven's high mercury claims examined by a non-musclebound, non-teevee doctor, and they're hoping the result may "squeeze some money out of him." Why has it taken this long to get a second opinion? A lack of insurance:
The producers didn't have star insurance on Piven. If they had, their insurance company would almost certainly investigate the actor's claim before paying out any money.
But under the Actors' Equity contract, the producers are entitled to have Piven's medical records examined by another doctor. If they suspect fraud, they can sue him.
"If it turns out this is phony, it can really kill him," says a veteran producer who's not involved in "Speed-the-Plow." [...]
Several top Broadway producers say that if "Speed-the-Plow" were their show, they'd go after Piven.
"I'd kill the jerk," one says, bluntly.
Though we'd love to brainstorm the sort of hit on Piven that Broadway producers might organize (would it be a murder already beloved on film, but then adapted for musical theater in a splashy megamillion production?), we have a feeling that the Pivs won't be returning to New York anytime soon, depriving them of the pleasure. Will producers then plot out a long-distance attack on his pocketbook and reputation, leaving him with nothing but a 23-year-old rack to cry on? Or will Entourage begin a new season with Ari mysteriously holed up in Canada?