As actor and director Adrian Grenier states in his new documentary, he’s a celebrity…or at least he plays one on TV.
In fact, portraying Hollywood star Vincent Chase on HBO’s Entourage has given Grenier valuable insight into the subculture of the paparazzi. But when he met a tenacious 13-year old celebrity pap named Austin Visschedyk, the bizarre encounter inspired the actor to investigate the cogs turning the fame machine in Teenage Paparazzo.
Metro caught up with Grenier to discuss the documentary (opening Friday in select theatres and airing on HBO Canada on Sept. 27), his pubescent subject and how starring on Entourage has changed his life.
Teenage Paparazzo is a really interesting movie. It ends up places that, at the outset, you don’t expect it to go. Did you have any idea when you started out how involved this was going to get?
Well, that’s life. That’s one thing about documentaries that I absolutely adore – that they really do capture the twists and turns of life if you let it. All you have to do really is point your camera at the world, ask a question and suddenly you’re taken on this journey.
At what point in getting to know Austin did you realize that you had something?
I knew it would at least be interesting based on the fact that this kid was so compelling as a character. But it wasn’t until I started to explore the philosophy and the ideas of celebrity that it really became interesting to me because it wasn’t just a narrative, it was also a deconstruction of this culture that has coveted celebrity and embraced this young boy’s decision to become a paparazzo.
This film seems to be spun off your role on Entourage. What has playing Vince Chase done for you as an actor?
It’s been a really enjoyable experience. Before Entourage I was very serious and pretentious and I only wanted to do dark indie films filmed in New York in the winter. So thanks to Entourage, I found a little bit of humour in my life and I’ve been able to have a little more fun. Vince taught me to laugh.