“Entourage,” the HBO series that is functionally producer Mark Wahlberg’s self-insertion fan fiction, has inexplicably become a movie. It’s getting reviews that only Adam Sandler would consider passable. It’s a bad movie based on a bad show.
Still, it got us wondering: Who in real life had the career arc most like Vincent Chase, the fictional protagonist of “Entourage”?
According to entertainment site PopSugar, here are the film jobs that Chase had on the show:
- A bit part in real-life film “A Walk to Remember”
- The top-billed starring role in crime thriller “Head On”
- A lead role in an indie crime drama, “Queens Boulevard”
- The top billing in a blockbuster superhero movie, “Aquaman”
- The top role in “Medellin,” a biopic about Pablo Escobar
- The role of Nick Carraway in a Martin Scorsese adaptation of “The Great Gatsby”
- A lead ensemble role in a biopic, “Ferrari”
- A lead role in an action movie, “The Takeover”
And in the “Entourage” film — which I have not seen — Chase apparently tries his hand at directing.
Let’s start out with a reasonable set of candidates for the real-life Vincent Chase: People who were first-billed in a major superhero movie (“Aquaman” was Chase’s big break into A-lister status, so this seems like a good place to start). IMDb lists 123 feature-length films with more than 20,000 user ratings1 that are tagged with the “superhero” plot keyword. Because that includes a ton of sequels, there are actually only 87 unique performers who have had a top-billed role in these films.2
To roughly keep to the character’s timeline, let’s give candidates a point if before their stint donning spandex they appeared as the top-billed performer in a crime genre movie and another point if they appeared in the lead cast of another crime film. Then looking after their first superhero flick, let’s give them a point each if they were top-billed in a biopic, another if they were in a lead role in a Scorsese movie or Gatsby adaptation, another if they appeared in a lead role in another biopic, and lastly a point if they were in a subsequent non-superhero action movie.
Taking an inventory of the performers, 24 had a score of 3, 15 had a score of 4, and a coterie of four performers tied for the high score of 5.
- Christian Bale: “American Psycho” (2000) — top billing in a crime thriller; “Shaft” (2000) — leading role in a crime drama; “Batman Begins” (2005) — top role in a superhero movie; “I’m Not There” (2007) — top role in a biopic or history; N/A — Scorsese movie; “The New World” (2005) — lead role in a biopic or history; “Harsh Times” (2005) — non-superhero action lead.
- Jeff Bridges: “Cutter’s Way” (1981); “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” (1974); “TRON” (1982); “Wild Bill” (1995); N/A; “Seabiscuit” (2003); “Against All Odds” (1984).
- Liam Neeson: N/A; “Suspect” (1987); “Darkman” (1990); “Schindler’s List” (1993); “Gangs of New York” (2002); “Michael Collins” (1996); “Rob Roy” (1995).
- Nicolas Cage: “Raising Arizona” (1987); “Wild at Heart” (1990); “Ghost Rider” (2007); “The Frozen Ground” (2013); N/A; “Snowden” (2015); “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” (2007).
So we have a four-way tie.3 Let’s do the tiebreaker: None of the actors broke into directing after their time as a superhero, so we can’t even break the tie. Cage did direct one movie back in 2002, so I suppose he has an edge.
But let’s be real: Most of these performers hit all these notes simply by being in a lot of movies. So let’s factor in how many movies the people were in overall. That’ll give us the actor who had the most of Chase’s career notes in the least amount of time.
When we do that, Tobey Maguire — erstwhile Spider-Man who had subsequent biopics “Seabiscuit” and “Pawn Sacrifice” — comes out looking amazingly Chase-like, with 4 points hacked together from only 26 feature films. He even played Nick Carraway in an adaptation of “The Great Gatsby”! He nailed the order right, too!
Tobey Maguire: “Joyride” (1997); N/A; “Spider-Man” (2002); “Seabiscuit” (2003); “The Great Gatsby” (2013); “Pawn Sacrifice” (2014); N/A.
Yeah. Tobey Maguire is Vincent Chase. Indeed, there are some other contenders. Angelina Jolie, who now directs, does rather well — 4 points with 39 features — as does Eric Bana, one of many Hulks, with 4 points out of 25 films. But all Maguire needs is to cash in with an action film, and he can be Vincent Chase. (Not that anyone really would want that.)