Think Like a Man's Jerry Ferrara breaks away from the entourage
LOS ANGELES—He is probably not the Entourage actor most people would have picked to be first to break out from the show after its eight-year run, but Jerry Ferrara, who played lovable loser Turtle in the show, appears to have a good shot at steady work in movies.
He has a costarring role in his first film out of the gate. Called Think Like a Man, it tells the story of four male friends who believe they have the upper hand in their relationships. However, their girlfriends begin to take charge after reading a book by comedian Steve Harvey that gives away male secrets. Jeremy (Ferrara), who has had a nine-year relationship with Kristen (Gabrielle Union) but has never proposed, suspects something is going sideways when the beloved toys and comic-book art of his youth are thrown out and replaced with more mature furnishings. The movie opens Friday (April 20).
In a Los Angeles interview room, Ferrara says he took the role because it seemed easily relatable to many couples. “I felt this was told from both points of view. You take a specific situation where her character wants a ring and my character is clueless. If we had just communicated better we could have solved a lot of those problems. But when I found out that Gabrielle Union was going to play my girlfriend, I thought, ‘This is going to really be an acting challenge, because why would people believe that I could actually get her?’ ”
The ensemble also includes Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good, standup comedian Kevin Hart, and Regina Hall, among others. Although he had come from a TV ensemble comedy, Ferrara admits that he did have some trepidation about working with a large group of actors.
“It was scary because you never know with ensembles. We [the Entourage actors] were lucky because it just happened, but I have witnessed situations where the chemistry just wasn’t there. You never know till you do it. Fortunately, when we all met it was pretty instant. Kevin got us comfortable, and we were having more fun during the [rehearsal] takes than on-camera. You hope that it translates, and I think it did.”
Ferrara’s next ensemble film will be different. The movie, 7500, takes place on a passenger jet and is directed by Japanese horror veteran Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge). Ferrara says that although it sounds like it could be a step back for his career, the horror elements are limited. “It is more of a psychological thriller by Shimizu, who is really good at creeping people out. I was really worried that people’s heads would be chopped off, but it stays psychological. Yes, there are a lot of scares but it has cliffhangers and unexpected twists. The best thing I can say about it is that it is smart.”
As for how much his past will dictate future choices, Ferrara says he doesn’t feel that playing the same TV character for eight years will have an impact on the way directors feel about casting him. He says that where TV actors once had problems getting jobs after their shows ended, that is changing.
“I think the rules are kind of different. Ten years ago, if you were a ‘TV guy’ or girl and you played a character for a long time, that may have been true, but there are people now who have only done movies who are jumping into television. So those lines are blurred. It would be foolish for me to not think that people think of me as Turtle, but I am not going to take a lot of roles that require me to be the sidekick stoner who wears his hat backwards. I do think I have to be careful, which is why I was happy that this opportunity came along. Being in a relationship with someone for nine years is something that I didn’t do on TV.”
Watch the trailer for Think Like a Man.