Emmanuelle Chriqui on Entourage's Enduring Appeal, Wearing a Fake Belly, and Filming at the Golden Globes
When we first meet Sloan McQuewick in season 2 of Entourage, the striking beauty is clad in a bright red dress with a plunging neckline, and is being hit on by both Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and E (Kevin Connolly) at Ari Gold's daughter's bat mitzvah. Despite Vinny's movie star status and boyish charm, Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) memorably chooses E, cementing her role in the HBO hit series as the only lasting relationship he—or any of the boys for that matter—ever has. The E-Sloan saga progresses to the big screen in the buzzed-about film adaptation, in theaters today.
Amidst the gratuitous shots of bikini-clad women and the slew of epic cameos (including Bob Saget and UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey) is a real love story, culminating in an emotional end to the relationship that'll evoke pangs of nostalgia for those who have watched the show since Day One. (Spoiler alert: there's a baby involved.) "Sloan and E were definitely the heart and soul of the movie," Chriqui says.
We chatted with the Canadian Jewish actress about the series, filming at the Golden Globes, and wearing a plastic belly. Here's an excerpt from our conversation:
Was it strange being reunited with the cast after five years?
It’s honestly shocking to hear that it’s been that long. Time must be on warp speed, because it felt like yesterday. There was not an ounce of weirdness on set. Granted, we’re all somewhat in touch and speak fairly consistently. Jerry used to be my neighbor and lived a block away from me. A couple of years ago we helped each other read for pilot season! I remember being on his balcony and he helped me run lines for The Mentalist.
Is it true that Sloan was scripted for just a few episodes back in season 2? Why do you think Doug Ellin decided to keep her on and develop her relationship with E?
I would love to hear Doug answer that! Certainly, when I joined the show, it was just for three episodes, but there was always the promise of something more, and it was never contractual. It was more that Kevin had always said to me, “This could really turn into something. Let’s put our best foot forward.” Cut to six seasons later, and now a movie and a baby later, I find the whole thing to be so fortuitous.
You and Kevin seem to be friends in real life. Does that help the chemistry onscreen or make it awkward?
It’s totally great. He’s a consummate professional. I know that people love what he does, but I don’t think they realize how good he actually is, because he makes it look so effortless. Our friendship is one thing, and when we get to do our thing together, it’s really a pleasure.
There are obviously a lot of crazy party scenes in the film. What was downtime like on set?
Some things are way more chill than others—most of my scenes with E are all about the baby and doctor’s appointments. It’s always a relaxed and fun vibe.
And you actually filmed at this year's Golden Globes ceremony.
It was outrageous. We were literally getting ready in our trailers as if we were going to the ceremony: hair and makeup, body lotion, jewelry, the works. As we were hopping into the limo, we were like, “What is happening right now?” That, to me, is just a testament to how great our show is. I don’t think any other show could pull that off.
Did you stay for the show?
No! We left. There was the saturation point. I was like, “I want to go home and watch this on my television.”
Sloan has had so many great moments throughout the series. Which ones were the most memorable to film?
My favorite scenes were always when all of the guys were involved. The season 7 finale at the airport hanger, when I’m showing off my engagement ring, and walking the Globes red carpet was pretty sensational. I got so emotional watching that scene—it made me realize how far we’ve come. It’s just been a wild ride.
Do your industry friends find the show to be an honest portrait of celebrity life?
That’s a really interesting question. The agency part is beyond accurate. I would have to do a little investigation and get people’s take, but I would venture to say it’s really not far off from the big movie stars and some of the sh*t they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Sloan was reportedly supposed to be cast as a blonde, WASP-y type. How does it feel to break down some cultural barriers?
She was. But on the flip side, why wouldn’t you have a half Jewish girl—it’s Hollywood! Something that I’ve really seen over the last five years or so is that the girl next door is simply no longer blonde and blue-eyed. It’s so unrealistic these days, so I’m glad that they had the vision way back when to take a chance and make the character half Israeli and have her be different. There’s that, and yet, she was this ordinary woman, too.
What was it like having to wear a plastic belly?
It was funny, because I’m pretty well-endowed on top, and since the belly was a proper old eight-month belly, we had to add padding to my boobs to make it look normal. I now understand why women’s breasts are ginormous when they're pregnant—it has to balance itself out! The whole experience was very informative.
Did playing a pregnant woman make you want to become a mom?
Not at all. It was a very emotional experience filming that scene in the hospital room with E and I, and I appreciate it for what it was, but I wasn’t inspired to go run out and have a baby in my own life.
You’re also on a new show, Murder in the First. Anything else coming up?
It’s such a great show. It’s really outside the box for a cop drama, and the cast is amazing. My part is the polar opposite of Sloan. I play a sergeant in the gang unit who’s super badass—I’m in baggy jeans and a North Face vest and Timberland boots. I also have a movie coming out called The Steps with Jason Ritter. It’s going to be an interesting summer. It makes me excited to see what’s coming up around the corner.