Family & Companions
His bohemian attitude and exotic good looks helped Adrian Grenier stand out among his peers, even if his passivity in climbing the ladder of stardom may have limited his career trajectory. Starting out in indie fare like "Hurricane Streets" (1997) and "The Adventures of Sebastian Cole" (1998), Grenier romanced mainstream moviegoers - and Melissa Joan Hart - in the teen comedy "Drive Me Crazy" (1999), but had less success sweeping Anne Hathaway off her feet in the Meryl Streep blockbuster "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006). His best known role came in the form of Vincent Chase, the mellow movie star center of the universe on the critically acclaimed series "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-2011), anchoring the long-running ensemble comedy in typical flash-free fashion. While Grenier's un-Hollywood lack of outright ambition and under-the-radar project choices may have kept him from becoming a superstar, he seemed satisfied to live and work at his low-key professional level.
Born July 10, 1976 in New Mexico, Adrian Grenier was the son of Karesse Grenier, a real estate agent, and John Dunbar. His parents met at a commune in the 1970s but never married. (As an adult, Grenier would make the acclaimed documentary "Shot in the Dark" (2002) about his search to reconnect with his father). Now studying acting and theater in both high school and college, the young Grenier would grow into his exotic good looks that set him quite apart from other up-and-coming actors. Now working professionally, Grenier cut his teeth in challenging indie fare like the street punk drama "Hurricane Streets" (1997), the dark, transgender-tinged comedy "The Adventures of Sebastian Cole" (1998) and, ironically, a small part as a member of Leonardo DiCaprio's entourage in Woody Allen's "Celebrity" (1998). The striking young actor hit multiplexes as the brooding boy-next-door who falls into a romance with straight-arrow Melissa Joan Hart in the frothy teen comedy, "Drive Me Crazy" (1999). Grenier charmed in the lightweight guilty pleasure, as well as appeared in the accompanying Britney Spears music video for the movie's theme song - all of which earned him a modicum of late-1990s immortality in the eyes of a certain generation.
More offbeat than mainstream at heart, Grenier played a funhouse-mirror image of a teen idol in John Waters' twisted film industry skewering "Cecil B. Demented" (2000). He then starred in James Toback's "Harvard Man" (2001) opposite fellow teen star Sarah Michelle Gellar, playing the eponymous basketball star who falls into a life of compulsive gambling and drug abuse. The actor then took on a series of supporting roles in high-profile projects featuring A-list talent, including Steven Spielberg's strange "A.I: Artificial Intelligence" (2001), "Hart's War" (2002) with Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell, and Woody Allen's regrettable "Anything Else" (2003), while still snaring leading roles in smaller projects, such as the romantic mystery "Bringing Rain" (2003).
It would be his leading role as movie actor Vincent Chase on the HBO series "Entourage" (2004-2011), loosely based on the antics and exploits of series creator Mark Wahlberg's hangers-on, that would provide Grenier with the most visible vehicle of his career. Nominated for a handful of minor awards for his performance as a struggling but cocky young movie star, the laidback Grenier seemed to enjoy working as part of an ensemble instead of staking out a solo superstar trajectory, despite technically being the star of the show. In fact, it would be co-star Jeremy Piven in a supporting, scene-stealing role who would rake in bucket loads of Emmys and Golden Globes for his role of shark-like agent Ari Gold, and a string of high-profile guest stars who would steal the limelight and the headlines. That was fine with the low-key actor, who notched his biggest box office hit as the boyfriend edged out by Meryl Streep's professional demands on Anne Hathaway in the critical and commercial blockbuster, fashion industry comedy "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006).
Proving that he followed in his mother's artistic and bohemian footsteps, Grenier played music on the side, acted in and wrote-directed-produced short films. His affecting documentary "Shot in the Dark" (2002), which chronicled his search for his biological father John Dunbar, was eventually aired on HBO to solid reviews. Grenier lensed another documentary, "Teenage Paparazzo" (2010), about the relationship between celebrity and society, which showed at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival to an enthusiastic response.
By Jonathan Riggs
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Made feature debut in the independent drama "Arresting Gena"
Played a street punk in Morgan J Freeman's "Hurricane Streets" (released in the United States in 1998)
Comprised part of the entourage of Leonardo DiCaprio's superstar Brandon Darrow in "Celebrity"
Starred in "The Adventures of Sebastian Cole", playing the eponymous young man who, among other trials, must deal with his stepfather's impending sex reassignment surgery
Played Chase Hammond, the edgy boy-next-door Melissa Joan Hart's Nicole cleans up and makes her dream date in the teen comedy "Drive Me Crazy"
Featured in John Waters' Hollywood satire "Cecil B Demented"
Starred in James Toback's "Harvard Man" as a college student who gets mixed up in gambling and drugs
Helmed the documentary, "Shot in the Dark,' which chronicles his search for John Dunbar, his father that he had not seen in 18 years and knew little about; premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival (aired June 2007 on HBO)
Featured in the Woody Allen comedy "Anything Else" starring Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci
Cast in the lead role as film star Vince Chase in the HBO series "Entourage" executive produced by Mark Wahlberg
Co-starred in the feature adaptation of "The Devil Wears Prada," with Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep
Produced "Euthanasia" a short film, which premeired at Sundance