Jeremy Piven And John Cusack On The Outs?

NEW YORK (January 8, 2007) — Jeremy Piven played second banana to his friend John Cusack until his recent breakthrough in HBO’s “Entourage,” winning an Emmy Award last year for his role as sharklike agent Ari Gold.

Now Piven and Cusack, who studied acting at Chicago’s Piven Theatre Workshop, which was run by Piven’s parents, appear to be on the outs, or so Piven suggests in an interview in the February issue of Best Life magazine, on newsstands Friday.

“No comment. I mean, you could fill in the blank, I bet,” the 41-year-old actor says when asked how Cusack has handled Piven’s recent success.

Piven played supporting roles to Cusack in films such as “Say Anything,” “Gross Pointe Blank” and “Runaway Jury” before getting his big break on “Entourage.”

“… I was always proud of him, and I was always in his corner,” Piven says of the 40-year-old Cusack. “Always.”

The Associated Press was attempting Tuesday to reach a representative for Cusack, who stars in “Grace Is Gone,” which will be shown at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, later this month.

Piven, who co-stars with Ben Affleck in the upcoming film “Smokin’ Aces,” a Universal Studios release, says he values loyalty.

“It just says so much about a person if he has space for other people’s success,” he says.

“I have always been so proud of my friends’ success. I own that proudly because I come by it naturally. I was raised on that spirit of collaboration. … You start getting into trouble in life when you start comparing and contrasting your life to anyone else’s. You don’t win when you do that.”

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