An Honest Conversation About the Fall of Hollywood | Adrian Grenier | EP 445

An Honest Conversation About the Fall of Hollywood | Adrian Grenier | EP 445

Coming up (00:00:00)

  • Adrian Grenier shares a tip from a mentor to ground himself by quitting distractions and indulgences.
  • Meditation and listening to wise people helped him gain wisdom and education.

Intro (00:00:38)

  • Introduction of Adrian Grenier, an American actor, producer, director, and musician.
  • Grenier's acting career, including his portrayal of Vincent Chase in the TV series Entourage and appearances in various films.
  • Discussion of Grenier's career development, from his early days as a street rat in New York City to his education at LaGuardia High School and his successful acting career.
  • Grenier's personal growth and radical life shift after disappointing a woman he loved, leading to his marriage, fatherhood, and a long-term experiment on environmental activism.
  • Focus of the conversation: the difference between immaturity and maturity and the benefits of personal growth.

Growing up fatherless on the streets of New York City (00:02:56)

  • Adrian Grenier grew up primarily on the Upper West Side of New York City from the age of four.
  • His mother, a free-spirited individual, moved him from New Mexico to New York, leaving behind her previous life.
  • Grenier was raised as an only child by a single mother in New York City.
  • As a child, he was sensitive, sweet, kind, gentle, and shy.

Learning to read and how Grenier found acting (00:04:45)

  • Adrian Grenier attended different schools depending on his mother's financial situation.
  • He went to the Waldorf School from second to fourth grade, which helped develop his creativity.
  • After struggling to learn to read at the Waldorf School, Grenier's mother enrolled him in a Catholic school, where he quickly learned to read.
  • Grenier found comfort in the creative arts, particularly theater, as he wasn't particularly sporty.
  • He attended LaGuardia High School, a specialized public school focused on music, art, and performing arts, from 16 years old.
  • Grenier auditioned for LaGuardia High School with monologues and was accepted.
  • He had a naturalness and authenticity that set him apart during auditions.
  • Before his auditions, Grenier had experience in after-school theater programs and musical theater.
  • Despite producers and agents noticing him, Grenier initially rejected the idea of becoming a professional actor.
  • Adrian Grenier's acting career began when he was cast in the HBO series "Entourage" at 24 years old.
  • "Entourage" was a huge success and ran for eight seasons, making Grenier a household name.
  • After "Entourage" ended, Grenier struggled to find success in other projects.
  • He attributes this to being typecast as the character he played in "Entourage."
  • Grenier also discusses the challenges of being an actor in Hollywood, including the pressure to conform and the lack of diversity.
  • He believes that Hollywood is changing for the better, with more opportunities for diverse voices and stories.
  • Grenier is optimistic about the future of Hollywood and is excited to see the new directions it is taking.

Early experiences making amateur films (00:09:49)

  • Adrian Grenier and his friends made amateur films in high school using Hi8 cameras.
  • They edited the films within the camera and shot in sequence.
  • Grenier enjoyed the filmmaking process and was willing to take on different roles to get the job done.
  • Acting was not his primary motivation; he was more interested in storytelling.

The Stanislavski method, musical interest (00:11:11)

  • Grenier learned the Stanislavski method at LaGuardia, which emphasized naturalness and authenticity.
  • He also taught himself to play guitar, bass, and drums and was in a band called the UFOs.
  • Grenier preferred the immediacy of music to the longer lead time of filmmaking.
  • Grenier briefly attended college to study film but dropped out due to his self-motivation and desire to do things independently.
  • He started making his own films and eventually transitioned to acting.

Dropping out of college for a girl (00:13:50)

  • Adrian Grenier dropped out of college after a year to be with a girl in New York.
  • He was 17 or 18 years old at the time.
  • The relationship was destructive.
  • After leaving the relationship, Adrian Grenier got his first job.
  • He was living with the girl's parents at the time.
  • The housekeeper encouraged him to get a job.
  • His mother was likely worried about him during this time.
  • The girl he was with was also troubled.

Rebellion, bad jobs, and finding motivation (00:16:14)

  • Actor Adrian Grenier reflects on his journey to success in Hollywood after struggling as a starving actor and working low-paying jobs.
  • He found motivation to pursue acting seriously, attended formal auditions, and booked his first film role.
  • During his early days in New York City, he embraced a bohemian lifestyle, finding romance and inspiration in the city's street culture, as depicted in the movie "Kids."
  • Grenier acknowledges that it took him 20 years to establish himself in the industry.
  • He discusses the decline of Hollywood and mentions his experience working in restaurants before his first film role.
  • Grenier describes his early acting career, taking on one job a year and earning a substantial income from each project, while also pursuing music alongside his acting career.

Resisting Hollywood: “It seemed shady.” (00:22:36)

  • Adrian Grenier resisted offers from Hollywood because he felt it was shady.
  • He preferred bike messengering to acting if he didn't have to act.
  • Despite his knack for acting and receiving offers, he didn't want to be someone else's pawn or a vapid shell.

Grenier ignoring “Entourage” made casting want him more (00:24:30)

  • Grenier kept ignoring casting calls for "Entourage" until his manager threatened to drop him.
  • He was in Mexico planning to sneak into Cuba to make a documentary when his manager gave him the ultimatum.
  • Grenier eventually agreed to audition and flew to LA.
  • He was 28 years old at the time.
  • Before "Entourage," Grenier had sporadic work, mostly in indie films and teen movies.
  • His nonchalant attitude and ignoring the casting calls made the casting team curious about him.

The cultivated narcissism of Hollywood actors (00:27:34)

  • Adrian Grenier discusses the cultivated narcissism of Hollywood actors.
  • He believes that people in media, politics, and entertainment tend to tilt towards narcissism.
  • He explains that charismatic actors who attract people around them can facilitate the development of narcissism.
  • Grenier admits to cultivating his narcissism while playing the character of Vincent Chase in the TV series "Entourage".

Booking “Entourage,” 10 years becoming Vince (00:29:10)

  • Adrian Grenier reflects on his life-changing experience of landing the role of Vince in the TV show "Entourage," which brought instant fame and accessibility.
  • Grenier's character, Vince, was a nonchalant celebrity who could always fall back on moving back to Queens if fame didn't work out.
  • Blurring the lines between his real life and the character led to indulgences and a belief that the lavish lifestyle portrayed in the show was the definition of success.
  • Grenier acknowledges that he was older when he experienced fame, which may have helped him handle it differently compared to if he had encountered it at a younger age.
  • In a YouTube video, Adrian Grenier discusses the decline of Hollywood, attributing it to the rise of streaming services, changing audience tastes, and a lack of diversity and originality in films.
  • Adrian Grenier discusses the challenges of resisting ego and social validation in Hollywood.
  • He mentions conversations with Russell Brand about the price of fame and success.
  • Grenier highlights his efforts to maintain a sense of self and engage in meaningful activities, such as environmental work and charity, while navigating the Hollywood lifestyle.
  • He reflects on his past beliefs and lifestyle, including his open and liberal views, and questions why he didn't indulge more in the Hollywood lifestyle.
  • Adrian Grenier discusses the challenges of navigating ego and social validation in Hollywood.

“You’re the worst,” breaking up forced Grenier to reflect (00:37:40)

  • Adrian Grenier's girlfriend broke up with him in his 40s, calling him out on his drinking, use of sex, and other issues.
  • Despite his wealth, fame, and charity work, she left him, which confused and hurt him.
  • He respected her honesty and knew she wanted what was best for him.
  • Grenier believed that his fame, access, and money allowed him to make the world a better place.
  • He thought of himself as a good person and never considered the treacherous, destructive, and selfish parts of himself.
  • Grenier felt a looming dread in his life despite everything seeming perfect.
  • He was afraid of death and disconnected from his feelings and intuition.
  • He attributes this to his mother's insistence that he was essentially good and not being called out on his misbehavior.
  • He experienced traumatic events in his youth that led to dissociation and a lack of emotional connection.

Making changes, cutting distractions, and taking a break from acting (00:41:40)

  • Adrian Grenier made significant changes to his lifestyle to address personal issues.
  • He cut out distractions, addictions, and consumptions, including alcohol and sex.
  • He quit acting during this period and took time to focus on personal growth.
  • This decision led to a multi-year process of self-discovery and healing.
  • Grenier realized he had a lot of pain and childhood trauma that needed to be addressed.
  • He began a journey of personal growth and healing, which involved cutting out distractions and facing his inner issues.
  • This process allowed him to come down to earth and start to realize the root causes of his problems.

Realizing priorities, seeking new mentors (00:44:36)

  • Adrian Grenier realized he didn't want to die alone and sought a family, partnership, and children.
  • He previously didn't believe pursuing a family was honorable or possible due to his father leaving and his own selfish desires.
  • Grenier spent two and a half years sorting himself out by quitting distractions, indulgences, and escape.
  • He started meditating, listening to wiser people, and seeking advice from elders and friends.
  • Grenier changed his friend group to surround himself with people living the life he wanted.

Getting grounded, building a garden (00:48:47)

  • Lived in a small camper for a year and built a community garden
  • Found grounding and profound connection to nature
  • Realized the importance of learning farming skills and understanding food production
  • Cut out distractions like porn and masturbation to focus on self-discovery and personal growth

Sticking with it, knowing what you do and do not want (00:51:04)

  • Adrian Grenier realized he didn't want to be like an 80-year-old billionaire with young models.
  • He realized that the lifestyle of a billionaire with young models was not what he wanted for himself.
  • He wanted to be a protector and take care of someone, not hurt them.
  • This realization came after seeing the pain he caused his ex-girlfriend and realizing he didn't want to be that person.
  • Adrian Grenier hitched a ride on a billionaire's private plane to the Cannes Film Festival.
  • The billionaire was 80 years old with six young models.
  • Adrian initially thought the billionaire's lifestyle was desirable.
  • A voice in his head told him he didn't want that life.
  • He realized he wanted a long-term relationship and kids.
  • He wrestled with his impulses and instincts to keep doing the same things.
  • He wanted to protect and take care of someone, not be a user.
  • This realization came after seeing the pain he caused his ex-girlfriend.
  • He is still in touch with his ex-girlfriend, and they both have a child with the same name.

Getting back together, fatherhood, and serendipity (00:54:29)

  • Adrian Grenier and his ex-partner rekindled their relationship after a year and a half of personal growth and effort.
  • They fell in love again in Portugal and decided to move to Austin together, where they purchased 46 acres of land.
  • Adrian is passionate about supporting young people to take up farming and is learning farming skills from mentors and farmers.
  • The speaker finds fulfillment and connection with nature by working with homesteaders and farmers who serve as mentors.
  • The speaker contrasts this with the desire of many people to move to cities and pursue a glamorous lifestyle.
  • Adrian expresses gratitude for the older men who have become his mentors.

Adrian Grenier's Lifestyle (01:00:12)

  • Adrian Grenier lives on a piece of land outside Austin, Texas, with his wife and son.
  • He wakes up early to spend time with his son before his wife takes over.
  • He works with Ben on the land, experimenting with food forests, grapes, winemaking, and annual garden food.
  • He also tends to animals and continues his creative work by telling stories through his YouTube channel, Earth Speed, and making documentaries.
  • Grenier's goal is to build a model of sustainable living that can serve his local community and inspire others.

Adrian Grenier's Land (01:00:12)

  • Grenier's land is located 30 minutes outside of Austin, near a historic town.
  • He keeps the exact location private to avoid unwanted attention.
  • The area is experiencing rapid development, with tracked homes and HOAs replacing natural landscapes.
  • Grenier and his wife are committed to preserving and stewarding their land as it is meant to be, with minimal interference.

Adrian Grenier's Family Life (01:00:12)

  • Grenier's wife is happy with their lifestyle and appreciates the space he holds for her to heal and be the best mom she can be.
  • They plan to have more children in the future.

Adrian Grenier's Future Plans (01:00:12)

  • Grenier will continue the conversation with The Daily Wire, discussing his work on the land, why he finds it preferable to his previous environmentalist work, and how it compares to his old life.

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