Jerry Ferrera’s coming out of Turtle’s shell.
Just like professional hanger-on Salvatore “Turtle” Asante dreamed of stepping out of Vincent Chase’s shadow during eight seasons of the popular HBO series “Entourage,” the 32-year-old actor is ready to shine himself in other roles.
This year Ferrera appears in two high-profile films, as part of a battling couple in the romantic comedy “Think Like a Man” (based on Steve Harvey’s bestseller) and in director Peter Berg’s big-budget blockbuster “Battleship” (based on the board game).
“What’s exciting is, obviously, the chance to do different stuff,” Ferrera tells PopcornBiz, who admits he’ll have to prove himself to audiences who at first can only see him as Turtle. “I’m proud of what ‘Entourage’ was and what the character was and I think being heavily identified means I did a good job. I also was excited for the challenge – like, I know that there will be some people who like think that that’s all I can do. And you know what: give me that opportunity, because I like that challenge.”
“But in the same breath, it’s like the rules are so different,” he says of transitioning between film and television. “I don’t think it’s like if you did a TV show you’re a TV person, and if you’ve done a movie, you’re a movie person, That’s kind of the best part of what a state of affairs are in this business. It’s great to branch out and do different things, because comedy is something I never thought I could do.”
He also reveled in the opportunity to try on the role of “action hero,” however brief the scenes. "It’s a whole different form of acting, and it’s a talent and it is something that you can learn. But it’s a lot different than like, ‘Hey let’s go shoot this scene where you and I have a coffee talking about love. It’s a whole different beast, so, I don’t know if I’m good or I suck, but I’ll be happy with mediocrity.”
Alongside branching out into different acting territory, Ferrera says he’s also eager to develop as a screenwriter. “Writing for me is something that I’ve been doing for a while. So, professionally I did write two episodes of ‘Entourage’ in the final season and I just finished my first feature and I produced a [TV] show which is based on a fantasy football league – It’s more just like a chance of my friends and I to be idiots, so I don’t really call it producing. But, yeah I mean I’m just obsessed with the whole process of making anything.”
And even as he stretches away from Turtle territory, Ferrera feels assured he’ll be back in one of the character’s classic get-rich schemes, this time on the big screen in the much-discussed “Entourage” feature film – news of which, he says, should be right around the corner.
“I don’t think it benefits anybody to wait five years to do it,” he reveals. “I mean, we’ll be doing it in a nursing home, like ‘Hey, let’s go out to the club, it’s going to be crazy then!’ I think it’s going to be sooner rather than later and I know the creative process has started.”