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Monday, April 23, 2012
Jerry Ferrara talks ESPN stint, No. 1 movie

By Lynn Hoppes and Kelley Carter



Jerry Ferrara, known to million of fans as Turtle from HBO's "Entourage," is working hard to not be typecast.

That means recently appearing at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., campus on a variety of shows and taking on analyst Skip Bayless on "First Take," among other appearances.

That means dropping 50 pounds to open the opportunity for more roles and not being known as someone's overweight sidekick.

And that means appearing this weekend in the No. 1 movie in America as his "Think Like A Man" made $33 million to overtake "The Hunger Games."

So we tracked down Ferrara to chat. In fact, we reached him while he was in a meeting for another role.

Your movie "Think Like A Man" is tailored to give women advice on how to land a man. Do men really want women to sit and watch sports with you guys?

"I think there’s a happy balance between the two. I do appreciate a woman who has a passion for sports and knows their stuff. I’m not saying you never watch the game with your girlfriend or anything like that. But my biggest pet peeve are just girls who go to sports bars who have no intention on caring what teams are playing, like they’re looking for just a night out. That drives me more crazy than anything else. Like, don’t pretend to be a sports fan."

So you don’t like a full face of makeup at the sports bar?

"Yeah, no. Or you’re wearing a jersey of a player that was traded two years ago. It’s like, come on, you could do better."

When we watched you in “Entourage,” your character certainly was a guy who was in with the athletes and the hip-hop scene. In real life, what’s your sport and who’s your team?

"Football’s my favorite sport. There’s nothing better than football. I have had a successful year, because I’m a Giants fan. I’m so entrenched in basketball now, and now I’m like, ‘You know what? Basketball’s my favorite sport.’ And in a month from now it’ll be baseball. The only thing I will say is, is that hockey is not in my sport’s repertoire. Like, they lost me at the ’95 lockout. Everything else, I’m just a seasonal guy. Basketball, football, baseball, boxing, golf. Give it to me all the time."

What was it like for you at ESPN recently?

"I was a little nervous because I wanted to be knowledgeable. It is such a smart audience. I did study. I think I proved myself. I think I got 5,000 more Twitter followers on that day alone. I really feel blessed. I was having fun, having grown up watching 'SportsCenter.' I heard Skip was a little intimidating but he was really cool about it."

And with a role in "Battleship" and this fall's "7500," what's next? And what about that "Entourage" movie?

"The 'Entourage' movie is definitely in the works and something that we fully intend to do. I know everyone's in, so hopefully sooner than later. I'm calling you from an office, ready to head into a meeting hoping to land another. I was so honored to be on 'Entourage' for eight years but I want to show people that I can do other things."