Mr Selfridge’s Jeremy Piven on being a sex symbol, or not – in his humble opinion…

As the green light gets given for a third series of hit ITV drama Mr Selfridge, we talk to star of the show Jeremy Piven, 48, about British humour, facial hair, and being mistaken for a shop assistant…


by Closer staff |
Published on

So, Jeremy what’s new for Harry Selfridge in series two?

It picks up five years on and he’s really changed. He’s still separated from his wife, Rose (Frances O’Connor) but has this realisation that she’s everything to him. He’s very focused on getting her back, but old habits die hard; a little of his swagger has been knocked out of him.

Did you mind having to grow back the beard and ‘tache?

After eight years of playing Ari Gold in Entourage (US comedy series for which he bagged a Golden Globe and three Emmy Awards for best actor) and having to shave every day, it’s just been glorious not to have to shave.

Do Brits recognise you from Entourage?

Yes, but also for Mr Selfridge. One woman came up to me in a shop and asked if she could talk to my staff, because she’d got a pedicure and it didn’t last long enough. I said, ‘You do realise I’m not Mr Selfridge, don’t you? I don’t actually work at Selfridges!’

I love it when the cast take the p*** out of me!

Aisling Loftus (who plays Agnes Towler) says you didn’t quite get the British sense of humour at first. Is she right?

Not at all! I love it when the other cast take the p*** out of me – I take it as a sign of endearment – so I’m a little confused by Aisling’s remark. Maybe the joke’s on me, but I certainly laughed along with the cast.

What have you discovered about Britain that you like?

That Guinness is definitely my choice of beer.

Does your family in America like Mr Selfridge?

Yeah. My nieces Pearl and Lily - age eight and 12 - think I’m the most uncool guy in the universe, but they love everything British and all they want to do is have high tea, so suddenly there’s an interest in Uncle Jeremy and they’ll perform and do gymnastics in front of me.

How does it feel to be a sex symbol?

I don’t know what that means! Are you taking the mickey? It could be a lot worse. I can think of 150 terrible things they could say about me, so if that’s what they are saying, fine.

Mr Selfridge, Sundays, 9pm, ITV

By Vicki Power

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