Jeremy Piven Is Local Bank Teller’s Inspiration

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WEST CHESTER, Penna. – Jeremy Piven, who has played sidekicks and eccentrics in more than three dozen films during the last twenty years, is the inspiration of Richard Dean, 23, a teller at First National Bank of West Chester.

When he was interviewed for the current edition of the bank’s monthly newsletter, First National News, Mr. Dean told the lifestyle editor that he owes his job satisfaction to Mr. Piven’s influence.

“A lot of people want to be the star of the movie,” said Mr. Dean, who wears his hair short like Mr. Piven, “but watching Jeremy play the star’s buddy in film after film made me realize there’s a place in the world for people who want the safety of a supporting role.”

According to Mr. Dean, he became aware of Jeremy Piven about seven years ago.

“That was back in high school,” said Mr. Dean. “I was watching a lot of cable TV in my parents’ basement at the time. I kept seeing this same guy in all these movies: Grosse Pointe BlankVery Bad ThingsPhoenixJudgment Night, a television movie about Don King, lots of stuff. He was never the star, but he didn’t have too many lines to learn; and if the movie tanked, nobody blamed him. That looked like a sweet gig to me.”

Mr. Dean admits that before he discovered Jeremy Piven, he didn’t have much direction. He figured that after he had graduated from high school, he’d put in an application “at Kmart or something,” yet after seeing the “awesome job” Mr. Piven did as John Cusack’s best friend in Serendipity, Mr. Dean was inspired.

“I decided to study bookkeeping at a local community college,” said Mr. Dean. “They accept everybody, so I didn’t have any trouble getting in; and the course work wasn’t too strenuous, so I didn’t have any trouble getting a degree.”

In addition to studying bookkeeping, Mr. Dean continued to follow Jeremy Piven’s career, which included small but noteworthy turns in 2001’s Rush Hour 2 and 2002’s Highway, followed by supporting roles in 2003’s Scary Movie 3Old School, and Runaway Jury. The more Mr. Dean watched Mr. Piven, the more Mr. Dean began to resemble his idol. He even adopted Mr. Piven’s wiseacre persona.

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“Richard’s got a great sense of humor,” said fellow teller Cindy Newkirk. “He keeps everyone in the employees lounge in stitches, and he manages to blend in no matter what the setting.”

What’s more, like many of the characters Jeremy Piven plays, Mr. Dean doesn’t mind if other guys get the promotions and the really hot girls. He says he’s happy being a teller and has no plans to apply for the head teller’s slot if it becomes available. He also claims he doesn’t mind that his best friend from high school, with whom Mr. Dean “still hangs out,” makes more money than he does, is better looking, and drives a BMW Z4.

“He attracts a lot of chicks,” said Mr. Dean, “but they can’t all go home with him, and I don’t mind getting the spillage. There’s always somebody happy to be with a clean-cut guy who can make her laugh.”

When the August edition of First National News is published on July 26, Richard Dean won’t be at work to see it. July 26 is Jeremy Piven’s birthday, and Mr. Dean observes the occasion each year by taking a personal day so he can watch Mr. Piven’s movies. This year he plans to review episodes of Entourage, the current HBO series in which Mr. Piven plays superagent Ari Gold.

Mr. Dean allowed that the Emmy and the two Golden Globe nominations Mr. Piven earned for his work in Entourage are troublesome.

“It just wouldn’t be the same if Jeremy began starring in motion pictures,” Mr. Dean said. “He tried that in (1997’s) Just Write, and he didn’t seem as comfortable. I don’t want to seem disloyal or anything, but I was glad he didn’t win those awards. Besides, not winning was so Jeremy.”

Asked what he would do if Mr. Piven became an A-list actor, Mr. Dean was at a loss for words. Eventually he replied, “Start renting Owen Wilson movies,” I guess.

In other news, the Guiness Book of Records has certified that Lindsay Lohan now holds the record for the longest birthday party. Ms. Lohan, who turned twenty on July 2, celebrated at and around a Malibu beach house for five days, sixteen hours, and twenty-seven minutes, breaking the old record, set last year by Tara Reid, by three hours and fifteen minutes.    

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