Take one look at actor Kevin Connolly and the first name that probably comes to mind is not Kevin, but "E," the nickname of Connolly's Entourage alter ego, Eric Murphy. But Connolly has actually been working consistently in movies since his 1990 debut opposite Sly Stallone in Rocky V. Entourage turned Connolly into a a household name (or face, maybe) and now he's getting the chance to land more-noticeable roles on the big screen.
I sat down with Connolly recently on for an exclusive interview to talk about his role as Conor in the ensemble comedy He's Just Not That Into You. During a casual conversation on the balcony of his Beverly Hilton hotel room, Connolly smoked a cigarette while talking candidly about his career, relationships, and exactly how much he and "E" have in common.
ReelzChannel: Do you think you've been unfairly typecast as the sensitive guy?
Kevin Connolly: Listen, I don't mind. I like the sensitive guy. I joke around with my agent [saying], "Look, I have no desire to be an action hero. I could do nothing but romantic comedies with Scarlett Johannson and Jennifer Aniston. That's totally fine with me." [Laughs] Entourage obviously led to this, so if that's my niche, then so be it. Bring it on.
RC: Does Entourage make it easier or harder to do movies, in terms of scheduling it around the show?
Connolly: The time schedule on Entourage is only three or four months. We only shoot March to July, so I've got July to February to do whatever else I want. So that's a benefit of HBO.
RC: It's not TV...
Connolly: [Laughs] It's HBO.
RC: How did you end up playing Conor in He's Just Not That Into You?
Connolly: It's funny, a lot of interviews they ask me, "So, how did you choose this role?" Believe me, I didn't choose this role. [Laughs] You go out and you do your damndest and you get lucky.
I was on before Scarlett and Affleck, before some of the big guns. Bradley Cooper and I were joking around [saying], "Thank God we got on before Scarlett and Ben Affleck. We might not have gotten these jobs."
RC: And you were familiar with this book before the movie came around?
Connolly: Yeah, me and my girlfriend would be laying in bed. She's flipping through a book and I'm watching Sportscenter. I'm aware that she's reading something that's clearly under her skin. And then she starts leaning over and asking me bizarre questions. Finally I'm like, "What is this?" So the book is on the nightstand and when she's not there, I pick it up and start flipping through it. I'm like, "Oh boy, what a nightmare this is for guys everywhere."
RC: It's like when your girlfriend reads a Cosmo article and starts firing questions from out of nowhere.
Connolly: Yeah, it always comes from somewhere. I was dating this girl once, and I was brushing my teeth and out of the blue she says, "'Kevin, what color are my eyes?"
RC: You're a dead man.
Connolly: Yeah, I went, "What?" And she went, "What color are my eyes?" and I said, "Hazel?" I thought that was a good answer and she's like, "You're an a**hole." I thought that was a good guess, but it didn't go over [well]. But something prompted her. She didn't just ask that for no reason.
RC: Which character is more like you, Eric or Conor?
Connolly: As an actor, I try to approach a scene and be as natural as possible. The truth of the matter is, I really am so different than these characters. "E" is sort of like corporate, big business. He's trying to take over the world.
I would probably say I'm more like Conor than "E." He's trying to move on to the next phase of his life. You know, "I've got this cool little house. I've got my girl. I can afford this place. It's a good place to start a family." He's got a plan and, strange enough, that's sort of where I am in my life now. I just finally moved into my first adult house to where I could conceivably have a girl move in. That's the first step. I finally have a foundation.
I don't want to be 42 years old and out at the clubs trying to pick up a 20-year-old actress. That's my worst nightmare come true.