The eighth and final season of “Entourage” will include guest appearances by Andrew Dice Clay and “a very popular” TV chef, star Debi Mazar tells xfinityTV.com.
Mazar – better known as Vinnie Chase’s no nonsense publicist, Shauna Roberts – heads back to the set next month.
“I know there is drama in the Ari Gold world,” she teases. “I am begging (the producers), ‘Can you please write me something that will be a good way to go out? A good way to be remembered?’”
In the meantime, Mazar has turned her attention to a project she is perhaps more passionate about – a Cooking Channel series she hosts with husband Gabriele Corcos called “Extra Virgin.”
The program invites viewers into their Los Angeles home as they prepare their favorite Tuscan recipes.
I wanted to come up with a hybrid show of sorts that wasn’t your traditional dump and stir type of cooking show,” Debi told us when we recently caught up with the couple.
“What appeals to people is that we invite them into our home as opposed to being in some studio. The final three episodes of the season, we are in Tuscany. My husband is from Florence. And he has a 15th century barn that is completely rustic and very ‘Green Acres’ like.”
“Extra Virgin” airs Wednesdays at 10:30 PM on Cooking Channel.
Q: Your show is called “Extra Virgin.” Do people sometimes tune in expecting something other than cooking?
Debi: People know me, Debi Mazar, to obviously not be a virgin. So I don’t think that has been an issue [laughs].
Q: Why are there so many cooking shows?
Debi: The kitchen is the heart of every home, for the most part. It evokes memories of your family history. It is a safe place, a place of comfort and I think in light of the times we live in, to be able to get into your own kitchen is much more responsible on your wallet and much more responsible in terms of knowing what you are putting into your body.
Gabriele: Food brings people together. Of all the things you can put on TV, a food show is definitely more relatable than a “Real Housewives” show. What we show people is all stuff that people do, some involving the kids in the everyday cooking and preparing for the dinner, to the lifestyle. We even brought chickens in our house. We spent the whole summer with four chickens in our backyard. They tore apart the whole backyard, destroyed everything. Urban farming is becoming very popular now. We felt “Oh, this is so romantic to get the fresh eggs” without thinking about what caring for chickens really means.
Q: Will they end up in a parmesan pasta?
Gabriele: That is what I wanted to do, but we kind of grew fond of them. So they got adopted by a friend of ours who has a farm in the Valley.
Debi: We ended up getting very attached to them, but they ended up sh-tting all over the place. My kids couldn’t use the swing set. They would end up jumping up onto the picnic table in the back and I was like, “I’m done here.”
Q: Who does the cooking in your home?
Debi: We pretty much cook together. One of us is the sous chef, one is the cook, one is the dishwasher. We like cooking together. It is fun, and sexy. We play music. We have a glass of wine.
Q: Have you taught your daughters (Evelina, 8, and Giulia, 5) to cook?
Debi: [Evelina] will drag a chair in and be like “Can I help?” She has been cooking since she was 3 and a half. I came home from shooting a movie on location and my husband had taught her how to chop onions because she really likes to help out. She had a 7-inch butcher knife in her hand. I was like “What are you doing?” But his philosophy is if you can use a remote control for the TV, you can chop an onion.
Q: Is your DVR full of shows like “Top Chef”?
Gabriele: We watch more cooking channel stuff rather than reality and competitions. We have our favorite shows on the DVR, but they are mostly the one hour dramas like “Treme” or “True Blood.” There is something also to be said about watching food shows in bed. I get the munchies. I hate that.
Q: Are you following DWTS? Any favorites?
Debi: Kirstie Alley. She is an old friend. Max is my ex-partner. She is 60 years-old and she looks incredible.
Q: What about Chelsea Kane?
Debi: Yes. I am rooting for her too. I think she will be great. She is 20. I bet she can do a great split!
Q; Are you the coolest mom at school because you know the Jonas Brothers?
Debi: Yes! Even the pre-schoolers are like “I watch you on The Jonas Brothers.” And my own kids. I have been in the greatest movies, even some for kids, and they were never impressed until I did “Jonas L.A.”
Q: Last season ended with Vinnie getting arrested with drugs. Will Shauna will have her hands full lying about that?
Debi: Absolutely. She will have to deal with that. I am hoping they will kind of mix it up. I personally would die to have scenes with [Jeremy] Piven. Piven and I have either the love fest where I help him out with the big pow-wow or the major fight. It could get a little ugly, but it would be a blast because he is so much fun.
Q: Honestly, how realistic is “Entourage”?
Debi: I think that the show is kind of close to the way things used to go in the ‘90s. Things don’t go that way in Hollywood anymore. People don’t make those large salaries unless they are Angelina [Jolie] or somebody like that. I think that kind of expectation is more of a fantasy. I think a lot of the stuff that goes on in the agency is very accurate. The internal affairs part of it is very accurate. But in terms of the guys who never have real girlfriends, who never deal with their families, and have their own house, that is more of a homoerotic fantasy to me. Like really? You guys spend all this time together? You are not a biker club. So why? Maybe that is why you don’t have a girlfriend. Are you gay? It seems odd to me that they never have relationships and they spend so much time hanging out together. So I think some of the cars, the chicks…. Maybe for Vinnie Chase.
The eighth and final season of “Entourage” premieres July 24 at 10:30/9:30c on HBO.