Context: The intention of the interview that Vanity Fair had with Jeremy Piven was to explore the various roles he's had to play over the years from the power driven super-agent Ari Gold to the flamboyant Harry Selfridge in the TV show Mr. Selfridge. However, the main focus of the interview is Piven's role of Ari Gold, who is the talent agent to beat in Hollywood on the hit TV show Entourage, which was recently made into a movie. Piven's role has been an iconic one at that, winning 5 total awards, including a Golden Globe. In the beginning of the series, Gold starts as a high level VP in a talent, and by the time the timeline reaches the movie, he is running the Warner Bros. movie studio. This amplified version of the American Dream is exemplified by portraying Ari gold as a self-built man, as opposed to a majority of his competition, who have been given their positions to them on a silver platter. In the interview, which talks about the movie, talks about how big of an influence the idea of Ari Gold has had on the entertainment industry as a whole, being modeled after the great agent Ari Emanuel.
Audience: The targeted audience is most certainly the Emmy voters, simply because Piven's new show, Mr. Selfridge, has picked up a lot of weight lately, and he's trying to promote it. However, because this interview was in 2015, I also believe that this was also directed towards the Academy and the Golden Globe committee, since this interview was done shortly after the Entourage movie's release. These audiences, specifically the Emmy committee, know that Piven can play a comedic playboy agent, but what they don't know is that he can play a more serious role and play a lead role, which he excellently executes in Mr. Selfridge, whereas he won many awards for supporting actor while on Entourage.
Purpose: The interview kicked off with some banter, but as Richard Lawson, the interviewer with Vanity Fair began getting more serious, he asked Piven if he felt that he could play something more serious than a talent agent who throws around racial and sexual slurs like they're baseballs. Piven simply responded with, "Those one-liners aren't exactly something that was in the script per say, nor are they something I'm proud of, but that's what the role called for. As for more serious roles, I think everyone's performance in Mr. Selfridge is something that speaks for itself. Piven is clearly promoting both his new TV show and himself by saying that he is a versatile actor, which his record does indeed prove. Piven, although he was on Entourage on and off for 12 years, has been in Hollywood since the 1990's, performing in various TV shows and movies, but hasn't had anything bigger than Entourage until he got the lead in Mr. Selfridge. Piven mentioned that he probably enjoyed doing Entourage the most, simply because it was such a long run, but there's nothing like doing a lead role on a hit TV show.
Point of View: I believe that this line of questioning was asked simply because nobody really remembers Piven for anything expect being Ari Gold, who was known for his greed and dirty mouth. I deeply enjoy watching Piven perform in all of his roles, including in Mr. Selfridge and certainly in Entourage, however, I think the interview's intention was to bring a different side out of Piven that that of Ari Gold. I do believe that this in fact accomplished that and proved to the audience that Piven is here to stay and can sink his teeth into anything that comes his way.