Brooklyn-born actor Jerry Ferrara is popular among TV audiences as Turtle, Vince's (played by Adrian Grenier) pot-smoking, women-wrangling driver/gofer and a hip-hop manager in the HBO hit Hollywood satire show “Entourage” (2004-Present). The 5' 5" tall player, who has appeared on Fox’s sitcom “Grounded for Life” and ABC acclaimed cop drama “NYPD Blue,” made his feature film debut in the indie flick Cross Bronx (2004). He will be seen in the upcoming mob drama film Brooklyn Rules, alongside Alec Baldwin, Scott Caan, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Mena Suvari.
Childhood and Family:
In Brooklyn, New York, Jerry Ferrara was born on November 25, 1979 to a mother named Mariana. He has a stepfather named Mike Lautato.
Jerry, nicknamed “Pesda” or “Nuggets” attended New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn, New York. He later took acting classes at the College of Staten Island. The die-hard New York Knicks fan currently resides in Los Angeles.
"I feel like one very lucky guy out here in L.A. But I owe everything I am to Brooklyn." Jerry Ferrara.
"I'm a community college dropout, but I didn't flip burgers. I did work at a Boston Market, so I was actually flipping chickens. It's been a wild ride. But I was never in an entourage when I came out here from New York. I really didn't know anyone. I earned it with small acting parts. When you earn what you get, you appreciate it more." Jerry Ferrara.
While studying theater in college, Jerry Ferrara was inspired by one of his professors to pursue a career in acting. He then entered an International Modeling and Talent Association acting showcase in the city and was soon discovered by agents and managers. He subsequently came to Los Angeles for a week to join around 30 auditions but returned to Brooklyn for a while to make enough money to move to L.A.
After collecting enough money by selling Christmas trees and working at a pharmacy, the unknown kid from working-class Brooklyn managed to move to L.A. He recalled: “I was 19, I didn't know anybody, I didn't have a car. The food was different. The people were like no one I ever met in my life. No one understood me when I talked because my Brooklyn accent was even thicker. It was like being on Mars.”
In the new destination, Jerry landed his professional acting debut with a guest spot in a November 2000 episode of CBS Emmy-nominated sitcom “King of Queens.” He followed it up with appearances on such shows as Fox’s sitcom “Grounded for Life,” the WB’s comedy “Maybe It's Me,” NBC short-lived sitcom “Leap of Faith” and ABC acclaimed cop drama “NYPD Blue.” He also made his feature film debut in writer-director Larry Golin's indie flick Cross Bronx (2004), which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
“A lot of people say they have fun at work. But we genuinely do. I feel guilty even calling it work.” Jerry Ferrara (on working on “Entourage”).
2004 proved to be Jerry’s breakout year. He snagged the role of Turtle, Vince's (played by Adrian Grenier) pot-smoking, women-wrangling driver/gofer and a hip-hop manager in the HBO series “Entourage.” The hilarious Hollywood satire, executive produced by Mark Wahlberg and loosely based on Wahlberg's experiences as an up-and-coming movie star, earned Jerry nominations at the Screen Actors Guild Awards (for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series) and Teen Choice Awards (for TV - Choice Chemistry). Jerry will continue to play the role in the show’s fourth season scheduled to begin airing on June 17, 2007.
“I'm the closest to the character in being a very loyal friend, but very different in that I have more respect for women. It's kind of liberating to play Turtle in that he has no inner voice—he just says whatever the heck he wants. But I definitely cannot do some of the things he does. I couldn't walk across a room and ask a girl if she'll sleep with me 'cause my best friend is famous. And I have no desire to go out clubbing and smoke a lot of pot and drink like crazy. On Friday nights, I'm home with my girl. Right now I just want to be all about work and career.” Jerry Ferrara (on the similarity between him and his character on “Entourage”).
Meanwhile, Jerry filmed director Michael Corrente's mob drama Brooklyn Rules, alongside Alec Baldwin, Scott Caan, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Mena Suvari. In the tough, authentic coming-of-age movie set in 1985 Brooklyn, he plays Bobby, an endearing cheapskate who longs for a simple life. The film will have its limited release on May 18, 2007. The Brooklyn-native actor commented: “A lot of scripts about Brooklyn are insultingly bad. But this one was right on the money. We basically shot all over the neighborhood where I grew up. If you grew up there, especially in the '80s, there is no way you can say we did not nail that time period and what Brooklyn was all about back then.”