Jeremy Piven calls his abrupt departure from Broadway's Speed-the-Plow a "completely humbling experience."
"I don't know if they've ever taken you out of a game or if you've had to kind of stop a season short," he told NBC's Tiki Barber, a former New York Giants running back, at Sunday's Golden Globes. "But that's basically what the doctors did to me," Piven said. "I could have gone against doctors orders. I didn't. I'm just grateful to be here to be honest with you."
The Entourage star left the production in mid-December, citing high mercury levels that rendered him unable to continue in the three-person play. At the time, media reports questioned the medical reasoning, with Plow's writer, David Mamet, chiming in.
"My understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer," he told Variety soon after Piven's exit.
Piven's understudy, Jordan Lage, filled in for him immediately following his departure. Norbert Leo Butz stepped a few days later and was scheduled to play the role through Jan. 11, while William H. Macy is expected to take the reins Jan. 13 to Feb. 22.
Yet, Piven insists he would have liked to stay on as Bobby Gould, a producer in the Hollywood satire. "This was the dream of my career, to do Broadway," he told People. "The last thing I wanted to do was leave the show. I'm so proud of the work that was done there."