Jeremy Piven abruptly left the cast of the David Mamet play Speed-the-Plow saying he had mercury poisoning. Mamet then told the Daily Variety:
"I talked to Jeremy on the phone, and he told me that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury, so my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer."
It’s not nice to joke about a serious condition like mercury poisoning.
Dr. Carlon Colker, Piven’s physician and the executive officer and medical director of Peak Wellness, said of Piven:
"He was eating sushi twice a day and taking some Chinese herbs. I tested his heavy metals and his mercury was amazingly, shockingly high."
Colker said that Piven’s mercury levels were roughly six times the amount an average body can handle. He made the diagnosis, as well as the play-exiting recommendation, after weeks of the Entourage star complaining of fatigue, with symptoms coming to a head this week.
Colker also said Piven experienced a dizzy spell, was unable to remember his lines, and could hardly lift his arms and legs.
"He was literally paralytic. He couldn’t move after the shows."
Colker was quick to note that his recommendation to leave the play after two months, as well as Piven’s decision, did not come about lightly.
"He is someone who has been acting for three decades, 17 hours a day. He’s really been an iron horse, so this is unusual for him. He really wanted to tough this out. It’s always been his dream to be on Broadway, but sometimes the risks outweigh the benefits."
After the doctor made his public statement the show’s producer Jeffrey Richards said:
"We have been advised by Jeremy Piven’s medical representatives that he is seriously ill, and is unable to fulfill his contractual obligation to Speed-the-Plow. Consequently, he has left the production 10 weeks early."
Both Norbert Leo Butz and William H. Macy will replace Piven.
Take some time off the sushi Piven, and get well.
Fish are known to have mercury in them, and some more than others, but one with very little mercury is Tilapia.