Actor Jeremy Piven has abruptly abandoned his role in the Broadway revival of David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" due to a recent diagnosis that he has a high mercury count.
"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," the play's producers stated. "Consequently, he has left the production 10 weeks early."
Mamet seemed unsure of the seriousness of Piven's condition, after the actor missed two matinee performances this week.
"I talked to Jeremy on the phone, and he told me that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury," said Mamet. "So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer."
Piven's representative said that the actor was inclined to continue the show but that doctors warned him to leave it immediately.
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