Jeremy Piven’s High Mercury Count Forces Leave from “Speed-the-Plow”

Actor Jeremy Piven has dropped out of what he called “the role of a lifetime” in “Speed-the-Plow” after becoming ill due to a high mercury count. Piven missed the Tuesday evening and Wednesday matinee performances of the Broadway show, which will continue despite his leave.

David Mamet of Daily Variety questioned Piven’s choice, saying “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.”

Piven was expected to stay on until February, but he was advised to stop work immediately by a team lead by Dr. Carlon Colker of Beth Israel Medical Center and Peak Wellness. Mamet might have been skeptical of Piven’s choice, but high mercury levels in the blood can cause shortness of breath, fever, nausea, muscle aches, and higher white blood cell counts, moving into more serious stuff like tingling sensations in the extremities, and, erm, death.

Has Piven been indulging in some questionable fish?