"So let me ask you flat out, are you a jerk?" Smith inquired in their interview.
"You know, that's interesting because if I said yes I would get more compassion than saying no," Piven responded.
The 49-year-old actor danced around the question a bit during the sit-down, saying, "I've had some moments where, you know, you have to check yourself and go, 'Just calm down.' I think I'm doing things for the right reason, but the reality is you may be passionate and it may come out the wrong way."
When Smith asked again if this meant he self-identified as a jerk, perhaps in his past, Piven was unable to elucidate.
"I think that if you work your entire life to be good at something and then you play the poster child for jerks, but you put everything you have into them – there might be some misconceptions, you know?" Piven responded.
So what he's saying is: He's not a jerk, he just plays one on TV.