Dan Gross: 'Wonder' woman in town for 'Mancation'

Danica McKellar: All grown up
Danica McKellar: All grown up
Posted: April 11, 2011

"NOT TO SOUND too personal, but I've always had small breasts, and now I'm pretty impressed with them," Danica McKellar explained about why she was busting out of a gown she wore for a wedding scene she was shooting Thursday at The Merion in Cinnaminson, N.J., for the indie comedy "Mancation."

McKellar, best known to audiences as Winnie Cooper on ABC's "The Wonder Years," is the mother of a 7-month-old son, Draco, and espoused on the benefits of breast-feeding as we spoke with her before her shoot.

"You don't wear a dress like this and then expect people not to look at some point," she said when we suggested that she should commend us for maintaining eye contact with her during the interview.

In the Frank Vain film, McKellar plays the unrequited love interest of the main character, whose wife leaves him. The wife was to be played by Charlie Sheen "goddess" Bree Olson, who dropped out to tour with him.

McKeller, an actress-turned-mathematician-turned-mother, said she loves being recognized for being Winnie Cooper, even 20 years later. "That show and that character were so loved. I'm really grateful to have been a part of that," she said.

"Not everybody is recognized for that. You can have a character that was goofy. Steve Urkel, I mean Jaleel White, he's changed his whole appearance. He's sick of people doing Steve Urkel imitations," McKellar said.

(Read more about McKellar in Molly Eichel's story below, and watch our video interview and pop math quiz with her at PhillyGossip.com.)

"Mancation" co-stars Joey Fatone, who got into character for a wedding scene by sipping a Captain Morgan and Coke at 10:30 Thursday morning, as well as veteran character-actor Mike Starr, who fondly remembered playing Lenny in "Of Mice and Men" in a 1981 production at Penn's Annenberg Center. He also remembered a profile that Daily News music writer (and then-theater critic) Jonathan Takiff wrote about him at that time. Speaking of music, Jerry Blavat was also featured in the wedding scene. The Geator and Starr made fast friends.

Out and about

Miss America Teresa Scanlan dined at Fin at the Tropicana in Atlantic City the other night. Although the pageant is no longer held in A.C., the Miss America Organization is still based there.

* Despite the NFL season being in jeopardy, a good portion of Eagles players have been working out together at Power Train Sports (5 Esterbrook) in Cherry Hill. The other day Michael Vick, Todd Herremans, Brent Celek, Winston Justice, Trevor Laws, Victor Abiamiri, Jamaal Jackson, Juqua Parker, Jeremy Maclin, Quintin Mikell and Albert Young all trained there at the same time.

* Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn and wife Nadine were guests at the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society's anniversary party for its Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic (2900 Grays Ferry). The Coburns adopted two dogs from PAWS Adoption Center (100 N. 2nd) and have also established a fund in their name at PAWS. They selflessly encouraged guests at their wedding last summer to donate money to PAWS rather than give the couple a wedding gift. For more info on PAWS, visit PhillyPAWS.org.

* It's cool that Mayor Nutter can rap and everything, but dude definitely needs to learn a new song. Hizzoner laid down, you guessed it, "Rapper's Delight," by Sugarhill Gang, for the crowd at Brendan Bring 'Em's weekly Wednesday night party at Walnut Room (1709 Walnut) last week.

* Former Washington, D.C, Mayor Adrian Fenty, now an adviser and counsel for Heffler, Radetich & Saitta LLP, a local accounting and consulting firm, was among guests at Campbell's Soup new employees center in Camden the other night for a party celebrating the upcoming Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Benefit for Children on June 29 at the organization's complex in East Falls. Fenty, an avid runner and tennis player, accompanied Heffler colleague Jerry L. Johnson, board chair of AAYTE, to the event. The June 29 tennis event honors outgoing Campbell's CEO Douglas R. Conant for the company's efforts supporting AAYTE.

Charitably minded

Sixers star Lou Williams helps DKMS, the world's largest bone-marrow center, with a donor-search drive from noon to 4:30 tomorrow afternoon at the Learning Center at Temple University Health System (2450 W. Hunting Park). Williams has a 10-year-old cousin named Miles who has leukemia and needs a bone-marrow transplant.

Potential donors, between ages 18 and 55, are welcome to come be swabbed to see if they could be a lifesaving match. For more info, visit getswabbed.org.

* The Spells Writing Lab presents an evening with Lisa Scottoline, Chester County legal-thriller queen and Inquirer contributor, on May 3 at the Loews Hotel.

Tickets are $70 in advance or $80 at the door and may be ordered online at PhillySpells.org/

store. The book-signing event is a fundraiser for Spells Writing Lab, a nonprofit that aims to develop the creative and expository writing skills of school-age children in the area.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit www.philly.com/DanGross.

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