Michael Phelps signs on to appear on locally-produced Golf Channel series

Michael Phelps will work on his game on the Golf Channel's "The Haney Project."
Michael Phelps will work on his game on the Golf Channel's "The Haney Project."
Posted: August 14, 2012

Michael Phelps meant it when he said he wanted to take time off and relax.

The swimming sensation will try to improve his golf game on the next season of the Golf Channel's "The Haney Project," produced by Tom Farrell and Steve Rotfeld of Bryn Mawr's The WorkShop.

"I love the fact that a Philly company will be working with the greatest Olympian of all time," Farrell said of Phelps, who begins production on the show next month. Farrell says Phelps wants to be trained by coach Hank Haney at some of the best golf courses around the world.

Suburban ‘Paranoia'

Residents of Fort Washington are still experiencing "Paranoia."

The film spent several days, through Monday, shooting at the estate of former Advanta CEO Dennis Alter.

Alter's home, which has been up for sale and listed at more than $20 million, plays the home of Gary Oldman in the corporate-espionage thriller.

One of the scenes shot at the estate featured actor Liam Hemsworth swimming in the pool as Oldman, who plays his boss at a telecommunications company, arrives by helicopter (how serious businessmen like to show off).

"Hunger Games" actor Hemsworth's fiancée, Miley Cyrus, on set for much of the film's downtown shooting, was not on the shoot on Alter's palatial grounds.

Joining Oldman and Hemsworth for the shoot were "Nip/Tuck" star Julian McMahon and actress Embeth Davidtz, who recently played the wife of Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) on "Mad Men."

McMahon and Davidtz play advisers to Oldman's ruthless mogul, who wants Hemsworth to spy on Harrison Ford, who runs a rival company.

Pressler on ‘Gossip Girl'

Jessica Pressler, former Philadelphia Weekly columnist and Philadelphia magazine writer, will play herself in an upcoming episode of "Gossip Girl" next season, reports New York magazine.

Pressler now writes for New York, and she and former colleague Chris Rovzar (now with Vanity Fair), who together wrote recaps after each episode of the CW series, appear in a scene with Penn Badgley and Michelle Trachtenberg in which their characters (Dan and Georgina) approach New York with a story.

Bello, Oteri raise $ in A.C.

Norristown native Maria Bello and Upper Darby "SNL" alum Cheri Oteri will be at Revel in Atlantic City on Saturday night for a fundraiser for We Advance, the Haitian charity Bello co-founded, which seeks to empower women. The event features dinner, drinks, music and a silent auction. Tickets are $200 and available at weadvance.org.

Out and about

Actor Joel Edgerton, who plays Jennifer Garner's husband and the father of the title character in "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," went for a cheesesteak from Pat's (with provolone, onions and hot peppers) and a shrimp salad and scallops at Parc while in town Thursday to promote the Disney film, which opens Wednesday. Edgerton also asked the local film reps to take him to see the Art Museum steps and the Rocky statue.

Delco gal gets makeover

Delaware County's Frances Ruiz will be seen on Tuesday night's episode of TLC's "What Not to Wear," as she gets a fashion makeover. Ruiz, 28, is a computer-science coordinator at Swarthmore College and writes young-adult fantasy novels. You can learn more about her at francesruiz.com and of course by tuning in to "What Not To Wear" at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Read Dan's latest at PhillyGossip.com, philly.com/dangross, @PhillyGossip on Twitter or at Facebook.com/dangrossphillygossip. Have a tip? Email DGross@phillynews.com or call 215-854-5963.

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