"I could see him coming back as one of the boys," the actor says of the Olympian

By Susan Yara
Updated September 04, 2008 02:00 PM
Kristin Callahan/Bauer Griffin, Vera Anderson/WireImage

Michael Phelps delivered a brief cameo on Entourage – and some cast members would like to see the Olympian join them fulltime in the future.

“I could see him coming back as one of the boys,” said Jeremy Piven during a party to celebrate the fifth season premiere of the HBO hit – held Wednesday at New York’s Ziegfeld Theater. The new season starts Sunday.

And talk about swimming with sharks. Imaging how his own character – abrasive agent Ari Gold – would interact with the 23-year-old, real-life gold medalist, Piven, 43, said, “I can see Ari being very aggressive in recruiting him to represent him and also stopping at nothing to poach him from another client. That’s what Ari would do.”

Jerry Ferrera, who plays Turtle on the show, also likes the idea of Phelps coming back for more. “I’m lobbying to get him back next season so that I can be there,” he said. “He could teach Turtle how to swim.”

Doug Ellin, the show’s creator and executive producer, said it was by chance that Phelps landed on Entourage at all. He happened to be walking by the set while a scene was shot in New York City. It took just minutes for Ellin to welcome him in.

Swimmer Stopped Traffic

“It was the coolest thing in the world. When he showed up, I’m not exaggerating, city buses stopped and people started yelling and within five minutes we couldn’t even shoot,” said Ellin.

Phelps plays himself in his appearance and gives actor Kevin Connelly’s character a hard time.

“He and I bump into each other on the side of the road, at a crosswalk on 57th and 7th. He bumps into me and looks at me like he’s gonna beat me up,” said Connelly. “It was great. We had actually taken a few takes of the scene, and then we decided we’re gonna pop Michael Phelps into the shot.”