Flashes: Whiskas Vitalife Awards, Willmington, Tab | EW.com

News

Flashes: Whiskas Vitalife Awards, Willmington, Tab

OH, WHAT A FELINE See Fluffy run. See Fluffy jump. See Fluffy win an A-Cat-emy Award. You read that right. Continuing Hollywood’s eye-on-the-prize mania are the First Annual Whiskas Vitalife Awards, honoring distinguished felines. The contenders — announced on the same day as the Oscar nominees — vie in such cat-egories as Most Heroic, Glamour Puss, and Most Popular TV or Film Cat. Scratching it out in that arena at the March 3 ceremonies will be Caroline in the City’s Salty, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch’s Salem, and Early Edition’s Panther. And what’s in it for the fur balls? Besides the limo to the festivities at L.A.’s Beverly Wilshire Hotel, there’s an Oscar-like statuette (for the top of the litter box, we presume), a year’s supply of cat food, and a likely career boost. Caroline exec producer Fred Barron says a win would put Salty in ”a strong negotiating position. She’s already got a deal where she’s guaranteed a certain number of episodes per season. If she wins, she’ll want to appear in them all.” How catty. —Pat H. Broeske

TOWNIES Forget 90210. The hot new zip code these days is 28402 — better known as Wilmington, N.C. Ever since 1983, when Universal’s Firestarter was filmed in the small (pop. 65,000) coastal town, Wilmington has quietly grown as the alternative film locale of choice; today it’s the third-biggest moviemaking city in the U.S., behind L.A. and New York. Thanks to its Anytown, USA, look, Wilmington boasts a résumé of 200 productions, including the recent Oprah Winfrey-produced TV miniseries The Wedding. Even young Hollywood is getting into the act. Kevin Williamson’s I Know What You Did Last Summer was filmed in Wilmington, and the cast and crew of Williamson’s new TV hit, Dawson’s Creek, just took up residence there. But how does the sleepy Southern burg fare for actors used to the fast lane? ”The people are incredibly kind, but everything does move at a slower pace,” laments Dawson’s Michelle Williams, who adds that a few weeks in Wilmington inspired her to go a little wild. ”The first thing I did when I got back to L.A. was drive down Sunset Boulevard with the top off of my car.” — Tricia Laine

IN THE CAN Before Diet Coke was it, a no-cal soda called Tab ruled. Well, heads up, Tab is back — in Hollywood at least, where it has become the drink of choice for movie characters not quite with the times. Seventies prisoner Marcia Brady kept a hot pink can poolside in A Very Brady Sequel. Last year, a dejected Austin Powers went on a Tab bender. Now the saccharin-laden pop gets laughs in Zero Effect. As an eccentric private eye, Bill Pullman lives mostly on a diet of tuna and Tab. ”People used to suck it back,” says Zero director-scripter Jake Kasdan. ”Most people stopped — but he didn’t.” Coca-Cola Co. execs have no problem with their product’s dubious distinction as a movie gag; they even sent the Zero production 20 cases. Says a Coke spokeswoman, ”We’re just delighted that people remember it.” —Kristen Baldwin