Last summer, when news of Courteney Cox and David Arquette’s trial separation hit the air waves, the Hollywood couple were together in Ann Arbor, Michigan doing what brought them together in the first place—filming a Wes Craven “Scream” movie, Scream 4 that debuts in 2011.
And while Arquette admitted to Howard Stern a fling with a certain waitress, it seemed his real “love affair”—at least at that time–was the city of Ann Arbor. He tweeted continuously about the hip college town 40 miles west of Detroit. He played pinball at Pinball Pete’s, dug breakfast at The Broken Egg and announced that Zingerman’s Deli “rocks!” He even designed a Michigan t-shirt for his new clothing line, Propr.
Arquette is not the only star to fall in love with A-squared, as locals call Ann Arbor. Drew Barrymore, who filmed “Whip it” in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit, publicly gushed about how much fun she had in Michigan on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
Likewise, Hilary Swank, whose recent “Conviction” was filmed in and around Ann Arbor, couldn’t say enough good things about her time in the University of Michigan town where she carted a brand-new husky puppy around in her monster-size tan Suburban.
“I love Michigan,” she raved, “Zingerman’s Deli is the best deli in the United States.”
Another Ann Arbor destination to regularly spot Hollywood wattage is at Eve, a gourmet Kerrytown restaurant lovingly presided over by Eve Aronoff, a former competitor on “America’s Top Chef.” Robert DeNiro, Rob Reiner, Swank, Barrymore, Cox and Arquette are just a few who regularly frequented this slow food paradise described regularly by critics as “food as art.”
So why so many stars in A-squared? One simple reason. Michigan has the highest film tax incentive in the country. Since it was introduced in 2008 as a way to diversify an economy that depended entirely too much on a floundering auto industry, more than 70 films have been shot in this state far, far from Hollywood.
The aggressive 42 percent rebate is why Ann Arbor played body double for Massachusetts where “Conviction” was allegedly set, why Ypsi and Detroit imitated Texas where “Whip It” was set and why Richard Gere, Michael Cera, Clive Owen, Hayden Panettiere, Diane Lane, Christina Ricci, Adrien Brody, Kim Cattrall, Sean Astin and many more have fallen in love with the Wolverine State.
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