Cheesehead state is Hollywood's new favorite locale

By Joe Neumaier
Updated October 30, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

Which flyover state is Hollywood’s new fave locale? Here’s a hint: It’s chic to be a cheesehead. Yes, everywhere you look these days, Wisconsin is on the map: That ’70s Show, Fox’s Sunday-night breakout hit, is set in America’s Dairy Land; Wisconsin natives Roz (Peri Gilpin) on Frasier and Dave (Dave Foley) on NewsRadio frequently wax nostalgic for their home state; filmmaker Michael Moore is said to be developing a sitcom about autoworkers in Kenosha; and in Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson compares the Atlantic Ocean’s temperature to his childhood in Chippewa Falls. And that’s not even mentioning the state’s most famous resident, ubiquitous Green Bay Packer quarterback Brett Favre, who has appeared in There’s Something About Mary, South Park, and TV commercials. ”You say someone’s from Wisconsin, it conveys that they’re good and honest,” says Linda Wallen, coexecutive producer of ’70s. ”Setting this series there says, ‘These are normal people and the little events that happen to them are big in their life.”’

Locals are beaming about the attention. ”Every time they mention Wisconsin, it makes me puff up,” says Moose Speros, the state’s secretary of the Department of Tourism. ”I know what they’re mentioning is ethics and pride in country. It’s a warm, fuzzy feeling.”

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