December 7, 2012

Hollywood North: Pamela Anderson delivers the Package as Hit ‘n Strum hits the slopes

Staff / The Vancouver Sun

The made-in-B.C. sitcom Package Deal made a deal to package the province’s most famous small-screen export as a special guest star in an upcoming episode. Pamela Anderson, the Baywatch babe who was discovered in the crowd at a BC Lions game by a photographer for Playboy magazine, is the newest special guest on the live studio audience sitcom, which recently featured American Pie dad and SCTV alum Eugene Levy.

Package Deal creator Andrew Orenstein told The Sun, “We’re looking to cast Canadian actors and comedians and like everyone else in the world I fell in love with Pamela on Baywatch. I also thought she was very funny in Stacked.” Stacked was Anderson’s most recent sitcom — she was also a regular on Home Improvement and guest-starred in several classic U.S. half-hour comedies like Married With Children, The Nanny and Charles in Charge.

“Pamela’s Package role was specifically written for her,” said Orenstein. “We wanted her on the show.”

Package Deal stars Julia Voth, Jay Malone, Randal Edwards and Harland Williams. Tickets are still available and anyone wanting to be part of a live studio audience should email packagedealtickets@gmail.com for ticket info.

In case anyone’s looking to get their Playboy magazine autographed, Anderson’s scenes won’t be shot in studio, but the live audience on Dec. 21 will get a sneak peak before the show’s debut next year on Citytv.

Sex ‘n Strumming score at Whistler … Sex was a big hit with Whistler crowds, but so was Hit ‘n Strum. The 12th annual Whistler Film Festival Audience Award favourite was My Awkward Sexual Adventure, one of eight contenders for the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature.

But the runner-up was a local underdog film about a local underdog — Hit ‘n Strum, Kirk Caouette’s writing and directing debut, which was shown in the festival’s Discoveries program. “It was a real honour to be screened in Whistler. The incredible audience response is just the icing on the cake,” the Vancouver-based filmmaker told The Sun.

Caouette also stars in Hit ‘n Strum, playing a street musician whose life goes sideways after he’s hit by the car of a businesswoman (Michelle Harrison) who’s determined to atone for the accident by helping him off the streets he doesn’t want to leave. The film picked up two Leo nominations — for cinematography and musical Score — and Caouette landed two noms at the inaugural UBCP/ACTRA awards, best actor and best stunt.

Caouette kicks off his movie — and pretty much kicked off filming — being hit by a car. But that was nothing new for the veteran stuntman whose credits include doubling for Night Crawler in X-Men2. “Jackie Chan-style stuff. That’s what I did.”

For Caouette, playing Whistler was a chance to return home. Although he was born in Kamloops, he spent his teens on the slopes as a professional snowboarder in the pre-big-money sponsorship days.

“We received critical acclaim in Toronto and Shanghai, but I grew up in Whistler, so this festival will always mean the most to me,” said Caouette.

Producer Tony Wosk told The Sun the film will be in theatres in 2013.

And what does someone get on their celluloid anniversary … Next Wednesday, Vancouver’s venerable Celluloid Social Club turns 15 and celebrates with a special screening and party at the Anza Club hosted by Celluloid’s original MC, Ken Hegan, who will be showing the film that launched it all in 1997, his classic cult comedy, William Shatner Lent Me His Hairpiece (an untrue story).

The special anniversary event also features Requiem for Romance, the winner of the 2012 Whistler Film Festival Canadian ShortWork Award, and the Fidelium, winner of the 2012 Bloodshots 48 Hour Horror Filmmaking Challenge, selected by zombie maven George A. Romero.

The event is produced by Paul Armstrong, who has another milestone to celebrate — wrapping the Vancouver shoot on his new movie Lawrence and Holloman (based on the acclaimed Morris Panych play).

The Celluloid Social club was founded by Armstrong, Jeanne Harco and Cathi Black to screen and discuss the best in B.C. indie shorts. Admission/membership is $5 to $10 at the door. For more information, visit www.celluloidsocialclub.com.