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Why Christina Milian's hanging out in Duluth

The actor is part of the production for "Body Language," a movie currently filming in Duluth. "Wish you were here," Milian wrote in the caption of a photo taken at Fitger's.

Two women stand arm-in-arm in a nail salon, both smiling. Woman on right is wearing a bright green fleece, woman on left wearing a grey shirt.
Nail artist Krissa Wicklund and actor Christina Milian posed for a photo at Lux Nails and Spa in Duluth's Burning Tree Plaza.
Contributed / Krissa Wicklund
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DULUTH — Christina Milian has been popping up all over Duluth, where she's part of a film that's currently in production here.

The famous actor and recording artist, who can currently be seen in the Starz series "Step Up: High Water," has visited local businesses including the Spice & Tea Exchange of Duluth and Lux Nails & Spa, both of which shared photos of staffers with the star.

"Christina said that she really likes this area and said how beautiful it was," said Lux Nails employee Krissa Wicklund. "I've been doing nails for five years and I've never met a celebrity that gets their nails done around here."

Wicklund said that while she didn't personally do Milian's nails, she "did her stunt double's nails and made press-ons for them." According to Wicklund, "everybody from the set has been coming in."

In a video Milian shared to her Instagram story Wednesday morning, she could be glimpsed holding a call sheet for the movie "Body Language." That movie, a thriller produced by Mandy June Turpin, is currently filming in Duluth. Actor Annie Gonzalez ("Gentefied") also appeared in Milian's Instagram story.

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Turpin is the producer behind "Merry Kiss Cam," a romantic comedy filmed in Duluth, debuting on Hulu this coming Thanksgiving Day. Based in Los Angeles and New York, Turpin discovered Duluth through the Catalyst Content Festival.

In June, she told the News Tribune the "Merry Kiss Cam" production was having a very positive experience in Duluth. "They're not kidding when they say 'Minnesota nice,'" Turpin said.

The romantic comedy about a couple who meet at a hockey game was entirely filmed on location locally. Production insider Riki McManus described it as "a love story to Duluth."

The "Body Language" production is "more under wraps" than "Merry Kiss Cam" was, wrote the Upper Midwest Film Office's Riki McManus in an email to the News Tribune. A call for extras indicated that "Body Language" would be filming Wednesday through Friday of this week in downtown Duluth.

These will be the last three days of the shoot, line producer John Duffy said in an Oct. 30 virtual town hall meeting hosted by UMFO. "Everyone in Duluth here has been so supportive," said Cory Miller, the film's director, in the town hall meeting. "I couldn't be happier with how it's going."

"When we were shooting here," said Turpin, referencing "Merry Kiss Cam" in the "Body Language" town hall meeting, "we were embraced so much by the community that (production company) MarVista gave me another (movie) and I said, 'Yeah, let's go back to Duluth!' We really like shooting here because there's such support here for the film industry."

In the meeting, the producer recounted scouting locations for her previous feature shot in Duluth. "When we first did 'Merry Kiss Cam,' we went to every business down Superior (Street) and they were like, 'Yes! Come in! Use our place!' It was wonderful."

Milian's Instagram story included a video of her playing in this week's freshly fallen snow. Previously, she posted a video from the Two Harbors breakwall, as well as a photo taken outside Fitger's. In the photo caption, Milian wrote, "Wish you were here."

Related Topics: MOVIESDULUTHDOWNTOWN DULUTH
Arts and entertainment reporter Jay Gabler joined the Duluth News Tribune in February 2022. His previous experience includes eight years as a digital producer at The Current (Minnesota Public Radio), four years as theater critic at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, and six years as arts editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. He's a co-founder of pop culture and creative writing blog The Tangential; and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can reach him at jgabler@duluthnews.com or 218-279-5536.
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