If you're going to throw a Hollywood-style party, you need a star.

For the Minnesota Film and TV fundraiser, the celebrity cast for the role was Minnesota native Vincent Kartheiser, who plays the smarmy Pete Campbell on AMC's "Mad Men."

He was there to support the state's nonprofit film commission, which offers "Snowbate" incentives to productions that shoot here.

The Land of 10,000 Lakes has inspired many movies, whether or not they were actually filmed here. Our appeal? "We're a weird group," said Lucinda Winter, the organization's executive director.

Kartheiser, who sported a very un-"Mad Men" scruff, credits his start in the industry to Minnesota productions, such as the movie "Untamed Heart."

In fact, he hopes to take advantage of the Minnesota Film and TV incentives next summer with a film of his own. "We're writing it right now," he said. "It's a pretty amazing little love story so far."

You might want to fine-tune your star-spotting radar before then, because even in his hometown, Kartheiser said, he doesn't often get recognized.

"Well, people are never expecting to see the fourth male lead of a TV show walking down the street," he said. "Unless you're in magazines or on late-night shows, nobody sees you out of context of your character."

Maybe they will.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177