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Rushdie Ventures Out in Cameo Role

March 06, 2000|BOOTH MOORE

Is Salman Rushdie going Hollywood? The London Times recently reported the British novelist will play the part of a ghoul in an upcoming vampire film. But Rushdie told freelance gossip journalist Baird Jones at Wednesday's premiere party in New York for "Agnes Browne" that the rumor is false.

What is true, said Jones, is that Rushdie will play himself in the Showtime movie "Dirty Pictures." The film explores the legal battle of museum director Dennis Barrie, who was prosecuted on obscenity charges for exhibiting Robert Mapplethorpe photographs at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center in 1990.

Slated to air in May, the film stars James Woods as Barrie. It includes cameos by celebs protesting the censorship, including Rushdie, whose life has been in danger since 1990, when Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini placed a fatwa (death sentence) on Rushdie, claiming his novel, "The Satanic Verses," blasphemes Islam.

Jones said Rushdie's part was filmed after William F. Buckley and Susan Sarandon shot theirs, and that the novelist proudly reported, "I was the only one who got it right on the first take."

Rushdie has been leading a less reclusive existence in recent years, but last week, it was reported that a campaign organized by the Iranian militia has resulted in more than 500 Iranians pledging to sell their kidneys to increase the bounty on the author's head. (The sale of human organs is legal in Iran.)

Hopefully Rushdie, who has been living under inconceivable pressure for a decade, will be able to enjoy a more normal life sometime soon.

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A Pennsylvania company is marketing its new Vanilla Cream Stout as the world's first beer-flavored ice cream, according to Wireless Flash.

The vanilla ice cream, which has swirls of frozen stout beer and chocolate-covered pretzels, is being manufactured in Philadelphia by Jeremy's MicroBatch, an ice cream company that produces seasonal flavors much like the microbreweries do.

"We thought it was time we paid homage to what inspired the company in the first place," said spokeswoman Michelle Peranteau.

The concoction tastes like a glass of dark beer topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, she said. The ice cream is made with real beer, but you can't get drunk because the alcohol is boiled off during the manufacturing process.

Vanilla Cream Stout is sold in stores on the East Coast, or you can order it off the Web site, http://www.microbatch.com.

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Calling all Hollywood babes who still don't have a purse for the Academy Awards: Beverly Hills-based accessory designer Kathrine Baumann is looking for someone to carry her heart-shaped 24-carat gold bag on the Big Night, to help raise awareness for a proposed World War II memorial. (You have probably seen Tom Hanks making a pitch for it on TV.)

The purse, which has a removable David Orgell diamond-and-amethyst brooch in the shape of a purple heart, will be auctioned March 29 at Christie's L.A., just three days after the Academy Awards. It is valued at about $15,000. Proceeds will benefit the National World War II Memorial Fund.

Those who want to see the bag up close (Rita Wilson perhaps?) can visit the auction house March 24-28.

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