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Posted on 22 Mar 2007 at 8:03pm

Kerry Washington headed for “‘Cracktown’

Kerry Washington

She turned Chris Rock’s head in “I Think I Love My Wife” and got raves for playing a troubled lesbian prostitute in “The Dead Girl.”

Now Kerry Washington faces another challenging role in “Life Is Hot in Cracktown.”

Based on short stories by Buddy Giovinazzo (“Combat Shock”), the drama tells intertwining stories about a neighborhood that has been ravaged by crack cocaine.

Washington plays a transgender character featured prominently in one story; her co-stars include Michael

Rapaport (Fox’s “The War Next Door”) and Evan Ross, the son of Diana Ross and co-star of the current swim-team drama, “Pride,” starring Oscar nominee Terence Howard.

No word on when shooting (or smoking) will start.

John Waters serves Christmas “‘Fruitcake’

Renaissance man John Waters filmmaker, actor, TV host, author, artist, pop-culture curator and “Pope of Trash” are just some of his titles may be most infamous for making Divine eat dog feces back in the day.

But not everything he does is NC-17.

After all, he gave us the PG-rated “Hairspray,” which went on to spawn a stage (and soon a movie) musical version.

But is the world ready for a John Waters Christmas movie for kids? The man behind “Female Trouble” and “A Dirty Shame” has announced that his next project will be “Fruitcake,” a holiday movie for all ages.

He’s being tight-lipped about casting but plans to start shooting this fall for a 2008 holiday release.

RuPaul goes undercover

Before his VH1 talk show, before his cameo in “To Wong Foo,” even before “Supermodel,” legendary drag glamazon RuPaul created an alter ego named Starrbooty.

Now, after a few years away from pop culture, Miss RuPaul is back and ready to fight bad guys on the big screen.

The upcoming film, “Starrbooty,” features the icon as a supermodel who goes undercover as a hooker to rescue her niece from a villainous body-parts broker.

And if the statuesque RuPaul making like “Mahogany”-meets-Pam-Grier isn’t enough for you, the supporting cast of “Starrbooty” features drag queens (The Lady Bunny, Candis Cayne), queer pop stars (Ari Gold), and gay porn studs (Michael Lucas, Gus Mattox, Owen Hawk).

Shooting wrapped in February, so don’t be surprised to see “Starrbooty” glamming up this summer’s gay and lesbian film festivals.

Cruise rounds up McQuarrie, Singer for World War II drama

After his public feud with Viacom’s Sumner Redstone and subsequent decamping to United Artists, Tom Cruise is ready to flex his clout as a studio exec.

One of the high-profile projects he’s brought to his new shingle is a World War II drama that would reunite gay director Bryan Singer with writer Christopher McQuarrie their previous collaboration, “The Usual Suspects,” snagged the latter a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

While this new ensemble piece sounds promising, it means that all of Singer’s other projects including a “Superman Returns” sequel, a “Logan’s Run” remake, and the long-delayed Harvey Milk biopic, “The Mayor of Castro Street” are all going on the back burner. But hey, when Tom Cruise calls, most of Hollywood answers.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 23, 2007.

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