Swingin' Salman

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Guru Meditation:

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Last night Salman Rushdie showed up at the Cinema Society screening of Elizabeth: The Golden Years to very publicly not watch the season finale of Top Chef, hosted by his former-model (and dubious-culinary-expert) ex-wife, Padma Lakshmi. Instead, he spent much of the after-party on the roof of the Soho Grand getting his flirt on with a bevy of tall model-esque beauties, one of whom looked like Padma 2.0. If we’d once been amazed at Rushdie’s ability to rein in a hottie like Lakshmi, we were more than impressed with his ability to keep three ladies entertained at once, using some strange mating dance involving jumping, hand gestures, back touching, and, at times, French. Earlier in the evening we’d gotten a taste of his conversational skills ourselves. Was he witty? Charming? Sexy? Well…

What did you think of the movie?
I could watch Cate Blanchett read the phone book.
(Mentioning another woman? Uh-uh. Not cool. -1 attractiveness points.)

That’s so cliché. Surely there’s something more boring than a phone book.
Yes, there is. I could watch her reading my letters.
(+1. Self-deprecating! We like.)

Was the movie historically inaccurate?
The Spanish Armada was a bit more complicated than that, but it doesn’t matter. That’s just me. My subject was history, so I’m going to be pedantic about it.
(Despite being insanely smart, Salman does not want to drone on and on. Great! +1)

Have you ever met Elizabeth II?
Oh, it was unbelievably brief. It was at a book party I’d gone to.
(He goes to book parties! Man clearly enjoys events with free food and liquor, like us. +2)

The queen goes to book parties?
Well, she came to this one. It was a long time ago. I was just presented to her, and she muttered a few words and Prince Philip asked me if the Booker Prize was tax-free.
(Okay, so later we found out Salman is actually a KNIGHT. Which means he is, apparently, not a braggart! +3)

What are you reading?
A bunch of short stories. I’ve agreed to edit next year’s Best American Short Stories anthology. It’s a thankless task, I know. Everyone always hates what you choose, except the guys you choose, who think, Obviously
(He's witty! +1!)

Verdict: We would totally date him. Salman, e-mail us: intel@nymag.com
Jada Yuan

Find photos and interviews with Cate Blanchett, Val Kilmer, LL Cool J, and others at our complete coverage of the Elizabeth screening.