TO BE WHORE NOT TO BE
"This film has a very pro-legalization point of view," says Theresa Russell, 34, about her new film, Whore, in which she plays the title role. "In a perfect world, yes, there should be no prostitution, but it's certainly not going to go away in our lifetime," says Russell, who argues that if il were legalized, "professionals" would be tested for AIDS and sex would be safer. "If prostitution is being used by certain people who can't get what they want from their spouses, then maybe it does serve a function if it saves a marriage. I have a hard time saying this because I wouldn't like it if my husband [director Nicolas Roeg] were doing that. It's better than him having a mistress or an affair." But would she ever explore the experience if she were a man? "Yes, I would," Russell said. "I would have to try it at least once. It would be an area of such mystery to me."

ALL KIDDING ASIDE
Author and essayist Calvin Trillin is not sure he likes being called a humorist. "I've described myself as a humorist when I've put modesty aside," says Trillin, 55, whose latest collection of pieces is called American Stories, "but calling yourself a humorist implies you're actually succeeding, that people are actually laughing." So the indefatigable Trillin offers an acceptable substitute. "People ask, 'How should I introduce you?' I say, 'Something simple will do. Like, Not since Mark Twain ...' "

BUY, BUY LOVE
Rapper Vanilla Ice admits that his relationship with his family, especially with mother Beth Mino, is a bit chilly. "I'm not real close to my mother," says Ice, 22, who stars in the new movie Cool as Ice. "I've been on my own since I was 14, and I never had a father. I don't talk to my mother more than once a month, to tell you the truth. Life doesn't happen like it does on Leave It to Beaver." Still, Ice says he has bought Mom a house and a BMW. "I bought my brother a house too," he says. "I felt like buying those things because I've never been that family person they wanted me to be. I treated my mother very badly when I was a kid. I'm not proud about that."

THAT'S WIFE
In a BBC radio interview recently broadcast in Great Britain, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, 32, was boldly unremorseful about traveling to Australia in 1988 to see her husband, Prince Andrew, leaving infant daughter Beatrice behind for six weeks. "I thought it was very important to go off and be with [Andrew] after nine months of being rather large with Beatrice." On the avalanche of bad publicity that followed the trip, she added, "I didn't even think about it. One day the children [including Princess Eugenie, 1] are going to fly the nest, and Andrew and I will be [left] together. I am devoted to my children, but it's also important to remember that your husband is part of the family too. I would definitely do it again and again and again."