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Sasha Grey, Part 3

Perhaps in order to combat the juggernaut of "Star Trek" which probably will be dominating the screens when her film "The Girlfriend Experience" comes out next month, Sasha Grey made this porn parody. I say, more power to her. She will go far.

PK: One of the things, in the other interviews I've read, that really bugs you, is when people think that all people in your line of work are victims. What is your background? It makes me wonder what sort of upbringing or what sort of influences you had that made you interested in this sort of work.

SG: I don't necessarily think it's my upbringing...I know that people always try to find a reason, "Oh, there must be a reason why she did this." I think it's sometimes disappointing that people can't just accept, whether they agree with it or not, that an eighteen-year-old girl can make a conscious decision to step into a career that most people probably won't agree with. I think it takes balls to do that. To go with it full force no matter what the criticism will be. But I say that because I've dealt with the media from the very beginning of my career, you know. I did the article that Steven and his writer "discovered" me in. I had only been in the business for about two and a half, three months at that point, so from there that led to being on tabloid television the first six months of my career.

So all those things fell in place very quickly, like a domino effect, and every time I did one of these things, it's just the media, it's selling things. I get that, and I went on there knowing that I would be placed in those circumstances, but I was playing the same game they were: they were going to use me and I was going to use them. It's publicity at the end of the day: I need to get show ratings, and I want fans, and I want the exposure. But do I agree with what they're saying? No, because I'm not going to sit there and let somebody persecute me for my beliefs, you know?

And I go back to judgment. You know, somebody might be a Christian or a Mormon or a Scientologist, I'm not going to sit here and persecute you for your beliefs just because I disagree with them. I'll respectfully disagree, and it's just sometimes really frustrating in that context when it's like, "There must be a real reason for you doing this psychologically." Yeah, I saw something that I wanted to do, and I wanted to challenge it, and if you don't want to accept that that's fine but don't tell me where I came from.

PK: What was the first porn movie that you saw, the one that made you think this is something you could do well?

SG: I'm afraid to admit I watched a lot of free porn, which I don't advocate. Because I was at my girlfriend's house a lot, so I'd just go on her computer. It wasn't really just one thing cause I watched, primarily, I watched gonzo, so it was, you know, sex scenes without the story. That's what I was watching primarily. So I couldn't say it was one thing, I think it's just a buildup of seeing kind of the same repetitive nature in everything I watched.

PK: And after a while it became sort of too repetitive and you thought that maybe...

SG: Yeah, and I mean, you know as a sexual being, yeah, I enjoyed watching it. But I think there's so much more that can be done. There is so much free stuff out there, why would you want to pay for something that you can get for free already, and I think with the way the economy is right now, I'm hoping it'll go back to the way it was in the late ‘70s and the early ‘80s where you actually had to make a real film with sex in it. And people actually wanted to pay for it and go watch it all the way through.

PK: When "Deep Throat" came out, it was the number one movie in America at the box office.

SG: I actually did a remake of that.

PK: You did?

SG: Yeah, a couple months ago. It came out in March.

PK: Is it, like, a full-length feature?

SG: Yeah. But it's called "Throat" because we couldn't get the licensing rights to the actual title. It's not an exact remake, it's kind of a modern adaptation. You still have a girl with a clit in her throat but it's quite different. It's more of a dark comedy than just a straight comedy. And you're dealing with different characters, a different storyline.

PK: Are you going to remake some of the others, like "Behind the Green Door?"

SG: I think they were actually talking about doing that. They already did "Debbie does Dallas" and...

PK: Just like regular Hollywood.

SG: Remaking everything. Can't make anything for yourself. I mean, I took part in it but I do kind of believe like, why are we doing something that's already been done pretty good?

PK: Do you get any resistance from your family members or anything like that?

SG: Yeah, my mom. I don't think any parent would jump for joy that their kid's doing adult films. But we still talk a couple times a week. We still have a good relationship. And, you know, we respectfully disagree with each other's beliefs.

PK: She's not a Mormon.

SG: No, she's Catholic.

PK:  Oh.

SG: So, you know, I love her, and she's my mom, and I'm not going to be a child and not talk to her because she doesn't support my career in my life. But, you know, she gave me this life, so I do love her. My brother and my dad and my sister are all, like, "Don't do drugs and accomplish what you say you want to accomplish."

PK: Have they seen this movie?

SG: No, but they will.

PK: They'll see this one.

SG: Yeah.

PK: But not the others.

SG: No. My mom did buy my "Penthouse" though. She's like, "This is acceptable, I can go buy this." She picks it up and is like, "This is my daughter!" to the guy at the newsstand. So I'm like, what is that double standard, you know, why can a guy like Hugh Hefner have this huge empire, and he's glorified because maybe it's a little softer and a little tamer, so we're ok with that. But a woman tries to do it, and she's a slut and there's something wrong with her. But Hugh Hefner's fine. He's completely fine.

PK:  Have you ever met him?
SG: I haven't, actually.

PK: Do you admire the sort of thing he did? It was very pre-feminist but he did sort of contribute to the sexual revolution.

SG: Definitely. I definitely think he contributed to the sexual revolution whether "Playboy" still is or isn't, I wouldn't want to comment on that. But I go back to the whole double standard issue, it's like, why is it ok for society to accept a man who runs a pornographic company, but it's not ok for a young woman to do the same thing. Because young women are vilified when they do it. But men are glorified. And I think that's wrong.

PK: Do you think it's changing?

Slowly, yeah. I don't think it'll be something that happens overnight, but I think by doing interviews like this or speaking at Brandeis last night where you actually get to be up close with, whether it be a fan or just somebody who might disagree with you but still wants to hear you talk, it's showing a new breed of porn stars, I think. I did this whole op-ed piece for this college newspaper because this girl was claiming that I was abused and degraded and there's something seriously wrong with me, so I wrote back. I don't necessarily always feel the need to, because, again, I go back to you can have your own opinion, but when my fans bring that kind of stuff to me, and my fans start to question me, then that's not OK. So I do think that we are, culturally speaking, at a time where women are becoming more powerful in their sexuality and saying, "Hey, I'm not afraid. You can call me what you want, but this is my choice and I'm happy with this choice."

PK:  So what's your next project?

SG: I go home to LA tonight, and next week I'll start shooting my directorial debut. I'm working on a sex philosophy book, it's coupled with my photography, and I have an adult novelty line coming out this summer. And I might be filming another film with Lee Demarbre in Canada, who I did "Smashcut" with as well.

PK: That's kind of like a horror, slasher kind of movie?

SG: Yeah, it's...

PK: Not any sex in it or anything?

SG: No, it's kind of inspired by Herschell Gordon Lewis' films. It's definitely campy and fun, but I kind of see it as a dark comedy as well, in certain spots. It's very classic Canadian comedy, which I enjoyed because it's not something I was really familiar with before I shot the film.

PK: And your directorial debut is what kind of movie?

SG: It will be a feature, actually, for adult films. For my company. It's....well, I don't want to give it away.

PK: But it's got a narrative.

SG: Yeah.

PK: And graphic sex.

SG: Mm hm.

PK: Will it appear in theaters?

SG: I am thinking of doing an R-cut to do it in independent cinemas in LA and New York.

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Peter Keough tosses away all pretenses of objectivity, good taste and sanity and writes what he damn well pleases under the guise of a film blog.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009  |  Sign In  |  Register
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