Porn Star Sasha Grey Reveals The Girlfriend Experience
If you think there's no difference between a high priced hooker and a porn star, just ask a porn star. Which we did. The occasion was a highly unusual sitdown with porn actress Sasha Grey, who plays what's euphemistically known as an escort, in Steven Soderbergh's venture into new and strange territory with The Girlfriend Experience.
Grey was also forthcoming about what exactly makes a porn star tick, her geek moments, and how she always likes to be, let's say, well prepared no matter what movie she's in. Which in the case of The Girlfriend Experience, meant ending up googling the word escort, and even contemplating hiring one. Grey also let on about what turns her off about potential partners in her movies, and what conversely turns her on in a man. And high on that keeper list is a guy who supports her ideologies as a commodity, if you get her drift.
Click for full photo
When was it exactly that you went, I want to be a porn star?
SASHA GREY: I was seventeen, and I had already graduated high school and was going to college. I was watching a lot of adult films, and to put it simply, I saw a blank canvas that needed to be painted.
You know, I saw an industry that needed change. And I myself was aware that I wanted to continue exploring my sexuality in a safe environment. And I didn't have any false pretenses or hopes, because I went into it and I said, I'm ready to be a commodity that fulfills everyone's fantasies. I meant that.
Now, three years later I'm turning that into benefiting me. Because no matter what business you're in, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up, and pay your dues. Unless you know somebody or you're born into money. But for me, it's always been about exploring my sexuality, and encouraging men and women to be unabashed about theirs.
So you're cool with being a porn star?
SG: No matter whether you're working in adult films or whether you're a journalist, whatever you do in life you have to be with that.
What's the difference between doing an R rated movie, and an XXX movie?
SG: Well, it's definitely different! But no matter what I do, I always prepare. I'm kind of anal about that. No pun intended! You know, that's just who I am.
So I go into everything with a very serious approach, whether that be adult films, music, what have you. But doing this film, I asked Steven a lot of questions.
What sorts of questions?
SG: Like he wanted me to keep my personality and my confidence, and bring that into the film. But at the same time, I'm not playing myself. I'm playing a character. So it was kind of finding a way to fuse those two things together.
How did you get involved in this movie in the first place?
SG: I met Steven maybe a year before we started shooting. And I went home that day and was like, escorts, hmm. Escorting. Google! It's like, if you don't know, it's actually really hard to find information on the individual women in that world.
So how did you finally end up figuring all that out?
SG: I thought about maybe trying to hire one, and interviewing them. But I felt weird about it! So I never did. Then about two weeks before we started shooting the film, the casting director forwarded Steven and I all these different links written by escorts.
So that kind of helped me a lot, getting into their daily lives and how they feel about what they do. Because they were doing it anonymously, so they really wrote how they truly feel.
Then when I got to New York, the casting director also introduced me to real life GFE's. So I kind of got an insight to that world from them, and did three hour interviews with them.
Where do you think your character's head is at by the end of the movie, because it's not spelled out?
SG: I think that's left up for the audience to decide. Because I'm not sure that I even know!
After The Girlfriend Experience, are you looking to get out of the adult film industry?
SG: Not at the moment, no. I enjoy the challenge of trying to do both at the same time. I think the climate is right.
Any big challenges for you as a porn actress?
SG: Since day one of being in the adult film industry, I've always been into challenging the stereotypes.
What are the stereotypes do you find yourself challenged with?
SG: You know, she's abused. She's on drugs. She comes from a broken home. She has a pimp. All that stuff.
Do you think people tend to confuse porn stars with escorts?
SG: I find it more so now because of the film, than I did before. But yeah, sometimes I'd run into that comparison. I think anybody looking from the outside in the adult industry, whether they're pro-porn or anti-porn, still believes those stereotypes are true.
You come up against a pretty abusive guy in this movie. Do you have bad experiences like that in your own life?
SG: Not so much. Professionally and in the adult industry, I'm a no bullshit person. I think only once in my career have I had someone say, oh, yeah, I hired you to do this. And I said, no you didn't. I'm calling my agent because that was not discussed.
But that's only happened once. Generally, I think that women, and not just in adult films and not just in this business, but women are afraid to stand up for themselves. I had a great grandfather who always said, don't let anyone push you around or tell you no, just because you're a girl.
So I've lived by that, whether it be professionally speaking or personally. But as far as outside of shooting adult films, just in everyday life, if it's a fan or something like that, I have a really cool fan base. My fans respect me. Like I have fans who don't even watch porn. So I think I've been able to kind of humanize myself.
Do you have the right of refusal to work with certain actors, maybe someone who's a jerk?
SG: Yeah, definitely, whether it's just because you don't like them or they have bad hygiene. Or they can't perform. But unfortunately, it's a really small business too. So it's kind of harder to say, no, no. Because then you won't get much work.
But fortunately, being one of the most recognizable adult stars in the industry, that is one of the perks. You know, being able to say, ugh. Not going to happen.
After a day of work in porn, do you still feel like having a boyfriend?
SG: In real life, yeah.
Does he ever get jealous, or anything like that?
SG: Oh, no, no. We wouldn't be together if that were the case. He fully supports what I do, and my ideologies. So it's a great thing.
What does a porn star want out of life?
SG: I want to be able to have that beach house in Hawaii, and travel the world. And the cliche of living in Europe and dining in France. I want to be able to do those things.
But this is my life and I pride myself on that personally, whether people agree with me or not. And it's something that I'm passionate about. If I didn't have passion, I wouldn't want to live.
Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact her through NewsBlaze.
Related Movie Reviews News