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
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"
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.