Interview Date: 04/07/2010
Run Date: 05/20/2010
Sasha Gray became a sensation in the adult film world back in 2006 when she arrived on the scene as an 18-year-old with big ideas and practically no inhibitions. She became a huge star in the adult industry and then crossed over the mainstream world when she was cast in Steven Soderbergh's film “The Girlfriend Experience.”
The producers of “9 to 5: Days in Porn,” a documentary about the life of people working in various aspects of the adult industry, were very fortunate to discover Sasha just as she was starting out in the industry, and she’s labeled as “The Rookie” in their film. Now, four years later, they have a legitimate superstar as one of the subjects of their film.
Bullz-Eye.com Publisher Gerardo Orlando interviewed Sasha about the new film and the many interesting projects occupying her time these days.
Bullz-Eye: Hi Sasha, how are you?
Sasha Grey: I’m good. Thank you.
BE: Well thanks for joining us. Tell me about how you got involved in this project.
SG: Oh wow, god, it was three and a half years ago.
BE: Yeah, it was right when you were getting started in the business.
SG: Yeah, my old agent told me that there were “German film makers, they’re making a documentary so you might want to meet him.” And of course, only one of them was German and the other one was Brazilian. (laughing) Yeah, they came to L.A. looking for a few individuals and it kind of just took off from there, you know. Of course, I think everybody involved, including myself, was a little bit hesitant at first. We weren’t quite sure if they had a specific angle or approach as to what their documentary was going to be about. But we definitely built a relationship with the filmmakers throughout the process and remain friends until this day.
BE: And when you look back now, when you watch the movie and look back on that time, quite a bit has happened since then. What do you feel, what do you think about when you see yourself back then in the early days?
SG: Yeah, wow! I haven’t seen it, the documentary…since I think 2008 actually.
BE: Yeah, you were 18 at the time, right?
SG: I was 18 when we filmed it, yeah, and I think I was 20 the first time I…yeah, I saw it in 2008.That was the last time I saw it.
BE: Oh, so it’s been a while since if you seen it.
SG: Yeah. We went to the Montreal Film Festival where they had the world premiere. And from what I can remember at least, I was really happy with it and I think it was definitely a non-subjective documentary. I think it’s something that generally, everybody can enjoy watching it. Everybody can kind of take something from it. And it was also obviously shot very beautifully.
BE: And it seems to give a pretty accurate depiction of different lives in the business.
SG: Yeah, and that’s what I like about it. It’s not just…you know, it’s not a documentary about the adult entertainment industry. It’s a documentary about seven individuals who work in the adult entertainment industry and how we’re all such individuals and we have such different personalities.
BE: So tell me, apart from just the movie itself, you’ve been at this now for four years. You came into this business with very clear ideas about what you wanted to do, the impact you wanted to make. Obviously you’ve had a pretty remarkable career in the adult entertainment industry and outside of it since then. You’re doing all sorts of great things.
SG: Thank you.
BE: Again, looking back, what were some of the big surprises? What have you learned in the last four years that you didn’t know back then? Good and bad.
SG: Oh god!
BE: I guess that’s a pretty loaded question. What are some of the things that jump out that if you were talking to that person that’s on film there, that this is something that you’re going to learn in the next couple years?
SG: Yeah, I mean oh god. I think it’s something that…I think I’ve just grown so much as an individual, and as a woman and as a business woman. So many things have changed. You know, I’ve been able to travel the world and meet so many different people, all by the age of 22.
SG: And I think just, this sounds really “free love, hippy crap” but really appreciate every moment for what it’s worth but don’t rest on your laurels. I think that’s the biggest lesson anybody can learn, especially in the entertainment world.
BE: So, on the surface it appears it has been a very positive experience for you. And what I’m gathering is that you feel the same way. That it’s been a great run and you want to keep going in obviously a lot of different directions. But it’s been a good four years.
SG: Yeah, definitely. I mean kind of to add with that is don’t be afraid of change. You know, I think my opinions and views on adult filmmaking have evolved as well. And you know, maybe four years ago I wouldn’t have had the interest or curiosity in making adult films the way I do now.
BE: I see. So what would you say is the biggest change? You talked about this even back then, but now you’re going to be in a position to really create the product and make your own movies with a production company. So what has changed for you? Where do you see yourself going that you may not have anticipated four years ago?
SG: You know I shot a few adult films at the beginning of 2009 and I was working with another director, and I wasn’t really happy with the way those films came out. So I had some other footage I shot and I took them to an editor, his name’s Mike O’Brien, and I sat down with him and explained to him this is what I want to do with it. And they’re not adult films really, they’re not porn, they’re not erotic films. They’re really something that transcends the idea of both of those worlds. They’re like moving paintings and they’re so beautiful and they’re…I have no idea what the hell I’m going to do with them (laughs). They’re so left field but I’m so happy with the end result. I’m so excited. You know I want to take them to museums. I want to have installations at museums. And I think they’re pieces of art that will definitely be appreciated by my fans and the small consumers of the art world.
SG: Well basic consumers of the art world.
BE: Is that something coming out soon?
SG: I have no idea. I have a few projects I’m working on throughout the summer that are really going to occupy all of my time. We’ll kind of see, probably in the beginning of fall, you know where they’ll be. I have a lot of friends that work for different art galleries so hopefully it won’t be too much trouble getting them put out there in New York and L.A.
BE: Great. Tell me about working with, and I don’t know if I’m going to pronounce her name right, Tristan Taormino. You did a couple of projects with her.
SG: Yes. Tristan Taormino.
BE: I saw that on the web, that you did some projects with her. She has some unique approaches and ideas, sort of different from your standard adult film. Was that a positive experience? Did you learn a lot from her?
SG: I really like Tristan because she’s…I think we are similar in a lot of ways but we’re also very, very different. But what I like most about her is being able to get to our set and being able to talk to her about the entire day, and I don’t have to…it’s not like pulling teeth.
SG: Like she wants to talk to you just as much as you want to talk to her about what the day holds for all of us. And I really enjoy that about her. She’s definitely about communicating and I think that’s necessary in all aspects of life.
BE: So I hear you’re doing a horror film. Tell me a little bit about that.
SG: Actually, I don’t know.
BE: Really? Oh, okay.
SG: I don’t know if I’ll be doing that. That was kind of an accident.
BE: I see. Well do you have any other mainstream films? I think I saw a “Forbes” interview, and I think you mention a horror film and an action film. Are there other projects in the works in the mainstream area?
SG: Yeah, I’m working on something for like three months that I can’t really talk about yet.
SG: That I’m sure, like next week of course, after I get off the phone with you, somebody will talk about it, which is a shame. And I’ll be working with G4 TV some more as well, because I did two specials with them. One last year in December and one in February so I’ll be doing some more hosting stuff for them, which will be really fun. I’m actually doing something for them this week as well. So this week and something in August and then I go into this action film called “Kayla Crow”, so it’s going to be a busy year. And my book will be coming out in the fall as well.
BE: Oh. Tell me about the book.
SG: The book is a photography/philosophy book so I have a ten page essay in there that goes over all…it doesn’t really follow the photos, but kind of explains my inspiration for them. And there will be a Q&A with myself and Bruce LaBruce as well.
BE: Great. Now are these all photos of you or photos you’ve taken?
SG: Both. There are some self portraits in there and a lot of documentary style photographs as well.
BE: So I went to your band’s website and I guess you have something coming out soon. It lists you as singer but I can’t hear you singing anywhere. It was all instrumentals, unless I missed it. Are we going to hear your voice soon on some of the tracks?
SG: You will, yes, but it’s definitely experimental. We have two albums coming out, one through Dais Records and one through Pendu Sound, at the end of the month, the beginning of May. And we’re working on new material right now as well actually. So it’s definitely a collector’s item.
BE: So what’s your life like these days. I mean you’re doing so many things. Do you just work non stop?
SG: It’s been pretty intense these past…especially this past month. I’ve really just been working on my book a lot and meetings. I swear, I’m in and out of meetings every single day. Between that and the book my plate has been pretty full.
BE: Have you found time over the last couple of years to just get away, decompress, travel? I mean where do you go when you just want to escape?
SG: To my TV? No.
BE: Fair enough. Vegging in front of the TV is good sometimes in the short term, right?
SG: It is. That’s about all the time I get, to do that. At the end of last year, I traveled everywhere, from Australia, Portugal, London, New York and Paris.
SG: So I got to spend about five days in Paris. It was snowing, it was freezing, it was beautiful. And that wasn’t really a vacation either so it was really a quick trip. I was hoping to go to either the Caribbean or Hawaii sometime this year.
BE: There you go.
SG: For a real vacation.
BE: That makes sense. Okay, last question. I won’t keep you too long. You’ve been really fortunate with some of the people you’ve been able to work with – like getting to work with Soderbergh. Who would be on your radar, I’ll say in the mainstream world? Actor, actress, director? Do you have your sights set on any genres or people that you really want to work with? Or is it more opportunistic, you know, with what comes up kind of thing?
SG: Well I’m a big fan of David Gordon Green. I really enjoy his work as a director. Actors…Kate Winslet. I really enjoy her and Penelope Cruz so I think they would be great to work alongside of. Really, for me it’s about the opportunity of working with people that will push me and challenge me and make me a stronger actor, definitely.
BE: Well I think that’s a great attitude. Good luck with everything. Like I said, you’ve had a very interesting career so far and it looks like you’ll be doing a lot of interesting things in the future. So good luck with it.SG: Great. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.