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Brea Bennett at Twistys

August 25, 2016 08:38am
Closer to Reality
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland

Tasha Reign Closer to the Reality of Hollywood by Rich Moreland - Part 3 of 3

"I've been seeing cross over for years even before I got into adult," porn feminist Tasha Reign says while going through her own A-list of performers who have made the leap. Her top choices: Jessie Jane (now known just as Jesse), Jessie Andrews, whose other gig as a DJ reveals that porn people have a variety of talents, and the retired Tera Patrick.

From Reign's perspective, crossing over "has given our industry a new breath of fresh air," she says. Mentioning her recent work on an HBO/Cinemax film, the UCLA grad declares that mainstream is no longer "some farfetched thing, it's very attainable."

"It's neat that I feel I can cross over and do movies and do TV, even if they are stereotypical roles."

By the way, she doesn't see typecasting porn people as demeaning because other opportunities will open up.

"You have to just keep pushing the envelope."

Asked if society is ready to support cross over adult stars and stories, her response is straight on. "America is ready" because acceptance is on the rise.

Finally, the blonde superstar mentions that transitioning also occurs in the reverse direction, pointing out celebrity Kim Kardashian. "She's a Vivid porn star." It was Vivid Entertainment that marketed the sex tapes of Kardashian and reality TV personality Farrah Abraham.

As mentioned previously, Abraham has appeared in adult trade shows in recent years while renewing her presence on commercial TV.

From the filmmaker side of the equation, adult directors are breaking ground as we've seen with Jacky St. James.

Among the others is writer/director Bryn Pryor, who under the name Eli Cross directed the widely acclaimed porn feature, Corruption. Pryor's steampunk film, Cowboys and Engines, uses mainstream talent in the lead roles along with porn's Penny Pax and Derrick Pierce. There's "no hardcore sex" and everyone keeps their clothes on, performer Casey Calvert says, before injecting with understated humor, "There are two very tame kisses."

Steampunk, the popular trend in science fiction, encompasses "an alternative universe" run by steam power, Calvert explains. It also has a fashion component. "People think of goggles and gauntlets, and trench coats," she says. Steampunk is set in the Victorian Age, much like MGM's production of the H.G. Well's classic the Time Machine that is now five decades old.

Derrick Pierce says C and E was originally developed as "a short to generate some buzz," a trial balloon, if you will, for a "full-length feature film." As for his participation in the production, Pierce explains, "I play a guy named Iron Mike who is super strong. I had a blast shooting the movie."

In February 2015, Pryor directed a Showtime special called X-Rated: The Greatest Adult Movies of All Time, a documentary about the commercialized porn industry put together with Paul Fishbein. The difference, of course, is that X-Rated has a distinct porn connection.

There have been other efforts to schmooze the mainstream market, but what's important about Bryn Pryor's short film and Jacky St. James' Submission is this. They have broken through the artistic barrier to bring everybody, from studios to directors to performers, closer to the reality of Hollywood.

Like the intent of Cowboys and Engines, St. James' Submission turns mainstream expectations upside down. Adult producers and directors who break into Hollywood are not interested in typecasting performers to play sex-driven avatars of themselves. From screen play to production, the narrative can now originate in the adult industry without being solely an adult product. This, more than anything else, is closing the gap between the porn industry and the cultural mainstream.

Is it possible that at long last the ultimate cross over is in the books? Perhaps, but one thing is certain. Jacky St. James' Submission is the legacy of the adult stars that have gone "Hollywood" before her. In doing so, they accepted the limitations of the ubiquitous role of sex worker because it opened the door.

Jacky St. James and others are now giving everyone permission to move past that stereotype and go further to showcase their talent, in effect mollifying the porn stigma.

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