Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sasha Grey

Sasha Grey (born Marina Ann Hantzis on March 14, 1988) is an American former pornographic actress, who has since turned to mainstream acting, modeling and music.

Early in her adult film career, she was profiled by several popular culture magazines and television programs. She won several AVN Awards between 2007 and 2010, and has also been featured in music videos and advertising campaigns.

After her mainstream feature film debut as the lead in Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience, she shifted her focus to acting, starring in the black comedy/horror film Smash Cut as April Carson, as well as having a supporting role in season 7 of HBO's Entourage. She has also appeared in independent films Quit, The Girl from the Naked Eye, and Mark Pellington's I Melt With You.

She is a member of aTelecine, an industrial noise band.

Early life

Grey was born and raised in North Highlands, California to a working class family. Her mother worked for the state of California and her father is a Greek-American mechanic. Her parents divorced when she was 5 and subsequently she was raised by her mother, who remarried in 2000. She's stated that while her parents don't like everything she does, they get along.

Grey attended four high schools, among them Highlands High, before graduating, having been unhappy in each one, though she graduated a year early at 17. In autumn 2005, she attended junior college and took classes in film, dance, and acting.

She waited tables at a steakhouse through March 2006 and saved $7,000 for a move to Los Angeles.


Adult films

In May 2006 Grey moved to Los Angeles and started her career in adult films just after turning 18. Originally she toyed with the name Anna Karina, taken after the French New Wave actress, before deciding on her present name. The name "Sasha" was taken from Sascha Konietzko of the band KMFDM, and "Grey" represents Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and the Kinsey scale of sexuality. Her first scene was an orgy with Rocco Siffredi for The Fashionistas 2 by John Stagliano. Less than six months after entering the adult industry, Grey was featured in the November 2006 edition of Los Angeles where she was flagged as a potential major star, perhaps the next Jenna Jameson.

Less than a year after entering the industry, in January 2007, Grey was the recipient of awards for "Best Three Way Sex Scene" and "Best Group Scene" at the AVN Adult Movie Awards. She was also nominated as "Best New Starlet", but lost to Naomi. Grey was named Pet of The Month for July 2007 and was photographed by fashion photographer Terry Richardson. In 2008, she became the youngest person to win the AVN "Female Performer of the Year" award as well as "Best Oral Sex Scene" for a scene.

In December 2006, Grey was interviewed on the syndicated entertainment industry news show The Insider. In February 2007, she appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, discussing teenagers in the sex industry. There was speculation that the show was heavily manipulated through editing, and did not include her defense of pornography as a career choice. The show was also criticized for twisting Grey's depiction to increase its dramatic value. Grey was profiled in the Rolling Stone "Hot Issue" for the December 2008 edition.

Grey formerly represented herself in the adult industry through her own agency, L.A. Factory Girls. Grey has indicated particular appreciation for the work of Andrew Blake and Kimberly Kane.

A. O. Scott of The New York Times described her pornographic career as "distinguished both by the extremity of what she is willing to do and an unusual degree of intellectual seriousness about doing it."

In 2011, she was named by CNBC as one of the 12 most popular stars in porn. CNBC noted that, while she is no longer acting in porn films, her current mainstream roles have kept interest in her earlier porn work high, and several companies continue to release compilations of her earlier work.

Sasha Grey Foursome Squirt - 18 min

Sasha Grey: 15 Minutes With a Porn Star

Features By Cole Abaius on May 23, 2009

Talking to a porn star is pretty boring. At least talking to Sasha Grey is. Not asking her about sex is like interviewing a brain surgeon about methods of fly fishing, and even when you’re discussing sex, she comes at it with the sort of clinical, professional tone that you’d expect anyone to discuss their job with. Which seems fair – even with over 80 films under her garter belt, she’s still only 21 and carries herself accordingly. She speaks about acting in Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience in the same borrowed phrases of any young artist who doesn’t quite know what they’re doing yet. What’s unfair is that she’s expected to know, for whatever reason, because she’s become an icon in such a short time.

There’s no need to write anything about her brief career or her status as a porn star revolutionary because you already know it. To hear some journalists and insiders talk about her, you’d imagine that they are discussing Pablo Picasso or the woman who actually invented sex. Now, people are shouting her cultural importance from the rooftops, claiming that she’s changed the face of cinema as the first major female porn star to cross over into the mainstream. And all of those people are wrong.

I realize just how absurd that idea is about five minutes into my phone call with her. She sounds calm, her voice carries a sort of robotic grace and confidence as she swears she’s sharing the real Sasha Grey with me. Nothing is an act. This is her life. Who she is, is exactly what she’s sharing with the world – whether it be while arching her back for anal or ad-libbing for an Academy Award-winning director. Even she is wise enough to realize how absurd her perceived cultural importance is:

“I don’t know if my role in The Girlfriend Experience is necessarily something that will make a huge difference, but I think these next few films coming up, if they’re received well, that’s what will be the defining mark.”

Basically, everyone has got it wrong. Her cultural importance has nothing to do with crossing over, or at least, it has little to do with it. Even if she does continue to make movies where she isn’t fellating the luckiest pizza guy on the planet, she’d need to rise into the true mainstream before any milestones are made. That could be an incredible challenge for someone who is already as famous as she is. And here lies her true importance: Sasha Grey is a constant cultural contradiction.

First of all, I feel it’s important not to skirt the issue of whether or not I knew who Sasha Grey was before she was cast as one of Steven Soderbergh’s non-actors. Of course I did. I’m a red-blooded American male with the ability to type the phrase “ball gag” into a search engine. This is where the contradictions begin. Soderbergh essentially hired a hyper-famous unknown to star in his movie. It’s true that she’s more famous than Julia Roberts was when Roberts starred in Pretty Woman, but Grey got famous in the one industry that allows you to become a major star in secret. My mother certainly doesn’t know who she is, and a decent percentage of men will feign ignorance to her existence since watching porn is still taboo for some reason. Thus, Sasha Grey is an anonymous superstar. If she starts starring in romantic comedies alongside Ashton Kutcher while filming I Wanna Bang Your Sister 2, then she’ll have achieved something. And I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

The second major contradiction comes from the fact that she’s a product of a media-obsessed age. A time where it’s not “advertising,” it’s “marketing.” Where it’s not “marketing,” it’s “branding.” Sasha Grey may be exposing herself to the world, but it’s all rehearsed. Her answers seem genuine and honest unless you’ve read other interviews with her to prepare for speaking with her. If you did, you’d realize that she’s giving you the same things she’s given everyone else, regardless of the question. Part of this is my fault, but for my purpose here, here are the details about The Girlfriend Experience and Grey that you could glean from my talk with her or any other interview she’s done on the topic:

Screenwriter Brian Koppelman sought her out by sending her a myspace message. She only agreed to do the project because it was Soderbergh directing (she’s a big fan), and she assumed there would sex scenes involved (there aren’t).
“[Christine's] main goal is money” – The character that Grey plays in The Girlfriend Experience is first and foremost a business woman who is propelled by making the next dollar, not necessarily by her emotions.
“They are always looking for a bigger mirror” – Grey uses this phrase repeatedly in multiple interviews, describing the vanity of Christine and Christine’s boyfriend in the film, a personal trainer. She never describes that relationship any other way.
“It was great to play a non-eponymous character” – Grey uses this phrase three times during my talk with her and with every other interview I’ve read about her regarding this project. Basically, she’s expressing relief that she’s not playing herself in films or simply making cameos, but it comes off like a high school student who has learned a new word for the SATs. To list all the interviews where she uses this phrase would take too long – in fact, do a quick search for ‘non-eponymous character’ and the first items that come up are all Sasha Grey interviews.

The word-for-word repetition of these facts not only makes for boring interviews, it exposes another odd contradiction. She’s selling herself, but it feels fake. She speaks like a publicist-controlled version of herself even if she’s sharing what she really feels. As if she’s truthfully giving the fake version of her real self for public consumption. It’s likely that she really is being herself, but she’s so self-aware (and knowledgeable about framing her image) that it’s frustratingly false-seeming. I won’t even begin to dig into the mind-bending convolution of a person going by a stage name giving the real version of herself.

Talking to her reminds me of a piece Chuck Klosterman wrote about Britney Spears for Esquire Magazine. In it, he describes her as “the naughtiest good girl” and marvels at how either Spears was completely non-self-aware or the savviest marketer of all time or both. If that’s true, Grey is like the anti-Spears. While Spears was selling herself as the embodiment of a sexual virgin, Grey was being filmed getting punched in the stomach during oral sex. But talking to Grey, she seems like the most innocent naughty girl. It’s all par for the course for her – a woman that is not going to be shocked by anything.

Yet, in a major way, the two are the same because you’ll never have what they are selling. If Spears was being coy about her sexuality, Grey is doing the hide-in-plain sight camouflage version by showing you everything and giving you nothing.

That reality extends to the contradiction of the true (yet molded) personality she’s offering. Just like there are several details that keep getting repeated about her role as an “indie darling,” there are details about her life that keep getting repeated. She shocked her co-stars during her first porn shoot when she was 18. She views sex as performance art. She has a band. She’s into Godard. Her stage name is literary. She’s into existentialism. All of these details are both entrenched with personality and devoid of meaning. They are just interesting enough to define her while just generic enough so that people can still place whatever meaning they want onto her. The average person doesn’t know what Existentialism is let alone what it means to be “into it.”

Even Grey seems to understand that. In the interview where that detail of her life first surfaced, she asked, “how many 18-year old porn stars are existentialist?” as if to wink to the world that she realizes that, even if it is an honest interest of hers, it’s still the kind of detail that makes feature-writers drool. Something that sets her apart or makes her seem just interesting enough while still being accessible because 1) she’s using a big word while most porn stars are giggling and 2) we have no idea what the fuck she’s talking about. Does that mean she cares about interpersonal connections? Does she read Kierkegaard off-camera while waiting to get DP’ed? We’ll never know, and because of that, it means something and nothing at the same time. She’s able to give of herself while not stealing our chance to make her what we want her to be. The fact that she realizes this is her true cultural impact.

Porn revolutionary. Indie film muse. Performance artist. Cross-over pioneer. Musician. Philosopher. Orgy queen.

Ultimately though, she’s really just a young woman who has sex on camera for money. She makes a living having sex – and there’s nothing wrong with that, especially since she’s very good at what she does. But so far she hasn’t done much of anything to earn the sort of attention she’s getting.

Still, it seems odd to boil her down that way. Even if she isn’t really the icon that everyone makes her out to be, she’s still influenced everyone into thinking that she is, and that’s no easy feat. Talking to her for fifteen minutes, I feel like I’m on the outside, like she’s the star of a film called The Emperor’s No Clothes, and I don’t quite see what everyone else is seeing. I don’t think it’s manipulative or that she has ulterior motives. Grey is a savvy woman who understands how to achieve her goals, and that’s admirable. But I think if everyone stood back a moment to see exactly what she’s being labeled as, they’d notice that they’re a long way off. Or at least premature. The potential is there, but she hasn’t yet fulfilled it.

To me, she’ll continue to be a wildly famous unknown, a media entity selling her true self as an image, and one of the most boring exciting personalities I’ve ever spoken to. A cultural contradiction. And that’s a good thing, I think.

Sasha Grey and Jenna Haze - Boundaries 3 - 43 min

Sasha Grey Exclusive Interview ENTOURAGE

by Christina Radish

When Entourage creator Doug Ellin was developing storylines for Season 7 of the comedy, he approached adult film star turned mainstream actress Sasha Grey about doing a storyline in the vein of the Charlie Sheen/Ginger Lynn relationship of the 1990s. Luckily, she was game to sign on for the successful HBO series because, if she hadn’t been interested, the storyline would have been cut, as she was Ellin’s first and only choice for the role.

Although she didn’t have any television acting experience, Sasha Grey jumped at the opportunity to work with such talented people, both in front of and behind the camera. In an exclusive phone interview with Collider, the cross-over star talked about playing a version of herself, showing sides of her personality that people may not have seen before, and the importance of being disciplined and dedicated, if you want to succeed. Check out what she had to say after the jump:

Question: How did you get involved with Entourage? Did they approach you and ask you to do it, or did you have to audition?

Sasha: Doug Ellin, the creator, approached me and I took a meeting with him and Ally [Musika], the other writer and executive producer. I went in the building and they were playing ping-pong, and it was a really casual, fun environment, much like the show, and they told me what they wanted. They wanted Vince (Adrian Grenier) to have a new long-term girlfriend, and it was going to be in the vein of the Charlie Sheen and Ginger Lynn relationship of the ‘90s. So, it sounded fun to me, and a cool way to be myself, but also play a different version of myself as well.

Had you been a fan of the show, or did you have to catch up with the DVDs once you were cast?

Sasha: I was a fan of the show, but I didn’t watch it religiously, so I did go buy every season and I caught up with the storyline.

Did you have any hesitation about doing a TV show, or did it help that it was already a proven success with such talented people involved?

Sasha: I had no hesitations, actually. It was a great opportunity to throw myself into a situation where I was acting alongside real professionals. It’s interesting because it’s like a baby step. I’m acting with real actors, but I’m playing myself, but I’m also playing a character, so it’s half and half. It’s not full-force, but it’s a nice way to step into it and get a feel for what’s to come, and the TV world as well.

Was it reassuring to know that they were so supportive of you that they wouldn’t have even pursued this storyline, if you weren’t interested in doing the show?

Sasha: Oh, it definitely stroked my ego, I’m not going to lie about that. Yeah, that was really nice to hear, and I’m glad that I was their choice for this. It’s a nice affirmation that you’re doing well and you’re going to continue to do well.

What can you say about who you’re playing and how she fits into the story this season?

Sasha: What can I say without spoiling it? Well, Vince had a terrible accident on a movie set, so he’s ready to take risks that he wasn’t ready or willing to take before. And, I come in and we definitely have an interesting relationship. I’m like a racehorse to Vince. He’s always trying to keep up with me and, when he can’t, that male ego steps in and it’s frustrating for him. I’m one of the first women that has the confidence of being sure of myself and not needing him, but wanting the relationship and enjoying being together. Throughout the course of the season, you see a progression in the relationship. We’re always trying to test each other.

Just how wild and crazy do things get between you guys?

Sasha: I can’t say too much without ruining it, but there’s definitely a lot of emotion involved. It’s going to be taken to a place that I don’t think most fans expect, and I think that’s a good thing.

What do Vince’s boys think of you? Will there be some conflicts there, or do they like you?

Sasha: You’ll have to wait and see. Of course, Turtle likes me.

When you’re playing a version of yourself, how much of the actual you goes into the character and how much do the writers just run with it?

Sasha: They’ve definitely allowed me to be goofy because I am goofy, but that’s a side that a lot of people aren’t able to see. The stuff I’ve done with G4, people have been able to see the fun side of me, which has been great, and they were definitely able to put in the funny, silly and carefree side of me. But then, they also show my serious side and the fact that I stand up for myself. Vince and I, in the show, are always testing each other, so there’s definitely a party Sasha, and that’s not me, at all. This girl is very young Hollywood. She’s living for today, and not really worrying about tomorrow. She takes chances in her relationships and in her personal life, and I’m very safe with the people I surround myself with. I’m really particular about the friends that I keep because life is so short, and I think she definitely takes more chances with the people she lets in. But, they could be gone the next day and it wouldn’t affect her either.

Once you were cast, did the writers sit down with you and talk about what parts of you, you would be okay with including, or did they just go with their interpretation of you?

Sasha: No, we didn’t have any discussions after the initial meeting, but Doug Ellin and Ally are great writers because they picked up stuff, just from conversations we would have on set, and put it into the next episode. It was really cool to be like, “Oh, wow, we talked about that for, maybe, two minutes.” Some of the best writers are very observant writers, and they definitely threw in the fact that I love Godard. I was actually trying to get Vince to go see an Antonioni film, and they changed it to Godard because they know that most of my fans know me for loving Godard, so they wanted to keep that angle. So, they’re definitely very observant about me. But, there’s a part in there where I say, “Oh, I moved out when I was 14,” and that didn’t happen. There’s definitely a big part of me in there, but a large part of it is also character.

Do you have any concern with people thinking this is you because you’re playing a version of yourself?

Sasha: You always worry about that, no matter what the role is and no matter whether the character’s name is Sasha or not. I still have fans from The Girlfriend Experience who think that’s really me, and they say, “Hey, how’s your boyfriend Chris?” I’m like, “You wanna call him? That’s not my boyfriend. That was a film. That’s a character.” I blame it on social networking and how information is dispersed nowadays. People don’t really absorb everything they read or hear. They just look at it quickly, and then they choose to remember what they want to remember. That worry is definitely always with me, in everything I do. But, it’s Entourage and it’s a comedy. It’s funny. It’s not supposed to be super-serious. So, while it’s there, at the same time, I trust that it will be great and, at the end of the day, it’s not a huge concern.

Was one of the big appeals of doing this show the fact that so many of your fans will get to see sides of you that they may not have seen before?

Sasha: Definitely, yeah. And, not only that, but they get to see me acting alongside real actors, and testing myself in different ways. So, yeah, it’s great to be able to show my fans that there are these other sides to Ms. Sasha Grey.

Were you nervous or did you feel intimidated at all, being the new person coming into this already well-established show?

Sasha: I thought I would be, honestly. But, when I got there, everybody was very welcoming. There’s definitely a short-hand that a lot of people have with each other on set. Sometimes they’ll be talking and you’re like, “What are you talking about?” But, other than that, everybody was really welcoming.

What have you learned about yourself, as an actress, from being a part of something like this, working with all the different directors and all of these talented actors?

Sasha: It’s interesting. It just reaffirmed for me that you have to be disciplined and dedicated, if you want to do well, especially because TV shoots so quickly and you are working with different directors. You’re not working with the same director every week, so you really have to be grounded and know who your character is. At the end of the day, one director might feel a certain way about a scene, and the next week the next director is going to feel a different way, and you want your character to be consistent. You don’t want it to feel like it’s all over the place and the person has no soul. I say that lightly, but you really have to be grounded and know that the choices you’re making are the right choices.

What else do you have coming up that your fans can keep an eye out for?

Sasha: I have two albums coming out, with my band aTelecine, soon. We had some problems with the testing, so they took a little bit longer than expected. A special I did for G4 will be coming out, in the next few months. I also have a book coming out this Fall, called Neu Sex. And, I have a few projects coming up this summer that I can’t really talk about yet.

Are you more selective now, as far as what you want to do next?

Sasha: Yeah. Honestly, I look at the project and I look at the people attached and I look at the director. If it’s a role that I feel will help me, as an actor, then I’ll definitely take it. But, if it’s not going to help me, then why do it? So, I am selective, but at the same time, I want to be out there as an actor and show people my range.

sasha grey blowjob gangbang - 35 min

Sasha Grey, la pornstar existencialista

Sasha Grey nación el 14 de marzo de 1988, en North Highlands, California.

En estos momentos es una de las actrices más galardonadas por su corta trayectoria, porque no olvidemos qu tan sólo tiene 21 años!.

También realiza actividades fuera del mundo de la pornografía, a través del modelaje, la actuación y la música.
Creció en el seno de una familia de clase obrera en Sacramento, California. Sus padres se divorciaron antes de que terminara su educación secundaria, y su madre volvió a casarse cuando Sasha tenía 12 años. Asistió a cuatro escuelas secundarias antes de graduarse, sintiéndose infeliz en cada una de ellas. Durante el año 2005, asistió a una escuala donde tomó clases de cine, danza y actuación. Trabajó de camarera en un steakhouse hasta marzo de 2006, hasta juntar 7000$ para mudarse a Los Ángeles.

Sus inicios en el mundo del Porno

En mayo de 2006, Grey se mudó a Los Ángeles y comenzó su carrera en películas para adultos justo después de cumplir 18 años. Originalmente ella barajó el nombre Anna Karina (el nombre de la ex esposa de Jean-Luc Godard) antes de decidirse por su actual nombre artístico. Ella declaró que el nombre "Sasha" fue tomado por Sascha Konietzko del grupo KMFDM, mientras que "Grey" representa la novela de Oscar Wilde El retrato de Dorian Gray y la escala de Kinsey de la sexualidad.

Su primera escena fue una orgía con Rocco Siffredi para la película The Fashionistas 2 de John Stagliano. Durante la filmación ella "sorprendió" a su colega al solicitarle que le diera un golpe en el estómago durante una felación.

Cuando era más joven, mantuvo una relación sentimental con un cocinero del steakhouse donde trabajó, quien durante las relaciones sexuales, la introdujo a practicar bofetadas, puñetazos, y otros tipos de degradaciones sexuales consensuadas.

Casi seis meses después de entrar en la industria pornográfica, Grey apareció en la edición de noviembre de 2006 de Los Angeles Magazine donde fue catalogada como una potencial gran estrella, tal vez la próxima Jenna Jameson. Menos de un año después de entrar en la industria, Grey obtuvo los premios a la Mejor escena trío de sexo y Mejor escena grupal de sexo en los Premios AVN. También fue nominada como Mejor actriz nueva, premio obtenido finalmente por Naomi.Grey fue nombrada Pet of The Month en julio de 2007 y fue fotografiada por el fotógrafo de moda Terry Richardson. En 2008, se convirtió en la mujer más joven en ganar el Premio AVN a la Actriz del año.

En febrero de 2007 apareció en el programa The Tyra Banks Show para participar en un debate acerca de los adolescentes y la industria del sexo.

Grey se representa a sí misma en la industria pornográfica a través de su propia agencia, L.A. Factory Girls, mientras que The Spread Group gestiona sus apariciones en otros medios.

Desde el año 2006 ha rodado un documental acerca de sus experiencias en la industria del cine pornográfico desde los 18 a los 21 años.

Carrera como modelo

Sasha participó en el material gráfico para el álbum Zeitgeist de The Smashing Pumpkins, además de aparecer en varios videoclips, como "Superchrist" y "Birthday Girl" de the Roots.,%20la%20pornstar%20existencialista

Porn Star Sasha Grey on Tyra.


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