20Q: James Deen

By Eric Spitznagel Photography by F. Scott Schafer

Share

20Q: James Deen:

Q1

PLAYBOY: From the outside, being a porn actor seems like a dream job. Scare us straight. Tell us why it’s not as awesome as we think it is.

DEEN: Sorry, it really is the most awesome job ever. I guess if you hate sex and don’t want a nice laid-back career that lets you make your own rules and you need that corporate structure, it could be a drag. But I enjoy my job and I enjoy the sex part of my job, and I enjoy being able to work as much or as little as I want. It’s kind of amazing.

Q2

PLAYBOY: You don’t have one horror story? Even a painful groin pull from having too much sex?

DEEN: I never understood the complaint “Porn isn’t as easy as it looks. It’s really physically taxing.” What’s so wrong with doing some physical activity? Is that a problem? Sure, the hours can be long, and like any job it can be grueling at times. But you’re getting paid to have sex. That’s cool any way you slice it. I imagine if Michael Phelps hated swimming he probably wouldn’t be an Olympic champion. If you don’t like having sex every day, all the time, porn is probably the wrong career path for you.

Q3

PLAYBOY: You’ve done pretty much every sexual act imaginable. Is there anything you won’t do?

DEEN: Clowns. I won’t have sex with anyone dressed like a clown. They are creepy. I’ve done it only once, and it was terrifying. The director was explaining the scene to me—it was in an asylum or something—and he said, “She’ll be in clown makeup.” I freaked out. I was like, “What? No, absolutely not. I will not have sex with a clown!”

Q4

PLAYBOY: Did you quit on the spot?

DEEN: No. We found a way to do it with her facing away from me—doggy style and reverse cowgirl, stuff like that. She’d get into position and I’d wait outside the room. The director would yell, “Okay, James, we’re ready.” I’d run in and do the scene but could see only the back of her head. I had my eyes closed the whole time.

Q5

PLAYBOY: Do you consider yourself an actor or a sex performance artist?

DEEN: Definitely a performer. I’m all about the performance aspect of sex. If I was being paid to go over to someone’s house and have sex, I would feel weird and uncomfortable. If someone was having a party and I was being paid to have sex behind walled glass or on a stage or whatever, and my job was to be a performance piece, to titillate and arouse the patrons, that’s cool. That’s what I do. So it’s this weird fine line. I don’t want to be a prostitute, and I’ve done it only once, by accident.

Q6

PLAYBOY: How does one accidentally become a prostitute?

DEEN: I got a call from somebody in the adult-film industry. “Hey, I want to book you for a day to do a group scene.” I got the details, and it was at nine P.M. at his house on the beach. Totally standard thing; I shoot at my house all the time and it’s not a big deal. I showed up and he said, “We had some cancellations, so it’s just going to be a three-way.” Now the scene’s with him and his wife. They’re both in the industry, so again, not that weird. But then the guy asked if I party. I’m like, “What do you mean?” “Do you use blow?” I said no—God no. He’s doing coke and I’m starting to feel weird. We go into the room, and there’s a camera on a tripod in the corner and the lights are low. It’s all very suspicious. We’re having this three-way, and then in the middle of it she says to the guy, “Thank you, baby. This is the best Christmas gift ever.” At that moment I was like, Oh shit, I’m doing a private. I got tricked into being a prostitute!

Q7

PLAYBOY: You’ve been described as a “female-friendly porn star.” What’s female-friendly porn?

DEEN: That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. People who say that think it’s a feminist statement, but it couldn’t be more antifeminist. It’s saying it’s okay for girls to watch porn as long as it fits in the parameters that we find socially acceptable. Female-friendly porn is just porn. Some female directors make what’s called romance porn, which is very soft and passionate. But a lot of great female directors, such as Belladonna and Joanna Angel, have made stuff that’s dirty and rough and insane.

Q8

PLAYBOY: You often get aggressive with your partners in your movies. There’s spitting, choking, slapping and hair pulling. How do you get away with that and still get called the “nice Jewish kid” of porn?

DEEN: Well, I try to be a nice person, and I am technically a Jewish kid, so I feel that’s accurate. You can’t control how people perceive you. Some people say positive things about what I do, and some people say I’m the devil.

Q9

PLAYBOY: James Deen obviously isn’t your real name. You were born Bryan Sevilla. Did you pick the name because you’re such a huge James Dean fan?

DEEN: It was a nickname I had from when I was a kid. I’ve always liked leather jackets, and I would smoke cigarettes in seventh grade. You couldn’t smoke in school, so I’d go across the street and lean against the chain-link fence. People started calling me James Dean. When it came time to pick my porn name, that was my first choice. I was never shy about telling people my real name. But people said, “No, no, you have to protect your privacy.” I’ve looked pretty much the same my whole life. Anybody who knows me who saw me in a porno wouldn’t be fooled by a fake name. They’d be like, “Hey, look, it’s Bryan!”

Q10

PLAYBOY: Your parents both work for NASA—your dad as a mechanical engineer and your mom in data analysis. How did you not end up an astronaut?

DEEN: It never interested me, but I am on a list to go into space. My dad put me on it. He thinks I’ll be one of the first civilians to go to space, in 30 years. I don’t think it’ll happen, because I smoke and I’m not that physically fit, but it’s kind of cool. My parents have always been supportive. They learned quickly that I was going to do whatever I wanted to do. When I started making adult films, their main concerns were health and safety. I assured them that working in porn is like working at McDonald’s or at a bank. It’s not a giant party, it’s a job.

Q11

PLAYBOY: You were a vocal opponent of Los Angeles County’s Measure B mandate requiring condoms in porn films. Do a PSA for us explaining why condoms are a good thing, except for you.

DEEN: I love condoms. I think condoms are fantastic. Outside of the adult-film industry, I’ve had sex without condoms with only five or six girls. Condoms are, in my opinion, the best option available to the masses. But we’re professionals. Think of it in terms of movie stunt people. You should definitely wear a helmet whenever you’re riding a motorcycle. It’s stupid not to. But the people who do stunts in movies don’t wear helmets because they’re paid to do it without protection. In the same way, if you’re having promiscuous sex, even with people you know and trust, you should wear a condom. But if someone is a trained professional and operating under the safest controlled environment possible, an exception should be made. A stunt person can drive his or her motorcycle without a helmet down a flight of stairs or off a bridge, and the same freedom should be given to a porn actor.

Q12

PLAYBOY: You’ve claimed you knew you wanted to be a porn star since you were in kindergarten. But that’s a joke, right?

DEEN: I was the kid who dry-humped a pole in preschool. I got into trouble in kindergarten for trying to kiss all the girls. Even before I knew what sex was, I was always like, “Sex, sex, sex!” Sometime around kindergarten I ditched school to go out drinking and stuff—I was a weirdo—and I was walking on the horse trail that ran behind the school. I found some porn magazine in the bushes. I flipped through it and thought, A person gets paid money to do this. This is their job. I could make this my job! I want this to be my job!

Q13

PLAYBOY: You were 11 years old when Boogie Nights came out. Did you see it, and did Dirk Diggler seem like a good role model for an aspiring preteen porn star?

DEEN: Not really. I mean, I just assumed there was nothing accurate in it whatsoever. I was old enough to realize movies don’t have much to do with real life. I watched it because I couldn’t get my hands on porn and this was a mainstream movie with tits. You could rent Boogie Nights from the library, and I’d take it home and jerk off to it. There was that great sex scene between Julianne Moore and Mark Wahlberg. I watched that all the time.

Q14

PLAYBOY: There are no college classes on being a porn star. How’d you find out if you had the right stuff?

DEEN: I was listening to Loveline on the radio one day when I was a teenager. I’d already decided I wanted to get into porn; I just didn’t know how to do it. Jenna Jameson was a guest on the show, and all these dudes were calling in, asking for advice on becoming porn stars. They were all obnoxious, saying things like “If you think those guys in porn have big dicks, you should see mine.” Finally she got really frustrated and said, “You want to be in porn? Here’s what you do. Sit in a room with 20 strangers and jerk off for an hour. Keep it hard in front of everybody, and when one of the people in the room yells ‘Come,’ you come. If you can do that, you can do porn.” And I thought, What a great idea! I can totally do that.

Q15

PLAYBOY: You started masturbating in front of strangers?

DEEN: No, having sex. I was running around Pasadena having sex with girls all over the place. I started going to house parties and having sex in front of everyone. No one really cared or got icked out by it. I made sure of that. I’ve always been the type of guy who, when people said, “Take your pants off,” I’d be like, “Sure, as long as everybody here is cool with that. Are you all cool with seeing my penis? Because I’m cool with showing it to you.” Respecting people’s boundaries is kind of a big deal to me.

Q16

PLAYBOY: So being in porn is all about being comfortable with exhibitionism?

DEEN: Actually no, not at all. Doing porn has nothing to do with being able to have sex in front of people. A lot of people can have sex in front of people. Doing porn is about the ability to go in­stantly from the state of normality to the state of arousal and back again. There’s no foreplay in porn. There’s no buildup of sexual excitement. You’re just sitting around the set, talking with your co-stars about what they had for breakfast that morning or how sad they are because their cat Fluffy got hit by a car. And then the director says “Action” and you have to jump into that state of arousal and have hot sex. Nobody’s going to wait for you to get into a sexy mood. You have to be able to turn it on like a switch.

Q17

PLAYBOY: You did a sex tape with Teen Mom reality star Farrah Abraham, and then you both got into a nasty feud in the tabloids. What’s your side of the story?

DEEN: Here’s what happened. I got a call and they asked if I wanted to do a celebrity sex tape with Farrah. They said, “We’ll set it up so it looks like you guys are dating, and then TMZ will find out and it’ll be all over the TV.” They wanted to pretend that somehow the tape got leaked behind her back and she was completely unaware. It was a really fucked-up story, and I said, “No, I don’t want to do that. Hire somebody else.” But they promised me the media wouldn’t be involved. I made sure they knew I was going to tell the truth if anybody asked me about it. I wasn’t going to lie. They said they’d make sure the media never talked to me. So we shoot the movie, and as we’re leaving her hotel room some paparazzo takes our picture. The next day I get a call from TMZ, asking if I was dating Farrah Abraham. I said no. “Well, what were you doing at that hotel?” “Shooting a porno.” “Oh…okay. Bye then.” And that’s when the fucking drama train hit.

Q18

PLAYBOY: She accused you of having a small penis. Would you care to critique her porn performance?

DEEN: She was great. I thought she was really cool. She got a little confused a few times about how to have sex for the camera, but it was her first porn movie, so that was understandable. The small-penis remark, well, I respect her right to have that opinion. If you think I have a small penis, that’s fine. I don’t care. I’m not going to be offended by what you said, and I’m definitely not going to get into a public pissing match with you.

Q19

PLAYBOY: A lot of celebrities have made sex tapes—everyone from Pamela Anderson to Paris Hilton. Who’s your dream A-list co-star?

DEEN: That’s hard to say, because so much of it depends on personality. You look at somebody like Halle Berry or Charlize Theron and they’re undeniably gorgeous. But I don’t know them. For all I know, they’re complete bitches. Personality goes a long way. Okay, I’ve got an answer for you. Who’s my dream co-star? In ninth grade there was a girl who was really awesome and beautiful. She doesn’t do porn, but I’d like to have sex with her. And I never got to. I mean, we made out and I finger banged her and all, but I never had sex with her. She’s the one who got away.

Q20

PLAYBOY: You did an orgy scene with Lindsay Lohan in the non-porn film The Canyons. As somebody who has done his fair share of on-screen orgies, how did it compare?

DEEN: Well, it wasn’t a real orgy. There was no actual sex taking place, nothing like in porn. We were all naked, but it was basically pantomime. There are two scenes involving sex in the movie, and they’re about pushing the plot forward, showing the power dynamics between these characters. I don’t want to talk about Lindsay because people put negative spins on it. For a while everything I said about working with her was taken out of context and twisted into something negative and awful. During the Lindsay drama I got a firsthand lesson in how tabloids spin a story. They got shots of us coming out of a bar together, holding hands and getting into her car. TMZ was like, “What’s going on? Are they an item?” We were playing a couple in a movie! We were hanging out before the movie and getting to know each other. When we left the bar together, she was drunk, so I drove her home because I was sober and she has a bad history with that. End of story.


Share

Playboy Social