The new documentary “Pornstar Pandemic” is decidedly all talk and no action. Conceived by director Edward James, this genial film consists of interviews with five adult film actors about their lives under lockdown.
Newcomer Jack Loft — frustrated by the fact that he was about to break into adult films when productions shut down — chats with veterans Dante Colle, Pierce Paris, DeAngelo Jackson, and fellow newbie Elijah Wilde about their life and work and their observations about the industry.
The film is revealing at times, as the men are seen in their homes, working out, showering, and discussing topics from sexuality to finances as well as how they are coping during this uncertain time.
Gay City News chatted separately with actors Pierce Paris and Dante Colle about their lives during COVID and making “Pornstar Pandemic.”
GARY KRAMER: How have your lives changes since the pandemic?
PIERCE PARIS: It provided a new routine. I moved into a new apartment. I fostered two kittens, and I definitely have a different exercise routine. More calisthenics and stretching, yoga, and Pilates. I’ve also had consistency with my diet and cooking. Saving money is another positive aspect. Not many negatives. I wasn’t going out to clubs in LA and Hollywood even before quarantine.
DANTE COLLE: I was normally doing 10 to15 scenes a month plus personal content and studio work. I did three to four scenes in June, but restrictions are tricky. In California, they announced that things are closing back down, so the porn industry does not know what they will do. It’s a weird transitional phase, but I took advantage of the quarantine and I tried to make it as good as possible with content stuff.
KRAMER: What can you say about your maintaining your onlyfans sites?
PARIS: Three months in, I’m not filming much because I think, “I’ve shot this already.” I need to get more creative. I wasn’t a big content performer, doing creative videos, before COVID.
COLLE: In the beginning, I was motivated. I’ve fallen off and started working my way back in.
KRAMER: What projects, if any, are you tackling that you have been putting off until the lockdown gave you the opportunity or inspiration?
PARIS: Most people are like, “There are all these things I want to do but didn’t have time for,” but having all this time is making me unproductive. Right before quarantine, I signed a directing and producing contract. I wrote three adult features. We are ready to make them when the industry gets back up and going.
COLLE: The onlyfans thing was my project. I’ve had it for a while and didn’t do anything with it. I took the time to make money. I needed to do it, and it’s a good back-up.
KRAMER: Have you become more reflective under isolation? How are you combating depression or loneliness during lockdown?
PARIS: I’m a pretty independent person. Before I got into porn, I did jobs where I was isolated, like working an oil rig. I didn’t really have a social life. My routine was being productive for myself. It’s made me focused during quarantine.
COLLE: I didn’t have to deal with that. I have 15 other people living here, so it wasn’t an issue. I have a good check on my mental stability, and I know I’m feeling [down] and nip it in the bud and work around that. I became busier during this than I was before. Boredom leads to bad things. So, I was never bored.
KRAMER: Why do you think people are so interested in the personal lives of celebrities in general — and porn stars in particular? You come across as very ordinary, down-to-earth guys in this documentary.
PARIS: To me it’s another business, not a lifestyle or something recreational. I came into the industry without needing money or being desperate. My challenge is being a better performer. When people are drawn to how porn stars are in real life, it is because they connect on a physical or emotional level, especially if they are lonely. More so than with mainstream film. Porn is intimate. That draws people closer to the person they watch. They piece together fantasies if they are attracted to a person.
COLLE: I’m not a celebrity, and people see celebrities and know that millions know who they are and everything about them. They are acting and playing Iron Man, but they are not Iron Man in real life. Porn stars — they see them having sex and think that’s who they are. When they get a glimpse that there is more to them or that’s not who they are, they want to know more.
KRAMER: What is something fans would be surprised to learn about you?
PARIS: I’m really good at fixing thing. I’m a big nerd. I can take a computer apart. I built a Mercedes van with a camera that runs off solar energy.
COLLE: I put everything out there. I’ve done talks explaining my life. I don’t hold back or hide.
KRAMER: What are you most looking forward to when we return to normal?
PARIS: Filming. Exploring more as director/ producer. I’ve directed and produced “What’s Gotten into Him” and “Social Pressure.” And I’m having a house built in Las Vegas, so I’m moving in September.
COLLE: I am excited to get back to work. There were a couple things about to happen before COVID, so it would be nice to get back to porn features. But realistically, things are so weird right now. Everyone is so on edge. I want folks to be less on edge.
PORNSTAR PANDEMIC | Directed by Edward James | Breaking Glass Pictures | Available on VOD and DVD Jul. 28 | bgpics.com
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