Jesse Jane Interview
Jesse Jane is one of the adult film world’s biggest stars. So big, in fact, her movies are now being stripped of sex and released as R-rated movies. Chris Neumer talks to Jane here.
CHRIS NEUMER: There was a film that played at Cannes last year that opened and closed with a full on blowjob, Battle in Heaven. It was a Mexican film and there was actual sex in the middle of it. It, obviously got a lot of press because of that. I was talking to the actress who was the giver and she was talking about where this was cinema was going. She said that you were going to see more and more of that in film.
JESSE JANE: Right.
CHRIS NEUMER: I was joking around with her and said that in 20 years in the future, there’s going to be a time when people say, “Wait, that doesn’t have a blowjob in it? I’m not seeing it then.” The exact opposite. I was laughing remembering this conversation because you’ve got mainstream cinema putting sex in and now we’ve got porn that is taking the sex out.
JESSE JANE: You know what it is? There aren’t a lot of porn films that do that, actually.
CHRIS NEUMER: One, probably.
JESSE JANE: There’s a high class film and at Digital Playground we try to make those. Sex is becoming more acceptable and mainstream and you can’t watch regular cable shows without seeing nudity or sexual acts. But it’s becoming more open. We’re just pushing the line. It’s a long thing overdue.
CHRIS NEUMER: What do you mean ‘thing’?
JESSE JANE: It’s a long thing over due. Before Pirates came out, a lot of people have been amazing afraid to tap into the adult side of things, even though they’re curious. They’re scared of opinions. All these people would start preaching that it’s wrong and immoral, but yet, it sells. If you look at a beer ad or a Gatorade ad, it’s sex. Sex sells. People are getting a little more open to it and trying to test out the reaction to it. The response to showing a little bit more nudity and adult content has been great.
CHRIS NEUMER: When you say showing a little bit more nudity, are you talking HBO or Dennis Franz’s ass on NYPD Blue?
JESSE JANE: All these things. It’s more. If you look at the movie ratings now, a PG-13 now shows brief nudity, when it wouldn’t do that before. It used to be rated R. Now you can show some crazy stuff, like in Basic Instinct 2, and that probably should be rated X for what it had.
CHRIS NEUMER: What about the nudity in a project like Titanic?
JESSE JANE: Nudity is an art form. There’s a classy way to show it where it’s not trash and a lot of people know how to tap into that. But then a lot of people want to see trash. When you cut a sex scene in a mainstream movie you’re trying to feel the moment and it’s like “Ugh”. There’s a way to shoot it so that you’re not making a porn–if you watch the second Matrix, their sex scene is hot, even though you don’t see much.
CHRIS NEUMER: Is that the one where Keanu and Carrie are going at it and they keep cutting between some kind of rally and the sex scene?
JESSE JANE: Exactly. Then they had Original Sin with Angelina Jolie and Eyes Wide Shut was more like a porno. There are differences to shooting those. Porn’s just trying to show that they can make movies too.
CHRIS NEUMER: Let me ask you this: we talk about sex in the movies–and this may strike you as weird–but I think that sex is distracting. For example, if I’m watching a mainstream movie and I see Bruce Willis’ penis, I’m sort of taken out of the moment.
JESSE JANE: You want to know why? You’re a typical guy that seeing male nudity throws you. If you saw a woman nude, you wouldn’t be so much distracted. It was okay for the women to be nude but they were afraid to tap into the guys. It’s distracting because of the shock value. Now you’re seeing full frontal whereas they used to only show bare butts.
CHRIS NEUMER: Bad example on my part. Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets, there’s a scene where she’s in the bathtub.
JESSE JANE: Okay.
CHRIS NEUMER: And she does this weird thing where her towel is falling as she’s turning and you see like two inches of crack, it’s still distracting. Going back to Battle in Heaven, the director kind of screwed himself because the movie opens with this attractive 19 year old girl going down on a fat, forty year old guy and you’re shocked. It takes you out of the moment.
JESSE JANE: That’s the shock value. I think there’s a line between keeping an adult film an adult film. There’s a way to keep adult film porn from that of an adult film that’s R rated. That film, I personally don’t think a regular movie should have something where you see a whole blowjob.
CHRIS NEUMER: Yeah, every once in a while I’ll get in conversations with directors about what they have to do to get certain ratings. It’s like, “We’ll give you an R rating if you only show her head bobbing up and down three times, but if you go to four times, you won’t get it.” It’s more than just a compromise, it’s this weird line in the sand and you wonder, how did it get drawn here? I’ll do interviews every once in a while where someone’s publicist and I will be hashing out what I can and can’t talk about with the subject. She’ll tell me, “You can ask about her latest breakup, only if you talk about how much she likes the director.” I’ll say, “I don’t care about her latest breakup, I want to ask her about getting snubbed by the Screen Actor’s Guild.” The publicist will tell me, “You can do that, but only if you also ask her about being honored with the Berlin Film Festival prize” or something. Do you experience those weird compromises where you wonder how the lines got drawn where they did?
JESSE JANE: My only experience like that comes with my contractual obligations to Digital Playground. I can’t go off and do my own things without Digital Playground’s approval or Playboy’s approval. Where I used to shoot Hustler covers, now that I work for Playboy and have had a Playboy cover, I can’t go and do another Hustler cover even though I’ve been doing it for a while. There’s things I can and can’t do with my contract. It definitely goes through every aspect of the business.
CHRIS NEUMER: I don’t realize I’m in those situations until I start thinking, “Wait, I’m having this conversation?!” I guess if everything is spelled out in your contract there wouldn’t be much room for deliberation. Do you ever encounter things like this on set where a director is asking you to do one thing and you’re thinking, “Nope.” Like, he wants you to hold a purse that’s shaped like a duck–something incredibly trivial–and you’re thinking, “There’s not a chance in hell I’m doing this.”
JESSE JANE: I’m lucky in that if I think something is stupid I won’t do it… I’ll do some things if I feel that they’re funny or I want to do them for the movie.
CHRIS NEUMER: Can you give me an example?
JESSE JANE: In Pirates, when we were in the little confessional with Janine, I did this raspy voice. It wasn’t a voice over or played with, it was my voice. Even though it does sound stupid, I did it for the movie… but I didn’t have to. I always have the option not to do something if I don’t want to.
CHRIS NEUMER: Oh, I hate your kind. I’m so jealous.
JESSE JANE: If I don’t want to do it, I’m not going to.
CHRIS NEUMER: That’s precisely the part that gets me jealous. You’ve hit it on the head.
JESSE JANE: (laughs)
CHRIS NEUMER: I’ve been working on this up and coming actress story. I’ve talked to about ten rising stars–women you’d recognize, but not necessarily know their names until I mention what they’re in. So I talked to them about their lives and one of the things they said was really hard was dating. They said that they’re surrounded everyday by actors and they find that dating actors is tough to do for them because there’s the potential for jealousy, not only about working with members of the opposite sex, but if one person’s career blows up and the other’s doesn’t. To a woman they said, “I do not date actors.” Have you found that since both of you [Jesse and Rick] are in the industry that it’s effected your relationship in anyway?
RICK ROGERS: I don’t think there’s the jealousy that there is in the mainstream world because we’re not equals. The girls are the stars. No matter what a guy does, he’s not a star. With Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, if her movie makes $60 million and his makes 100 million, she might feel a little less significant than him, or he might be getting more attention than her. In our industry, the girls get all the attention no matter what.
CHRIS NEUMER: From here on out, I’m referring to Pirates as Evan Stone’s movie.
JESSE JANE: (laughs)
RICK ROGERS: So, there’s no jealousy. Maybe where the problems come in relationships in our business is when the guys start thinking that they’re a star and that’s when a lot of relationships dissolve; when the guys want the limelight.
CHRIS NEUMER: Is there a difference because of the nature of the business? It seems as though people in the adult film industry have an understanding about what it’s like to be in that industry that might preclude them to only dating people in the industry. Do that play a part?
JESSE JANE: You kind of have to not think about what anyone else thinks about you and your business. People will always throw mixed opinions at you–you’ll have people, especially in the adult world than in the mainstream world, who will purposely try to wreck your relationship because they’re jealous that you can maintain a healthy relationship. You’re comfortable with yourself and what your partner’s doing . Even though [the other person] might be dating someone else in the business and they can handle it… You have people who will try to tear your relationship up because they’re jealous. Some girls who are jealous of other girls who are moving up will do everything in their power to sabotage her relationship and her career. You’ll have more of that than a Lindsay Lohan/Hilary Duff kind of thing. It’s a whole different level.
RICK ROGERS: But more what you were asking, when she goes off to work, I’ve been in the business so long I understand that she’s not going off and sleeping with some other guy. If you guys were dating and she went off to work, the whole time she was gone, you’d be thinking, “Oh my God, she’s having sex with somebody else.” That’s where I think you might have to be with somebody in the business to understand that it’s not, she’s not really sleeping with someone else. She’s going to work.
CHRIS NEUMER: It’s an interesting footnote on that situation. I read an interesting quote from someone called Crystal Steele. I don’t know if she’s big or not… I’m so out of touch with the porn world, I actually feel bad. I don’t know who any of these girls are! I know I’d seen the poster for Pirates when I was in New York last year, but I feel bad. It’s a weird world where I have to depressingly confess that I don’t know a lot about porn. Most people are [facetiously], “Um, no… I’ve never heard of that… Pornography, you say? Hmmm…” Anyway, I don’t know if Crystal Steele is big or not, but she had said, “Single guys tend to love their job a little bit too much. We’re not here to pleasure each other, we’re here to work.” It seemed like the exact opposite of what so many porn stars say about the excitement they feel for going to work and being on set. You don’t often see people commenting on the actual work, the nuts and bolts of the porn world acting, pardon the pun. So I wanted to find out, you have girls who say they can’t wait to work and you have Crystal Steele, which sentiment is more accurate?
JESSE JANE: I think it goes both hand in hand, depending on which situation you’re put in. If you’re a contract girl, you’re choosing who you’re working with, you can have chemistry and you don’t work a lot. You make a lot more money and you get marketed to be a star. If not a contract girl, you have to work, work, work and maybe do scenes that you don’t want to do, but–nobody makes you do them, but you choose to do them because you think they’ll help you get a contract and be a star–so those girls sleep with people they’re not attracted to and do people they don’t want to do, and they do scenes they don’t want to do with more than one person at a time and they hate it. They’re like, “I’m here to work.” They’re doing it to get a quick buck or whatever, and to hopefully become a star. If you’re a contract girl, maybe you feel that way as well, but you’re like, “I can choose who I want to work with, I get to go to exotic locations, I don’t work often and I get to be a star.”
CHRIS NEUMER: Paraphrasing what you’re saying: Eric Roberts, or some equally crappy actor, might say, “I don’t want to do Final Executive Force 7, but I need to pay the mortgage, so I’m going to do it,” versus George Clooney shifting through script to find out what projects tickle his interest and he says, “I am so excited about this movie.”
JESSE JANE: Exactly. Very good analogy.
CHRIS NEUMER: I’ll attribute it to you in print.
JESSE JANE: Thank you.
CHRIS NEUMER: I did this thing with Ron Jeremy a long time ago. He’s the only interview subject I’ve ever had to keep kicking awake. I don’t know if you’ve worked with him–
JESSE JANE: I know him, I will never work with him. He’s not my type.
CHRIS NEUMER: Fat and hairy isn’t your type?
JESSE JANE: And old.
RICK ROGERS: You should just have put food in front of him, he’d never have fallen asleep then.
JESSE JANE: (laughs) Yeah.
CHRIS NEUMER: Nice guy though. I couldn’t ask him this, nor could I ask Rick this because the men are–what’s the term?–props?
JESSE JANE: A tool.
CHRIS NEUMER: Or that, I think prop was the term Ron used. But for you, in something like Pirates, that was more about plot and acting than other porn films, how do you prepare for a role?
JESSE JANE: In movies other than Pirates? Um…
CHRIS NEUMER: No, let’s talk Pirates. If there’s a huge gap between it and everything else, then we’ll get into that too.
JESSE JANE: There’s not really a big difference. You have read your role. A lot of people in the adult business think, “I’m just showing up on set and having sex, it’s a porno, I don’t care.” But if you really care about the project and want it to do well, like I did with Pirates, you have to study your character, you have to get into that character. You’ve got to feel the acting; you do a lot of takes. You prepare yourself to get into that mode, you can’t think, “Oh, I’m just doing a porno.” Okay, I’m doing this acting thing.
CHRIS NEUMER: Once you have that it’s-just-a-porno mindset, it spells disaster?
JESSE JANE: Exactly. You won’t do your best, you won’t care, because you’re like, “This is stupid. I’m doing a porno.” It’s like, “This isn’t a movie.” You have to look at it like a movie and try to make it better. I want to make it better than all the other adult movies, so I have to sit there and do my research and watch other pirate flicks. I want to get into that time period and into that setting so I can be that character.
CHRIS NEUMER: Let me ask you this, and I have no idea if there’s an answer to it or not. I’m assuming that there are certain days where you know in advance that you’re going to show up and have sex.
JESSE JANE: Yup.
CHRIS NEUMER: And on other days, you know that you’re not. I was thinking that you’d prepare differently for the sex than the non sex, and then I started thinking, “Is being in a porn film the ultimate method acting? Just another thing her character is doing?” Then I wondered whether you could disassociate yourself that far. I think there’s a question in there. Pick and choose from that mess what topic you want to respond to.
JESSE JANE: (laughs) Well…
CHRIS NEUMER: Are you familiar with the tenets of method acting? Nic Cage is a great example of a method actor. If Nic Cage is playing an alcoholic, he’s going to go out binge drinking before shooting. If he’s playing a guy who stays up all night, he might stay up all night before that day on set. I think he also rented hookers to try and figure out what that world was like. Method acting is basically acting by doing. Some actors look like they’re doing something because they’re pretending, some actors look like they’re doing something because they’re actually doing it. They are their characters.
JESSE JANE: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I think I use a combination of the two. It’s–you just do it. I’m into it. I’m a very sexual person. [In that realm] I don’t have to get into my character, that’s just me. If I’m getting into a character role, then I have tell myself, “Be that person.” I don’t think that’s method acting, because I’m very sexual, so for that part, I’m just myself.
CHRIS NEUMER: So the sex is actually easier for you.
JESSE JANE: Yes.
CHRIS NEUMER: I’d assume that they exact opposite is true for you, Rick?
RICK ROGERS: What do you mean?
CHRIS NEUMER: Well, if you’re doing something in your personal life and the phone rings and your mom leaves you a message that can ruin everything.
RICK ROGERS: Or dogs barking.
CHRIS NEUMER: I’m multiplying that a couple of times to create the environs of a porn set with fat guys in sweat pants standing around in a house that’s hotter than hell with somebody telling you, “Get off now.”
RICK ROGERS: You got to a dark place in your mind.
CHRIS NEUMER: Dark place, like a horrific place filled with violence? With images of dead dogs and grandparents around?
RICK ROGERS: (laughs) No, no. Just wherever you need to go.
JESSE JANE: It’s harder for guys than girls though because guys don’t chose the girls they get to work with so you might get a girl you’re not attracted to.
CHRIS NEUMER: We don’t care. Frankly, that might make it better in certain circumstances.
RICK ROGERS: You go to a sexual place. Every guy in the business has something on their mind, no matter what. A lot of times you’re not even looking at the girl in front of you.
CHRIS NEUMER: Now you’ve got me curious. What is your place?
RICK ROGERS: I don’t really have a place anymore.
CHRIS NEUMER: Where was your place?
RICK ROGERS: Where was my place? A lot of different stuff. I don’t know.
CHRIS NEUMER: I don’t want to get you in trouble, I’m just curious.
JESSE JANE: I don’t care.
CHRIS NEUMER: Can you give me one example?
RICK ROGERS: Um…
JESSE JANE: Two girls?
RICK ROGERS: What you used to fantasize about. Or a sex thing that you used to do. Something like that. You go somewhere that works for you. It’s always different. Mentally you go somewhere else, I should have explained that before. I only work with her now, so I don’t have to go anywhere now.
CHRIS NEUMER: You didn’t get in the business through her, though, right?
RICK ROGERS: No.
JESSE JANE: No.
CHRIS NEUMER: I don’t know if I’m talking out of turn by this, or insulting your close friends, but every time I hear about guys who ride their girls’ coattails into the business, I don’t react well to that, for some reason. Maybe because it’s not on their own merits.
RICK ROGERS: Hmm… Now that I just work with her, I just look at her. I haven’t had to go to that place in over a year now, so I don’t know where it is now.
CHRIS NEUMER: So you’re both in good places now. I’m disgusted and jealous at the lot of you.
JESSE JANE: (laughs)
RICK ROGERS: That’s why I can’t remember anymore.
CHRIS NEUMER: So the sex for you, Jesse, is a lot easier than the acting.
JESSE JANE: It’s just sex.
CHRIS NEUMER: I understand that you say that it’s just sex, but I’m also assuming that there’s a sort of technical proficiency that isn’t talked about. How many cameras do you usually work with?
JESSE JANE: People shoot with a lot of cameras.
CHRIS NEUMER: Two motion pictures cameras? When you were shooting the sex scenes for Pirates, how many motion pictures cameras were there?
JESSE JANE: I don’t know. There were sometimes two and three cameras going.
CHRIS NEUMER: Is that easier than shooting with just one camera. You don’t have to play to one lens. Now I’m free to do whatever.
JESSE JANE: My thing is that I always try to be in control. They would want certain shots. I just don’t listen anymore. I do my thing and you just have to catch it.
CHRIS NEUMER: More disgusted and more jealous. I told that to an editor a long time ago and they laughed at me and then fired me.
JESSE JANE: (laughs)
CHRIS NEUMER: So if you have cameras on either side of you and their filming, you don’t worry about shadows or lighting or what your best angles are?
JESSE JANE: Yeah.
CHRIS NEUMER: That’s what the DP and lighting guys are for?
JESSE JANE: Uh huh.
CHRIS NEUMER: Was there a point in time early on in your career before you got superstar big that you’d have to worry about that kind of thing?
JESSE JANE: There was a point in time where they’d try control me because they’d want certain shots to make it easier for them, but then it looked like staged sex. I can’t be controlled. I don’t like to be controlled. I think it makes for a bad performance. I’m a good performer because I don’t look at the camera, I don’t pose for the camera and I don’t sit there and have staged sex. It’s raw. It’s crazy.
CHRIS NEUMER: Is there a choreography that you work out with the guy ahead of time? Anything from “Don’t touch my feet,” to “My left side is my good side,”?
JESSE JANE: No. That’s would be awkward. Hey, how do you want to have sex? I’m going to do you this way and then that way and then I’m going to cum. You can’t do that.
CHRIS NEUMER: I’ve been on regular film sets and I think they’re some of the most boring places in the universe.
JESSE JANE: Right.
CHRIS NEUMER: If I meet people who express extreme jealousy over the fact that I got to go on a movie set, I know they’re not in the industry. It’s an interesting delineation. That’s my defining line: if you complain about how boring it is on set, you’re in. I’ve never been on a porn set because I–well, I try never to go in to Van Nuys to begin with.
RICK ROGERS: (laughs) Good advice.
CHRIS NEUMER: I’m assuming that the way you shoot porn is the way you shoot main stream film and that’s why I never have gone. Now, I’m realizing that’s apparently not true. Sharon Stone always talks about the choreography of her sex scenes and how her directors yell at people to switch positions etc. I’m kind of surprised to hear that you’re saying no to that.
JESSE JANE: Yeah… no. (laughs) The difference in that is that it looks staged in the mainstream movies or it can be staged. You don’t have to capture real moments. The people might not have any kind of chemistry together, they’re just acting. In our business, you have to have a chemistry and when it’s not there and you’re just faking it, you can tell and people make fun of you.
CHRIS NEUMER: What is a good example–I’m not sifting for some dirt here about other performers–but what’s something that strikes you as being fake in porn?
JESSE JANE: Too many people do the fake moan. “Oohhh Oohhh!!” Too many people look into the camera and start posing or winking. They’re doing it for the show. It looks fake. It looks stupid. Some people don’t care, but a lot of people will mention it to you or make fun of it. Most people will say, “Oh, I’m so into it and I’m so sexual, I’m going to do all these things to you.” But when it comes times, they’re like, “Don’t do this, don’t do this or this.” Ugh. They’re not into it and they roll their eyes. They’re fake and they’re horrible. Why get into porn if you’re not going to try to enjoy it?
RICK ROGERS: It’s like that quote you mentioned before. 98% of girls are bitching and complaining the entire time they’re on set. They that they enjoy their jobs and all that because it’s what they want the public to perceive.
CHRIS NEUMER: I’m assuming that that persona is one of the things you have to wear in the industry. When someone asks you if you find it hot trying anal with five guys you get to giggle and all that, pretending that it’s cute.
JESSE JANE: That’s not for me.
CHRIS NEUMER: I’m always amused at questions like that. A reporter or fan finally gets a chance to talk to you, and then uses his time to ask about that. Is your persona close to who you actually are?
JESSE JANE: Yeah. I don’t like to pretend that I’m somebody I’m not. I like to be me. That’s what will make you successful.
CHRIS NEUMER: If you have a winning personality.
JESSE JANE: Yeah. If you have a job and you enjoy it and you’re in it for a career and you’re in it because you want to be in it, that’s all good. I can’t stand to be somebody I’m not. I can’t stand to be there and be somebody I’m not and be like, “Okay! I’m going to be with five guys! Totally!” I’m like, “I’ll never do that.” I’ll never do a gang bang, I’ll never do multiple partners. No. It’s not me. People like to tell you that certain things will better your career, but, no they won’t. I’ve been in this business for three years and I’m on top. I stood my ground and people respect me for that and for who I am and for the performance I give.
CHRIS NEUMER: I did an interview with Jim South a while ago and basically hung out in his office in Sherman Oaks for about three hours. I have more stories to tell based upon that three hours than I do from the rest of my career combined.
RICK ROGERS: (laughs)
CHRIS NEUMER: But Jim was talking about how different girls bring different things to set. Again, equating this to the mainstream world, Kiefer Sutherland can yell, “Stand down!” better than anyone. No one else has the poise and command of Kiefer when he’s point a gun at a character. Are there certain things that you, or other actresses, bring to the set that others don’t?
JESSE JANE: Um… I don’t know.
RICK ROGERS: (laughs)
CHRIS NEUMER: Well, let me ask you, Rick, since you’ve worked with a number of women. Are there things that certain women bring that others don’t?
RICK ROGERS: I mean, that’s like… In your sex life, are there certain things that girls bring that others don’t? With Jesse it’s different. She’s not a critic of herself, but what she brings is that something that is easily captured on screen. When you put in one of her movies, you’re captivated. The whole look, her eyes all that.
CHRIS NEUMER: I guess the difference between what you guys do and my own sex life–trying not to sound pejorative in saying it by the way–is that what you do is a marketable entity. As an actor you almost always have to look at yourself as a product to sell to audiences. I realize that it sounds deeply impersonal to consider you “Jesse Jane Product” by you are a registered trademark.
JESSE JANE: But I am. It’s a trademark. But I didn’t actually register that name.
CHRIS NEUMER: I realized earlier that I’ve never actually interviewed a trademark before. Is Jesse Jane anywhere close to your real name?
JESSE JANE: No. It’s not first and middle name or anything.
CHRIS NEUMER: I take it your real name is a closely guarded secret then.
JESSE JANE: No, I’m just Cindy. I’m not a trademark, but yes, I’m a product. It’s not a big deal. They were smart to do that. But you’re right, you have to have a good team behind you. You’re not going to find anyone better than Digital Playground. But, you also have to have a personality that can be backed. You can have a good product, the Jesse Jane brand, but with marketing…
CHRIS NEUMER: But the marketing’s sort of out of your hands, right?
JESSE JANE: No, I’m a marketing queen! I’ll go get my own radio stuff and my own mainstream stuff. I’ve done it, I mingle with people from Hollywood and most mainstream people don’t want me in adult. They’re like, “You should be a mainstream actress, what are you doing?” (laughs) I get that. Digital Playground and I are a team. You have to have a girl who can keep it on and keep it going. There are a lot of girls who are afraid to do radio because they’re afraid to talk. They’ll give one word answers and that’s it.
CHRIS NEUMER: You forgot the giggling.
JESSE JANE: And they’ll giggle. Yes. But nobody gets called back. I could sit there and talk for hours. I do so many radio shows–and I always get asked back–it’s not even funny. I can be me and promote the product.
CHRIS NEUMER: Have you ever done Loveline?
JESSE JANE: Yeah, a while back. That’s with Dr. Drew, right?
CHRIS NEUMER: Yup. Used to be with Adam.
JESSE JANE: I do Adam Carolla’s show regularly.
CHRIS NEUMER: I love him.
JESSE JANE: He’s funny. Once a month they do the Jesse hour. You have to be able to keep it up. If people see that you’re having fun and can keep going they’ll respond. You might not believe it, but a lot of girls in this business have no personality.
CHRIS NEUMER: I have no trouble believing that at all.
JESSE JANE: Who knows what’s going on with their heads. They have troubling talking, or don’t want to talk or are scared to talk. They’re fake. They–
CHRIS NEUMER: You’re summarizing people who don’t have personalities. Let’s be honest, the people who succeed are the people who have the potential to be successful.
JESSE JANE: You’ve got to want it just as bad. And if you don’t have a company behind you that wants it just as bad as you do–
CHRIS NEUMER: It’s like the athlete who needs to be prodded. I played college ball, D3, and my freshman year we had a 6’9″ guy who was built like a house and he was the most passive guy. If you put my personality, tenacity, jump shout and love of beating people into his body, you’d probably see me as an all-star power forward today. He was a big pussycat. You need to have the drive and the personality.
JESSE JANE: Exactly.
CHRIS NEUMER: Changing gears here… A couple of minority actresses have told me that mainstream casting directors sometimes have a hard time seeing minorities as anything but minorities. If they’re casting Topher Grace’s girlfriend, they have a hard time see that role as anything but a white person. I was wondering if, as you’ve started to cross over into the mainstream, you’ve encountered any kind of stigma because of your connections to the adult world.
JESSE JANE: Yes and no. I’ve done Entourage, I’ve done Starsky & Hutch, I’ve done Baywatch.
CHRIS NEUMER: Wait, Starsky & Hutch the crappy movie?
JESSE JANE: Yeah… I was just an extra. Some people love you and they see you and they like you but others are afraid to go there. I’ve had other opportunities with stuff–a Meg Ryan and Adam Brody movie–but I’ve been really busy.
CHRIS NEUMER: Is that something you aspire to do? Let’s fast forward five years ahead. You’re 30. Do you want to be away from the adult world by then? Maybe even use your own name and act there?
JESSE JANE: I don’t care to cross over to the mainstream, you know? If something great came across my plate of course I’d consider it and do it, more than likely. I’m not looking to cross over though to be the porn star who crossed over to the mainstream. My goal as to what I want in my life is to be a sex symbol. That was my goal and I achieved it. And that’s what I like to be. I don’t want to be the girl who thought that porn could get me into the mainstream. I don’t want to be a movie star. I like where I am and I like being a sex symbol. I like being an adult actor.
CHRIS NEUMER: Yes, you didn’t get into it for that. When I started writing, I didn’t get into that so that I could sit down and go to lunch with the world’s hottest porn star, but here I am. Now that I’m here, I go with it… because I’m here now. Would you ever choose a good role in a mainstream movie over a good role in an adult movie? If the flow leads you in that direction are you going to battle it?
JESSE JANE: I’m sure I would take the mainstream role, sure. But there’s been a lot of job’s I’ve been offered but a lot of the mainstream movies like to degrade a girl, show her being raped and stuff. Just because she’s whatever. And they’re like, “It’s a good acting part.” I don’t believe in that so it’s something I’d never do. I don’t want to be offered to be the whore of the movie where I have a pimp and get beaten up. In my porn movies I don’t even get degraded. I’m competent and in control. I don’t believe in that other stuff. Now if there’s a part–I don’t have a problem being nude in front of the camera, obviously–with a hot scene or I get to kick butt like Angelina Jolie in Tombraider or something, I would do that, of course.
CHRIS NEUMER: I always like to see actors who take chances. I’d love to see Jim Carrey in a film noir, I’d love to see that. I’d like to see you as a med student in a film. I think it’d provide you with a challenge and would be outside your typecasting. Except, a couple rules here, your med student couldn’t wear glasses and you couldn’t do that thing where you wear your hair up all the time and that at one moment shake it down and have all the guys in the room thinking, “Wait, where did that hottie come from?” Would a challenge like that appeal to you?
JESSE JANE: Absolutely. There’s different things I’d do. If I had time, I’d do it. I wanted to work more toward the Playboy show for a while. I choose more the sex symbol thing than the mainstream thing.
CHRIS NEUMER: Could you be a 40-year old sex symbol?
JESSE JANE: I’m sure you could, although I don’t plan on going that long. You could be sexy, there’s no age limit. My mom’s 45 and hot.
CHRIS NEUMER: Wow. My mom just turned 67. I was 8 when she was 45. Wow. Are there any traits that you look for in your co-stars in projects?
JESSE JANE: I just like professionals who–
CHRIS NEUMER: What’s your definition of professional?
JESSE JANE: Somebody who doesn’t try to get in my pants after I’m doing shooting with him. Somebody who is not hitting on me and asking me out on a date after we’re done. The minute you do that to me, I’ll never work with him again.
CHRIS NEUMER: Will he work again period? I mean, aren’t there like 10 guys working in porn?
JESSE JANE: There are a lot of guys who work in porn, believe it or not. But there’s not a lot of good guys.
CHRIS NEUMER: Do you really get hit on a lot?
JESSE JANE: Yeah! YEAH! All the time. They profess their love to you and you’re like, “Dude, it’s work. We just had sex, that’s it, get over it.” Even people who know you’re in a relationship, they’re like whatever. If you don’t want to be in a relationship, don’t, but don’t come over here. That’s what I don’t like. I don’t like when people disrespect Rick by hitting on me because they just don’t care. Sometimes it’s even friends of his who’ve hung out with him on set, blah blah blah, but they know we’re together.
CHRIS NEUMER: That’s weird. I’d assume that that would be the first rule of being a male porn actor: don’t hit on your co-stars.
RICK ROGERS: (Laughs)
JESSE JANE: (Laughs)
CHRIS NEUMER: No. Hmmm….
RICK ROGERS: Most of the guys in the business only get laid on film.
CHRIS NEUMER: Really?
RICK ROGERS: Yeah.
JESSE JANE: Give or take. Guys like Evan Stone are pretty good looking and can get their own ladies, but the ones that–there’s not a lot of good looking guys. There are more and more good-looking guys coming into the business from Europe and Hungary, but the thing is that you have a lot of guys who try to get into the business who can’t get it up in front of the camera. So that’s why you have these unattractive, older guys.
CHRIS NEUMER: And Rick.
JESSE JANE: Yeah. Right.
CHRIS NEUMER: So what else defines professionalism?
JESSE JANE: Be into it. Don’t be one of these guys–I’ll give an example for a guy I brought into the business.
CHRIS NEUMER: Does he have a name.
JESSE JANE: Uh… yeah… Jason Steele. He was talking so much crap. I’ve done this and that and I’ve done so many people. He was talking so much crap and not backing it up. Don’t be an ass on set. Nobody cares about how many people you do, the truth doesn’t matter. The more you’re talking about what you’ve done, the less you’ve done.
CHRIS NEUMER: Yeah, you’ll notice I haven’t said anything today.
JESSE JANE: (laughs) Just have fun. There’s not really a lot to say. Just be professional.
CHRIS NEUMER: Does it ever carry over to the acting or to your female co-stars? I mean I know Evan kept his script tucked in the back of his belt because every time he’d screw up a line he’d start reaching back there.
JESSE JANE: You noticed that?
CHRIS NEUMER: Well, yeah. When I saw him blowing line after line after line I started wondering whether the acting portion of things ever weighed on you.
JESSE JANE: Evan’s good. You’ll always have your one little area where you’ll constantly screw up and just can’t get it, and it’s frustrating. I haven’t had to deal with people recently who’ve been annoyingly frustrating.
CHRIS NEUMER: Is there anything you look for acting wise? Is there anything your Pirates co-stars brought to the table that lesser co-stars wouldn’t have been able to do or handle?
JESSE JANE: Evan Stone’s funny. He’s witty. Nobody could have played his character like him.
CHRIS NEUMER: Passion for the role. As the meshing of porn and mainstream film begins to meet more in the middle, do you find yourself wanting to focus more on the acting?
JESSE JANE: No.
CHRIS NEUMER: You don’t?
JESSE JANE: No.
CHRIS NEUMER: I’m just going to go and do it.
JESSE JANE: Yeah, it’s my job.
CHRIS NEUMER: But isn’t the acting at least a small part of that?
JESSE JANE: I guess. But what I do best is be a sex symbol. I pick it up there. When I get in the scenes, I’m 120% into it, but otherwise…
CHRIS NEUMER: But there’s nothing really acting wise that people can do to screw you up.
JESSE JANE: No. I have to be having a really bad day or have things going on to get to that point. I’m really laid back. It takes a lot to get to me.
CHRIS NEUMER: Are you in that same dark place that Rick was describing earlier, so that it’s harder to get to you?
JESSE JANE: Yeah. Right.
CHRIS NEUMER: I was surprised at how well Evan carried himself in this. It was interesting the way these things are starting to combine into a hybrid of mainstream and porn. So the director never said, “Let’s make this a different kind of porn,” huh?
JESSE JANE: No, of course he did. He did a lot of things differently than he would from a porn movie. He wanted it so that if you cut the sex out and it’d still be a good movie.
CHRIS NEUMER: Do you ever look back at your performances in these adult films, like in dailies, and use that to evaluate yourself and make changes for the future?
JESSE JANE: You do audio commentary and that’s when you look back at the film and that’s when you’re like, “I wish I had more energy here,” or “I wish I’d tried this angle.”
CHRIS NEUMER: But nothing where you break down the performance and look at it like a real craft.
JESSE JANE: No.
CHRIS NEUMER: So you subscribe to the old school Leonardo DiCaprio style of acting which is basically: I’ll show up, I’m having a fun time, I’m going to take care of business and then we’ll go out and get drunk.
JESSE JANE: Exactly.
CHRIS NEUMER: I saved this question for the last because it’s probably the most tricky to ask. I have to ask it because, if I didn’t, I’d feel like I was ignoring a question that I had to ask. I can’t talk to anyone involved in the adult world without asking this: there’s a commonly held belief that anyone in porn has suffered through some severe childhood trauma–they were abused or molested or abandoned–and people surmise that that effects their decision to be in porn. What are your thoughts on this?
JESSE JANE: I never been–nobody forced me to get into it. I like what I do. I don’t care what people think. Nobody forces you to watch it. We might not agree with you and your beliefs. Everyone will have a different opinion. I’ve had a great life. I was raised perfectly. I had none of that stuff happen to me. Don’t watch it if you don’t like it and keep your opinions to yourself. You don’t have to agree with it. We’re not throwing our opinions at you.
CHRIS NEUMER: Apparently you’re not that familiar with the religious right.
JESSE JANE: That’s what I’m saying, don’t tell us. Just keep your thoughts to yourself.
CHRIS NEUMER: You’re not complaining that they’re accountants, they shouldn’t complain that you’re in porn.
JESSE JANE: Exactly.
CHRIS NEUMER: Hmmm.
JESSE JANE: People just want to fight.
RICK ROGERS: People can spend they’re whole lives fighting it and they’re no better off.
CHRIS NEUMER: So you try to abstain from the argument?
JESSE JANE: I take the higher road. People are more curious than anything else though.
More Like This
Chris Neumer's Twitter
Inside Stumped Magazine.com