Boy-next-door porn actor James Deen, born Bryan Matthew Sevilla, recently wrote a first-hand account of his experience working on The Canyons for DailyBeast. Considering the source material, his account is a truly impressive combination of compelling yet un-gossipy. Okay, so he does call James Franco a dick at one point, and of course I’m going to blockquote that:
After my first meeting with Paul, he mentioned he was going to a James Franco party for an art piece he commissioned called “Rebel Dabble Babble.” “I’m in that!” I told him. I ended up crashing the party with Bret, but that’s another story. My not receiving an invite to a party to celebrate a project I was part of is the point. One, Franco is a dick. Two, I would be fighting an uphill battle. Paul and his wife were not the only ones who thought of me as a party trick. Other than Braxton, Bret, and in time, the crew of The Canyons, everyone I met and worked with saw me as a joke.
To be fair, I’m not sure James Franco can even keep track of what art installation he’s doing with what male porn star on any given day. Anyway, this excerpt sort of sums up the theme of the piece: that no one in Hollywood respects actors, and that especially no one respects porn actors. They only enjoy them as a novelty.
Braxton and I spoke about cameras, my experiences on movie sets, and the personality types of most “actors.” No one likes actors. They are commonly referred to as “meat puppets.” Every person involved in movies thinks of actors as a joke. Braxton laughed as I ranted about the incompetence of every actor I’d ever met. He seemed refreshed and excited to get me involved.
Paul was no better once the movie started. There was a time during filming when the cameraman, Brian Taylor, was standing on a bed to film a shot of Lindsay Lohan and me sleeping together. Paul joked, “Hey, Brian, if this doesn’t work out maybe you can get James to hire you for one of his movies.” Brian very respectfully giggled. My response was a simple, “Yeah, and I’ll pay you better too.” With that the room filled with laughter, and the old man who mocked adult cinema slunk away.
This brings us to Ms. Lindsay Lohan. I want to write nothing. I am sick of discussing Lindsay. I am sick of people twisting words and gossiping. I can’t speak for Lindsay or how she feels. I only know I didn’t feel like she thought I was a joke. She made me feel good when I was around her.
It took a few weeks for Braxton to come around and realize I have no ego or aspirations to be “the star.” If anything, this made things easier for me. I like being the assistant. To be the leading male but still no one anyone cares about. In adult scenes, I consider myself a prop. I am there to accentuate the star’s brightness. Actors are all really only props anyway. Now I was no longer the star. I was the accent to Lindsay. It made me feel in my element and less nervous.
I hope my acting did the film justice. I don’t care if people don’t take me seriously as an actor. I don’t mind being the butt of Paul Schrader’s jokes. I don’t mind being the odd one out at these weird Hollywood parties. I like when they try to make me feel awkward and then they end up looking foolish. I wanted to make this movie. I believe in the idea. Do things for yourself. Do them because you believe in them. I have been preaching that for years. [Full Piece Here]
The lack of Lindsay Lohan stories is kind of incredible when you consider that this is a movie that spawned an epic, almost 8,000-word NY Times piece focusing largely on Lindsay Lohan and what a pain in the ass she was. The porn guy out-classes the Old Grey Lady! (I think that’s also a Ron Jeremy title, incidentally). It’s interesting to me that the people who seem to have the best, most-realistic attitude about the movie business are people who started out in porn. Like it’s only after you’ve been jizzed on and degraded without pretense that you can fully understand what it’s about and navigate accordingly. Porn is like the movie industry without the metaphor.