Porn’s Boy Next Door
Xtreme: I’m so excited to be chatting with you, James! I know you have a lot going on.
James Deen: I try to stay busy, yeah.
Xtreme: So I know this is a pretty arbitrary question, but can you tell me how you became involved with the business and for how long have you been doing movies now?
James Deen: Well, I started doing porn in 2004, so about eight years ago. But when I was a kid I decided I wanted to be in the industry; it was an aspiration from a very young age. I’d tell all my friends and everyone I knew, “Yeah, when I grow up, this is what I’m gonna do,” and I remember in school when I was in like third grade, we went around the class saying what we wanted to do and I said I wanted to be a porn star.
Xtreme: No you didn’t!
James Deen: Yeah [laughs]. Everybody just laughed and I had to go to the principal’s office but didn’t understand why because that’s just what I wanted to do when I grew up! But I’m a realist, and I knew that to get into the porn industry was going to be difficult, in addition to the fact that it was possible I wouldn’t even be able to do it because of certain requirements as far as, like, cumming on cue and being able to get it up in front of people and just being able to do it in general. I was pretty sure I’d be able to, but I wasn’t positive. So basically what happened was, I’m going to say that I just went to school for general studies and graduated high school when I was fifteen and then I continued my school career until I was eighteen because I wasn’t sure if I was going to make a profession out of this or not, and if I was going to be successful. And when I had turned sixteen or seventeen, I’d started going out into Hollywood and I would meet different girls around the Hollywood area and go to different parties, and for some reason I thought one of those girls would have some sort of in to the porn industry and I’d be able to meet somebody who knew somebody who’d be able to introduce me to somebody. Looking back on this now, I had no real reason for thinking this, because porn people party in the Valley.
Xtreme:That’s hilarious. Assumption by association.
James Deen: I don’t even know. I guess I figured porn people partied in Hollywood. But I did meet a girl when I was like seventeen who knew somebody and it went down a whole chain of people into somebody who could do something for me, and it actually worked almost by accident since she wasn’t in porn. So I was in school throughout my first movie once I actually met somebody and turned eighteen and popped a shot in a porno officially starting down this trail, decided to take a semester off of school to try doing porn with the plan to go back to school if it didn’t work out, and luckily it worked out because I can’t think of anything else I’d want to be doing with my life.
Xtreme:It’s interesting you’ve already said as much as you have because my next question was whether your high school self would be surprised to know that you ended up in porn, and I guess your answer would have been no.
James Deen: [laughs] True. But I am surprised that I’ve been as successful as I have, and I’m surprised that things have gone down like they have. I expected to get into the industry, do scenes for a little while, build up a little name and then maybe start a company and be a producer. And it started off looking like that. I directed my first movie when I was nineteen, and it was a lot of work! I mean, I still direct, and I still produce; I always have my hand in something behind the cameras, so later on down the road I always have something to do in the adult film industry. So I always make a point to do something other than just the scene. It’s fun because you can get creative, but performing is the best because you can get even more creative. I’ve always thought the best scenes I’ve directed are the ones I’m also in, because no one can do what’s in your head the way you can. But it’s so fun. I’d never thought I’d be where I’m at. I thought I would just be doing porn and having fun.
Xtreme: So what have you thought of all the mainstream attention you’ve been garnering lately, like the Nightline feature?
James Deen: It’s pretty cool, but I’m definitely trying not to get too into it, like, “I’m James Deen and people know who I am!” It feels very much like a fifteen-minutes-of-fame thing, like I’m just the hot thing of the moment, and it’s going to end in however long it takes for someone to find someone or something else. And really, there’s only one story about me; I’m not even that entertaining. There’s James Deen, he’s kind of normal looking and he does porn. He’s like a normal dude that you meet every day, he’s your boy next door that does some great sex scenes and he has a female fan base, which is oh-so-interesting, and people are like, “Wait, female sexuality isn’t really that interesting.” I mean, the fact that people watch porn and get aroused isn’t that much of a story, you know? Guys watch porn, girls watch porn. Young guys watch porn, young girls watch porn, and guys are going to appeal to girls. Story over. It’s really more of a sociological conversation if anything because why does the world care so much about a young girl’s sexuality but not about a young boy’s sexuality? Everybody knows that a 15-year-old boy is watching porn and has photos of Jenna Jameson and Jesse Jane on his wall and nobody cares about it, but if a 15-year-old girl has a photo of Justin Timberlake and James Deen – me James Deen, not the real James Dean – on her wall, it’s like, “How dare you!?” And I think that’s the only interesting topic about me, the female sexuality discussion, and half the audience anyway already is like, “Okay, why do we even care?” But for the half the thinks it’s cool that there is a guy that’s so accessible to the younger female porn audience, soon enough people will realize that there are other young, attractive guys in porn and I’m going to be not a big deal.
Xtreme:Well, in my experience interviewing your female counterparts, I can tell you that female porn stars are another demographic with whom you are very, very popular. I’ve been told very, very often that you’re one of the male stars who they like working with the most. Why do you think that is?
James Deen: Wow, I don’t know! That’s really awesome. There are some guys in porn that are just as good as, if not better, performers as I am. And they all kind of do the same thing, which is that they don’t perform. Well, there are guys that perform. Like Nacho Vidal, who is one of the greatest performers in the world, he is a very big performers and everything is a very big performance for him and his scenes are absolutely crazy, but I can see why girls would rather work with someone like me or Manuel Ferrara, because when Nacho’s scenes come out they’re really cool, but there’s a few guys that the way we do it is that porn sex can be like normal sex. My theory is that there shouldn’t be a difference between on-camera sex and off-camera sex. It should just be sex. The idea of porn is capturing a moment in two people’s sexual lives, and sometimes you want to do some cool stuff or some crazy sex thing, but for the most part, when I do a scene, I try to have sex the way I would do it if people weren’t there. And then the fact that I’m not a douchebag probably helps [laughs]. But I’m sure for every girl that says she loves working with me there’s another one who’d rather work with somebody else. That’s really flattering though. I definitely enjoy working with them.
Xtreme: According to the always-accurate Wikipedia, you’ve described yourself as being overpaid. Do you really think that’s true? Clearly you enjoy your work but do you really think that it’s so easy that you’re overpaid?
James Deen: I think I’m overpaid in the sense that I get paid a very good amount of money to do very little actual work. Some days it’s work but some days it’s really not. Some days there’s a lot of acting involved, and like, there’s a company I work for in San Francisco and I have to fly there and the days are longer and I’m away from home, and same goes for companies I work for in Vegas and New York, so that sort of thing is work, but the actual job itself is basically, “Hello, meet this ridiculously gorgeous woman. Now you’re going to have sex with her. Here, take a whole bunch of money for it.” So I just consider any amount to be overpaid, like if I were a giant glutton and people were going to pay me to eat bacon. “I get paid to eat bacon??? Are you kidding me???” It’s more like that and less of, “I get paid too much so please, lower my pay!” The reason I get paid what I do is because there is a standard rate when people start and it’s lower than what I make, and still, in my opinion, it’s crazy to be paid to have sex with someone when you already want to have sex with them. It would be different if it were someone you were completely unattracted to and absolutely hated, but for the most part, every girl is really cool. Everyone in porn is generally really cool and wants to have sex, and usually with each other, so it works out. And getting paid anything over my gas to get there is great. But it is a job so I understand why we get paid to do it.
Xtreme: I know you’re big with social media, and I was wondering if you wanted to plug your Twitter or anything?
James Deen: Yes! Please! My Twitter is twitter.com/jamesdeen, and I also have a blog at JamesDeenBlog.com.
Xtreme: Awesome. Thank you so much for talking with me, James. It was a pleasure!
James Deen: No problem. Thank you!