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POP INTERVIEW: Adult Film Actor James Deen Goes Mainstream, Gets the Venice Film Festival Treatment with “The Canyons”

with the goal of brushing aside the typical line of questions, writer Nicole Russin offers up this Pop Interview with the polarizing man, who, like it or not, is remaking his career on his own terms.

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Editor’s note: We hear a lot about James Deen – the man who co-stars alongside  Lindsay Lohan in the film ‘ The Canyons.’ But while many profiles get lost in the realm of Lilo and the nefarious side of the adult film industry, POP Goes The Week wanted to take a closer look at the man behind the headlines… so with the goal of brushing aside the typical line of questions, writer Nicole Russin offers up this Pop Interview with the polarizing man, who, like it or not, is remaking his career on his own terms.

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald foretold of our modern adult film industry when he wrote, “A woman should be able to kiss a man beautifully and romantically without any desire to be either his wife or his mistress.” The greatest novelists could have never narrated what came next: porn star James Deen transitioning into mainstream cinema with critical celebration.

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For his role as indie filmmaker Christian in The Canyons, making its Venice Film Festival premiere Friday night, Variety said Deen “brings a chilling opacity to the role of a murderous producer/pimp/sex addict.” And Entertainment Weekly listed the film’s highlights with “James Deen’s close-set eyes and knowing smirk. A surprising takeaway is the dramatic gem that is porn star James Deen as Christian.”

He could very well be the “porn star next door,” as Esquire UK knighted Deen. “I’m very close with everyone in my family. I text them all the time. When I’m around them, we talk and do normal family stuff. Eat dinner. Catch up,” he said on a lazy Sunday morning in Los Angeles.

Deen was born Bryan Matthew Sevilla, and as himself, he is bewilderingly normal. “I have a truck and I am always down to help someone move.” His favourite colours are black, blue and purple. Of course, the Pasadena boy has made over 1,400 pornographic films, but clothed, he “got nervous” meeting comedic actor Adam Carolla and American TV host Dr. Drew. He eats healthy, is only now learning about high end men’s fashion like Louis Vuitton and doesn’t play sports (anymore). “I don’t have a competitive bone in my body.”

Deen’s rocket scientist parents “were a little confused when I was doing The Canyons because I never wanted to do mainstream movies. My mom said to me, ‘You should stick to porn,’ I shouldn’t do more mainstream stuff. Because it stresses me out,” he thinks back. He never explained what he meant by “stress.” The glaring eyes of 1,000 paparazzi lenses on set? The rumoured cast disagreements, probably lies to sell tabloids?

A first time actor’s salary wasn’t the issue. “I got paid exactly what I asked,” he said. “There was never any quarrel.”

James DeenWhatever the controversy, it is of little importance. The Canyons will be a cult classic one day, Deen vows, “because the fact is, everything [American Psycho author] Bret Easton Ellis does becomes a cult classic. [Taxi Driver director] Paul Schrader made it. It’s a movie with Lindsay Lohan where she gets naked, and her co-star is the dude from porn. I have a pretty decent fan base, and it’s my first mainstream movie. It’s the first time a movie of this magnitude was made on Kickstarter. It was a pretty unique experience and project. Everyone’s gonna have it on DVD.”

Starlets claim they never read a single user review online, nary the negative critics. Deen reads the good and the bad. “The movie is good in the sense of a movie. It is lit well. It is shot well. Everything about it. It comes down to everyone’s personal opinion of the film. You end up with people who say, ‘It sucks! That porn guy is in it! Lohan! Schrader is a joke! It’s a Kickstarter project!’ People already have their opinions made up, and then there are people who are waiting for their opinions to be justified or confirmed. All of their opinions are based on emotions. People who say nasty things? You still paid for it. I’m glad that you at least gave it a chance.”

Nevertheless, Deen acknowledges that audiences who do like the movie watched it with lowered standards. “People expect it to be bad. ‘This was a lot better than I thought it would be. Wow! That was pretty good,’” he said in his baritone voice. “It cost nothing to make. It was #4 on iTunes. It’s already made its money back. People forget about the profit and debt factor. If you spend $100,000 and make $1 million, you make a lot more money than if you spend $5 million and make $1 million.”

Assumingly due to Deen’s past on screen credits, Showbiz411.com called The Canyons “soft core porn.” In contrast, Andy Warhol’s 1964 film, Blow Job, centrally focused on a man’s facial expressions on the receiving end of fun time, was heralded as sexual artistry. Scarlett Johansson earned a Golden Globe nomination when her derriere opened Lost in Translation. So then, what is art and what gets defined as pornography?

“Certain people’s porn might be another person’s normal,” Deen explains. “If you have a weird fetish for hamburgers, because I’m eating a hamburger, that could be someone else’s porn. The intent of the project has a lot to do with the categorization of whether it is art or porn. The artist is thinking of it as ‘a thing to compare social equality in the world, so here’s a naked girl covered in blood, wearing Prada sunglasses!’ In The Canyons, Lindsay Lohan is nude a couple times. She’s topless. All these scenes, I’m also in them, and the reason they’re not considered porn is they’re more like dialogues. Our intent was not to arouse.”

And, Deen insists, sexual perspectives aren’t defined by a “women versus men” attitude. So much for bringing to life Jenna Jameson’s biography title, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star. “I think there’s no love as intense like a crush…Sex is an individual thing. People can have the same opinion about sex. If you are a female who is more liberal and I am a conservative male, I could say, ‘I need to know feelings! I want to build a future together before we have sex.’ Gender itself is not a factor.”

On weekends, away from the porn industry in which he earns his paycheck, Deen takes in The Simpsons and Futurama with his three cats. “They’re funny and silly, and they’re consistent. Watching television is not something I need to focus on and analyze. I can giggle and be mindless. I want to chuckle and enjoy it. For fun, I relax and watch TV, go shopping or something, sit around and do nothing. As the kids say, I ‘veg out.’”

“I want to have a private jet, eat good cheese and wine and have a place in France. Then, I realize, it’s more practical to have a hotel room in France. I want to finish my closet and finish doing work on my house. It was built in the 80s and early 90s, and it’s dated,” said Deen. “I want to get my dream kitchen, my dream bathroom, my dream office. Which is a matter of tearing up the floors and putting in new materials. I pretty much do whatever it is I want. My goal is to be happy, be myself and try not to let the good stuff in life get me down.”

He believes a lot in fate. “I met with some agents before and they didn’t seem to do anything. ‘Our job is to get you through to people. Blah, blah, blah.’ I shouldn’t be pushed on anyone. People should be forced to hire me because I’m the best person for the role. I don’t particularly care if I’m some big mainstream star. I never wanted to be Matt Damon or George Clooney or Tom Cruise. I don’t intend to do anything other than a project that’s interesting to me.”

“Do you hate me or do you love me?” he asks. It is a very James Dean-like question from the guy who earned his stage name smoking outside of junior high school just like the screen legend.

The answer is yes. Mr. Sevilla is like the loveable best friend every girl wishes for, book smart but not dorky, someone who would make fun of ugly dresses with you at the mall, go surfing and share popcorn with you at the latest Bradley Cooper flick. If he is anything like the man whose name he borrowed, he has plenty awaiting him in his new mainstream acting career. As the real Dean said in character, stargazing as Rebel Without a Cause‘s Jim Stark, “Once you’ve been up there, you know you’ve been someplace.”

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Ina Garten Makes The Perfect Quarantine Cocktail In Funny Video

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If the Barefoot Contessa says any hour is cocktail hour then who are we to argue?!

Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa herself, took to Instagram to “keep tradition alive” during these stressful, isolated times. What tradition is she most concerned with? One near and dear to all of us of course, cocktail hour! In the two-minute video, Ina gives a tutorial on how to whip up a batch of her favorite cosmopolitans. We all watch the contessa for her signature brand of calm speaking tones and party planning panache and while this video delivers on what we’d expect, Ina throws in a couple funny jokes that you would never see coming. She begins the tutorial by instructing viewers to grab a big pitcher because “you never know who is going to stop by – wait – nobody is going to stop by.” She goes on later to remind viewers that “during a crisis, you know, cocktail hour can be almost any hour.”  Ina wraps up the demonstration by advising viewers to choose the right martini glass when making this drink before pulling out a giant one for herself! Look at Ina getting all loosey-grey-goosey with us!

Enjoy any-hour happy-hour and check out the funny video below!

 

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It’s always cocktail hour in a crisis! Recipe link in profile. #staysafe

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‘Will & Grace’ Star, Leslie Jordan, Has The Funniest Instagram Account Ever

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“Well, well, well…if it isn’t Beverly Leslie.”

Any sitcom-lover will instantly recognize Leslie Jordan as Karen Walker’s vertically challenged nemesis on Will & Grace. And while he always managed to steal the scene as Beverly Leslie, the funny actor actually has quite the lengthy resume filled with all sorts of interesting roles. Well at the age of 64, Jordan may have just found his most exciting role yet…a viral video star!

Jordan chatted with Today discussing his new found internet fame. He shared that he did not even want to join social media initially but was encouraged to do so by producers when working on Cool Kids. His social media didn’t become the hotspot it is now until the coronavirus pandemic however, when Jordan says he was encouraged by a friend to use his humor to bring levity to his fans. Now on his Instagram, which has grown over 400,000 followers since the quarantines were put in place, Jordan posts a bunch of hilarious content which includes stories about famous friends, tales of his flamboyant childhood and even baton twirling.

We can all use a laugh right now so do yourself a favor and check out the hilarious videos below! To keep the laughs coming be sure to follow Leslie Jordan here!

Betty White and the freezer queen.

 

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The Freezer Queen. #bostonlegal @bettymwhite

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The over-haulin’ ass.

 

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My Exercise Regime. #sia #lizzo #bigbelly #haulass

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That time in the pokey.

 

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Pillow Talk! #friedbrain #jailhouserock #ecstasy #gomybail

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Bringing sexy back(scratch)

 

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DAY ONE: EXERCISE VIDEO. More to follow. #littlefatty #poorthing #getupandgo #gotupandwent #backscratcher

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Beverly Leslie saves the twirl.

 

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DAY TWO! #trainer #fitnessmotivation #batontwirling #fitnessforsissies

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Nick Lachey Rewrites Hit 98 Degrees Song Amid Coronavirus Quarantine

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This video will remind you of two things: Nick Lachey is actually a gifted singer. And at age 46 he is still quaran-FINE!

Picture it. The year is 1998 and the boy band craze is at its peak. You turn on the radio. Your ears perk up as you hear the four beautiful men of 98 Degrees sing about the torture of having to let down their side pieces so they can try to be true to the girlfriends that love them. The word “coronavirus” has never even been uttered. It was a simpler time.

Fast forward to 2020 when it seems like you can’t turn on the tv without some sort of news break interrupting your scheduled programming to warn you about the latest dangers of the viral pandemic. With the spread of the virus ever growing, celebrities have been taking to social media to urge fans to isolate themselves so we can all stay safe and healthy. Nick Lachey, 98 Degrees heartthrob and host of the new dating show Love Is Blind, is the latest Hollywood star to jump on this bandwagon.

Lachey took to Instagram to debut his updated rendition of “The Hardest Thing,” the boy band’s certified gold single. “Yeah, it’s the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. To stay stuck in our house, just watching all this bad news. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever had to try. To stay six feet apart when we go outside,” the blue eyed beaut sings. “Nothing to do, no sports on TV. Washed my hands so much that they started to bleed. Damn this quarantine. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. But in the end it’s worth it. Together we will get through” he continues. The video ends with Lachey reminding fans to stay safe before being jumped on by his enthusiastically adorable son.

Click below to see the full video!

 

 

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When the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do…. is stay home.

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