At Film School Rejects, we like to have the final word, even when we’re arguing with ourselves. Although mostly, we just like to yell the loudest. We figured we should channel that energy into a feature we like to call “Shouting Match.” This week’s contenders? Cole Abaius and Rob Hunter. This week’s point of contention: Smoking Hot Porn Stars.

Opening Statements

COLE: Not only is the answer, ‘yes,’ but we’re already seeing it happen. It was negligible with Jenna Jameson becoming a stripping zombie with ravenous lady-bits, but now that Sasha Grey has been cast in a major flick directed by Steven Soderbergh, the game is changed. Yes, she’s playing a sex-worker, so it’s not a huge stretch (as I’m sure a ton of movie website headlines will point out), but it’s a giant leap for pornstarkind. Plus, Katie Morgan will warm the hearts and groin-areas of millions when Zack and Miri Make a Porno is released this weekend and she takes her turn as a supporting actress with a fair amount of screen time. Put her and Ms. Grey together and you’ve either got one hell of a sapphic scene or the start of a trend that could be game-changing. Or at the very least, could widen the pool of available actresses for director’s to acceptably choose from.

The correlative to that widening pool is that actresses might actually be able to use pornography as a viable means to taking their act mainstream. Another road to the red carpet that might involve eating some carpet. The big lie of the Casting Couch might become true after all.

ROB: I’ll label this folly as wishful thinking at best, as it’s never going to happen. Let’s hit your flaccid little points one at a time.

Yes, Jameson’s stripper role was negligible, but how is Grey’s any different? As you said, she’s still playing a sex worker, but more importantly, the movie will be far from the “major flick” you predict. This is the ultra low-budget follow-up to Soderbergh’s Bubble, which pretty much no one saw. In fact, I predict Zombie Strippers will out-gross The Girlfriend Experience. Katie Morgan in Zack & Miri will be seen, but do you honestly think she could handle a normal role? The girl is mentally retarded, albeit in a sexy and naked way, and while it plays well for porn I don’t see that persona working in “normal” films.
And widening the pool of available actresses? Seriously? Hollywood already has plenty of shitty actresses (and actors) so a few more that will also be happy to show their cooter really won’t make the slightest difference. Besides, can you actually name a porn star that’s successfully made the jump to mainstream so far?

The Rebuttal

COLE: It’s nice to see you don’t have any real points of your own. Your premature argumentation is easier to rebut. Grey’s role is a whole new ball game. For one, the horror genre is regarded as almost as niche as porn is – and no, not in terms of audience; it’s clear that they both have a ton of viewers – which is why Jameson’s role was negligible. But Grey’s appearing as the headliner in a film directed by an Academy Award-winning director, one who is highly respected and regarded in his field. It may not make much money or get much notability, but the role is about trend-changing, and Grey will definitely be gaining notice for scoring such a major role even if the film is a tiny little indie flick.

Of course you’d only see the short-run and apply the concept to these three actresses, but what they are doing is opening doors for others. And I’m sure you of all people realize that there are a few actresses working in porn who don’t fit the cliche of crappy acting. We’re on the cusp of the trend, not the end of it.

ROB: I didn’t realize I needed points of my own when yours were so absurd. So Grey’s role as a “headliner” in a film “directed by an Academy Award-winning director” is a “trend changer” eh? Just like Debbie Doebereiner’s headliner role in Bubble started a trend of of non-actors starring in movies? Who were the amateurs that scored starring roles after her again? What were the follow-up films Doebereiner went on to star in? Exactly.

Actresses who’ve done porn have three possible roles in non-porn films. They can do cameos as themselves (Entourage), minor roles for the in-joke crowds (Superbad), or soft-core sex films for the late night cable crowd (anything on Cinemax). And while the odds would predict that at least some porn stars can actually act (and I don’t mean the faked orgasms you’re so familiar with) I have yet to see one.

Closing Arguments

COLE: I could always tell by your bitterness and collection of guns that you were afraid of change, so I’ll have to chalk up your denial to that, I suppose. No, a pornstar getting a major role isn’t a trend on its own, but when it’s the third in a series of porn actresses crossing over and every role has moved increasingly up the chain of credibility, the trend is solidified.

But I’m not here to argue that a trend exists, since it clearly does, I’m here to argue that it’s possible that it could change the game in Hollywood. I’m not expecting a major leap, but I can see the trend expanding.

You’re right. Debbie Doebereiner’s career didn’t go anywhere – although do I really need to point out all the no-names who started careers out of nowhere? – but Debbie didn’t do Dallas or have a major brand machine behind her. Some porn stars are already household names, even if some men and women would feign ignorance. They just have to transfer that stardom credit over into a new bank. So I’ll leave with this thought and let you get the final word in: these porn stars have opened the door for others, if others successfully bridge the gap, the World of Porn and the World of Mainstream Film might have to replace that bridge with a superhighway.

ROB: No denial here, just a recognition of the obvious. Porn stars won’t get major roles, and Grey’s role in Soderbergh’s film is far from major. It’s also not the third in a series of cross-overs… porn stars have been showing up in the mainstream for years. The best example, and possibly the strongest argument you failed to use, is Traci Lords. From porn to soft-core to genre films to a recurring role on Roseanne. She’s the singular exception to the rule that will never change, but even she couldn’t move beyond the confines of a waning white-trash sitcom.

Your argument is as empty as your bed, and this trend is non-existent. Folks may recognize porn star names, but they recognize them from, wait for it, porn. No doors have been opened any further than they have been for years, but do they really need to be? Porn stars are already stars in their chosen field. If they were as good at acting as they are at taking it up the ass then this wouldn’t even be an issue.

Sorry Cole, but while porn stars will continue to show up in mainstream films it will be in minor roles only. The only bank they can move their “pornstar credits” to is a sperm bank. They’re the ones in line behind you.

Final Verdict

As usual, we have to leave the final verdict up to you. Do you see a trend starting with porn stars in major motion pictures? Could the trend be a game-changer? Be sure to sound off in the comments section.


ARTICLE TAGS
Like this article? Join thousands of your fellow movie lovers who subscribe to The Weekly Edition from Film School Rejects. Our best articles, every week, right in your inbox!
  %
%  
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3