Much like Sirius, the white-hot giant, whose life-affirming luminescence smolders in the heavens, and whose annual arrival brought hope and the promise of new life to ancient civilizations, Melissa’s sixteen years as a porn insider too have been marked by cyclical patterns of rejuvenation and renewal, rebirth and reinvention.
From her introduction to the adult world at the age of 30, Melissa’s keen understanding of the human condition has spilled forth onto screen and script, where she has delivered noteworthy performances for, and award-winning manuscripts to, some of the most innovative and forward-thinking adult companies.
Despite her enduring string of successes, it all could have turned out very differently.
Early in her career, Melissa was viewed as an elder stateswoman, a dignified title to be sure, but one perceived to be a liability by those in a world full of green horns and sopping wet earlobes. Though she came into the business as a performer, directors and producers with singular notions of beauty and sensuality simply couldn’t see past the arbitrary nature of numbers with regards to age. But, with age comes wisdom, and Melissa’s previous experiences had steeled her for such inevitabilities. She sensed almost immediately that her survival necessitated an eye-blink level of accretion and adaptability. It was then that she turned her focus to directing, a wise and instinctual career shift that has allowed her not only to survive, but thrive in a dogmatic business well-known for its gilded traps and negligible shelf lives.
Her latest project, Blu Dreams 2, finds Melissa once again in the comfortable confines of the director’s chair, sans the puffy pants and beret, but armed with a megaphonic volume of passion and creative energy. It’s an energy sometimes culled from rather unorthodox sources: Hitchcock, Welles, Kurosawa, James Joyce, Homer, Clive Barker and a motley collection of pulp fiction novels. Though there is little in the way of empirical proof, it’s a pretty safe bet that the uphill path to that particular well of ideas is not littered by the footprints of too many pornographers. Then again, there aren’t too many pornographers quite like Melissa.
While her achievements within the industry are plentiful, Melissa’s influence can be felt well beyond the parallels and meridians that crisscross Chatsworth, California. In the ancient world, Sirius was known as the “Dog Star”, an interesting coincidence considering her many years of volunteer work to support local animal rescue shelters. Along with good friend Julia Ann and other industry pillars, Melissa devotes her time and money to the rescue and safe harbor of abandoned or stray animals, dogs in particular. It is a cause near and dear to her heart, as her 14-year-old pit bull pal Boomer, also a rescue, would attest. Melissa’s profound devotion to the less fortunate creatures among us is what makes her light shine like no other.
Despite her years of writing, performing and directing, Melissa has managed to remain relatively anonymous outside her immediate circle, something that she looks upon as both a blessing and a curse. While she certainly enjoys her morning sojourn free from prying eyes and insipid autograph hounds, she admits that red carpet recognition, even at the largest awards ceremonies, is never a guarantee.
So, how is it that a body, shining for so long, with such intensity both on and off-screen, remains yet undiscovered by so many? Well, like Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, which sits Right Ascension: 06h 45m 08.9s, declination: -16° 42′ 58″, you just have to know where to look.
TS: I know this is about you, but I have to tell you this little story. I was really nervous about talking to you for this one reason: I read somewhere that you are a big Clive Barker fan.
MM: I am.
TS: I read The Damnation Game years and years ago and I’m familiar with his Books of Blood, but here’s what’s so funny. Years ago, I bought The Great and Secret Show, which I know is one of your favorites.
MM: [Gasps]That’s my favorite!
TS: Here’s the deal: I picked it up and I was like, ‘I never read this and I don’t know why,’ so I picked it up a few months ago and started reading it. I loved the part about the dead letter office and assembling all the clues and all of that stuff, but then it took a very, very weird and strange turn and I put it down.
MM: With the old man and the Lynx? [laughs] Did you get to the part with the old man and the Lynx? Is that what did it to you?
TS: I got to the part where [the main characters] were having a battle across the entire United States and stepping from state to state. At that point, I was like, ‘He totally lost me here.’
MM: Unfortunately, you have to get through certain portions and then the whole thing gets revealed… Because he’s a little more eccentric [than Stephen King], not as many people got into it [as The Stand]. People who were looking for that kind of dystopian, apocalyptic-y kind of thing found what they wanted in The Stand, which I found extremely laborious because I feel Stephen King writes like a five-year-old. But, that’s me. I really loved the Clive Barker version of the same type of story, because he’s so much more, you know, like Weaveworld and stuff, it’s so much more creative, so it’s more interesting.
TS: He’s a strange guy. He’s one of those guys, I’ve often said, I’m not sure I would want to step into their brain for even five or ten minutes. He and Beck…the musician Beck. Those guys have some of the most bizarre outlooks on life.
MM: There are funny people out there like that, but with that book in particular it’s because of the way his creatures come together that I love it. You didn’t make it far enough to read about the lake. If you didn’t get turned off by then, you would have by that [laughs]. The old man has cockroaches run up and down his dick. He takes a big giant poop and then, through his orgasm, cums on the shit and turns them into these creatures.
TS: Yeah…I don’t think I made it that far.
MM: [laughs] He would have lost you there too!
TS: [laughs] Anyway, that’s why I was nervous. I was going to ask you about Clive Barker at some point and I knew that was your favorite book. I frankly didn’t like it at all, so I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be terrible.’
MM: And you know what’s funny? I’ve written two pornos based on Clive Barker. I’ve written two scripts based on Clive Barker stories. One was done by Wicked, by Francois Clousot, and the other one got turned down because Wicked decided that they were going in a different direction from the kind of fun, dark stuff that Francois and I were doing at the time, and that’s fine. Francois loved the script. He was like, ‘[in a funny voice] I always wanted to do that script.’ The one that we did do did very well and it was based on the opening story to the Books of Blood – the little epilogue. It’s funny because so many different people are like, ‘Oh, you just read blah blah blah and you took it from there.’ And I’m like, ‘Noooope!’ But it’s kind of like that meets Dark City.
TS: Tell me what the name of it was again?
MM: That one was Forever Is The Night. It’s Dark City meets the opening story to the Books of Blood, which is called The Dead Have Highways, which I happen to have a signed litho of. It’s one of my favorite pieces in my house.
MM: I’ve been a Clive Barker fan for many years. I got that back in the ’80s, when it wasn’t as expensive as it is now.
TS: I’ll bet. Well, let me go ahead and ask you about your new film right off the bat because I tend to ask a ton of questions and then we never get to the crux of why I’m really talking to people until an hour in and all that stuff.
MM: Ok, sure!
TS: So, your new movie is Blu Dreams 2, which, if I’m not mistaken, just shipped out on DVD yesterday [Oct. 12].
MM: Awesome, because the box is beautiful. Unfortunately, people don’t get to see the box itself. It’s like this big fold out box, but the box is really hot.
TS: I’m looking forward to seeing that. And I read it just received a “AAAA ½” AVN rating and also received an Editor’s Choice rating just recently.
MM: Yep. Woo-hoo!
TS: I’ve seen bits and pieces of it, but I want to get your take on it. What can you reveal about the movie without spoiling it?
MM: Well, I was lucky enough to be able to do what I want. I’m also an art director, so I’m pretty big on costuming. I love costumes, so what I basically did was come up with twelve little scenarios for each girl. The one that Julia [Ann] did is something similar to what I did in a soft core movie many, many years ago and it came out beautiful. The girl was sensual, but she wasn’t as sensual as someone like Julia. I really wanted to do it with someone who I knew could really pull it off. So, that’s the opening scene and that’s really very special to me. I had to have that mirror built and everything, so we could do it. [laughs] Originally, I also wanted to put it on the floor, but unfortunately that would never have worked in the place that we were at, because then you would have seen the ugly ceiling and I didn’t want to do the ugly ceiling. [laughs] Some of the other scenarios were stuff that I really wanted to do. I had the music specifically written for Andy San Dimas’ scene. Although I wanted it to be hard throughout the whole scene, the editor, who is James Avalon, [though] I don’t know what name he uses for editing, said, ‘Listen, man. You guys really need to soften it up. At this point it’s too loud.’ And I’m like ‘Yeah, but I like loud!’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, but maybe somebody else doesn’t.’ And he was right, you know? He did all these effects on her and it was just awesome! He made it just so fantastic. There are a lot of scenes in there. I had never used Ariella Ferrera before.
TS: That was a good scene. That was the shower scene, right?
MM: Yeah, that was the shower scene and that’s my anchor scene at the end because I think it’s a really strong scene.
TS: Yeah, it is.
MM: And, you know, it’s funny, but Mark Kearns [writer for AVN] wrote, ‘I don’t know why she got into the shower with her towel on.’
TS: [laughs] I read that.
MM: She did because I needed a few seconds of footage where she wasn’t naked, so we could put it on YouTube and stuff like that. [laughs] I could have edited it out, but they really wanted it in there – a few seconds where we didn’t see what she was wearing. I had to do it, you know? And it’s fine because I think that it works because the shower is big. If the shower was a personal-sized shower, it would have been really strange, but I think a lot of women do walk into the shower with their towel on, when they take a shower.
TS: I actually read that review you were talking about. Do you think that’s one of those cases where the movie was just so good in his opinion…because he really did give it a pretty glowing review…
MM: You think he was just trying to find something? [laughs]
TS: Do you think he was just looking for something to be critical about?
MM: No, because Mark is not like that. I think that the towel really bothered him and that’s why he wrote it, because Mark’s not like that at all. He voices his opinion exactly the way it is and he didn’t like the towel, so he didn’t like the towel. It’s all good. Not everybody is going to like everything, but at some point I do have to cater to the company I’m working for. [laughs]
TS: Absolutely, but it seems like focusing on the towel is focusing on the wrong thing, if you ask me. [laughs]
MM: I think, especially when you’ve been doing this for a long time, that those little things start to creep into your psyche and distract you and bother you, you know? And it’s okay. There are people who call me up and go, ‘Oh, my God! Why didn’t you do something about her toe?’ And I’m like, ‘[in a funny voice] Her toe!? Her toe!? What was wrong with her toe!?’ Then, you’ve got to go in and you’ve got to blow it up and you’ve got to do this…you’re like, ‘Oh! Well, I didn’t notice her toe!’ You can’t help but laugh at times, but everybody has their peccadilloes, and you can’t cater to everybody. But, that’s really what this movie was about. I went in and got on three of the girl-girl forums, which are run by some of the bigger clientele. I go on those forums and I ask them what they want to see. A lot of people despise shower scenes, but I love them, so I put a shower scene in it. I love water – any kind of water – so I needed to have a water something.
TS: It’s very symbolic too. Water is very big symbolically in literature and myth and everything else, so I think it’s really cool. And I think that was the strongest scene, personally.
MM: Well, you know, everybody’s different. For me, the only thing that bothered me about Ariella’s scene is that her boobs are just so glaringly…fake. That bothers me a little bit, but she’s such a sensual woman that I forgot two minutes after she’s in the shower. I’m hoping that other people feel the same way, although I have to say that 99.9% of the girl-girl fans despise fake boobs.
TS: Really? I didn’t know that.
MM: Oh, they despise them almost as much as they despise toys [and] toy usage, which is why there is only one toy scene. That’s the other scene that Mark didn’t like so much, but I just picked the wrong girl to do the scene, that’s all. Jessica [Bangkok] is very playful, but she’s a little bit too playful, so she giggled through the whole thing. I had to edit a lot because she’s just too giggly. It doesn’t make her bad. She’s a great performer. She’s a great girl, but she’s the wrong girl to make her stand there by herself and try to get her to do something that she didn’t feel was silly. Everything she did was kind of silly, so I had to edit it in a way to make it more sensual, but what’s not there is not there. I can’t change that. I love the scene. I love the look of the scene. I think it’s a beautiful scene and it will appeal to some people, but it’s not what…it’s funny because someone said to me, ‘I wouldn’t have picked such a chunky girl for that scene’ and I said, ‘Au contraire!’ [laughs]. I wanted a curvy girl for that scene and that scene demanded a curvy girl.
TS: Is it harder to do a solo scene than it is to perform with a partner in your experience?
MM: Absolutely, but not for me. Listen, when you masturbate at home, you’re masturbating for two minutes max. [laughs] To sit there and have to masturbate for twenty minutes, you’re like, ‘[in a funny voice] What do I do next and why do I have to cum, like, five times? Now, what the fuck do I do with myself?’ [laughs] It’s just hard! It’s hard. We’re not those people. I mean, I’ve done marathon masturbation sessions, but not everybody has. But still, I haven’t done it for the camera. When I do that, I’m doing it at home or with a partner watching or something. You have more to play off of when you’re sitting there and you’ve got people sitting, and waiting and watching, but not in a sexual way. Yeah, it’s tough! It’s really tough.
TS: Were you the one to determine in what settings they each performed or was that a collaboration between you and each of the girls?
MM: Mark got it a little wrong, because what I had said was in my next one I wanted a collaboration and he just got it confused. No, the girls had no input on this one whatsoever.
TS: I got you.
MM: Yeah, he got that confused with what I want to do next. [laughs]
TS: I know you’ve performed with a few of the girls already because I’ve reviewed a few of those movies. Did you handpick all of them?
MM: Oh, yeah. I handpicked all of them, except for Ariella Ferrera, who [writer/director] Kay Brandt said ‘You really should use this girl. She’s fantastic and you’d love her.’ She’s the only one because I just didn’t know her. Kay was like, ‘Oh, my God, you’re going to so love her, ‘ and I did. What a sweet, sweet girl and she did a fantastic job. I had a couple people who dropped out and I had to replace them at the last minute, which totally sucked ass because I didn’t get the scenarios that I wanted to get the way I wanted to get them. I had to change my ideas on the spot. For instance, I had Marie Luv. [She] was supposed to do Celeste Star’s scene. Marie is really buff and cut and ripped. Celeste has a beautiful body, but she’s not cut, so I was going to oil [Marie] up and she was going to be working out with weights. I was going to show the rippling of her body and, you know, real musculature and all that. Unfortunately, she got sick at the last minute and I replaced her with Celeste, who I’m not disappointed about. But, I got Celeste to do two little push-ups and she was like, ‘AAARRRGGGHHH!’ [laughs]
TS: Wait. How’d that go?
MM: [laughs] Yeah, it was pretty pathetic actually, like, ‘Aaaaahhhh, I can’t do this!’ It was really funny, but at the same time I couldn’t get what I really wanted. Then, Metro’s beef was that I showed her draped over the [exercise]ball and I should have showed that in the video. Unfortunately, she was holding onto the wall and she had one finger on the floor and [she was being photographed] as she could, because she couldn’t balance on the ball. The ball is not that easy to balance on. So, the picture came out great, but I couldn’t do it on video because there would have been a second roll. You know, it was just dumb. [laughs]
TS: Right. Well, let me ask you: The first Blu Dreams came out about five years ago. I was curious why the big gap between doing a sequel and the first one, and what made the timing right for you to do this movie now?
MM: I honestly don’t know. I think because [Cal Vista] was gearing back up and they were looking for things that they can do that were based on award-winners for them. Red Ezra did the last one, who is a very dear friend. I have a copy here and I watched it and I saw how he did it. They wanted something similar, but obviously updated. It was easy for me because I can do all those things just like Red. Red’s an art director and he’s a phenomenal art director, and he’s great with wardrobe and he’s got a beautiful eye, so I guess I was a likely choice to do the next one. But, I don’t know why there was such a gap. There just was.
TS: The new film is [being released] through the Cal Vista subsidiary of Metro and it has been said that [Cal Vista] is the crown jewel of that particular company, so how did your deal with them come together? It’s obviously a very important line as far as Metro goes.
MM: Well, it’s funny because the only way I got in there was because of Kay Brandt. I had worked with her over at Girlfriends [Films] as an actress over there. She knew I could direct and I showed her some of my stuff, and when she went over to Cal Vista/Metro, she was like, ‘I’d love for you to direct.’ We had more projects on the plate, but she didn’t stay there long enough to allocate them and to see them through. But, I did get to do this one, which was really great and it was a great experience. I’ve been in so many Metro movies and Cal Vista movies in the old days that it really was an easy fit.
TS: You mentioned Red Ezra, who did the first one, just a second ago and that you’re really good friends. Did you get any input from him on this one or did he have any suggestions for you in putting the sequel together?
MM: He said, ‘Go get ‘em!’ [laughs] He just said, ‘Go get ‘em! Go to it, baby. Go do it.’ No, and I wasn’t looking for any. Red knows me well enough. I mean, I wrote scripts for him in the past. He directed for me when I was with Playgirl. So, he knew me well enough. He was like, ‘If anyone can do it, you can. Go get ‘em.’ It’s all good. He was a great cheerleader, but that’s where it ended. He just sent me a little congrats when he saw the review of it. That was really nice.
TS: That’s cool. Could you talk a little bit about the differences between your interpretation of the solo scenes and what was done in the original?
MM: I think that, and this is not a slight against Red at all because really the times have changed, his is a little dated, which is par for the course. The real differences, the girls he used, he used based only on their looks, solely on their looks. My first criterion was real orgasms. Not that every girl isn’t just beautiful and stunning and fantastic, and some of them are huge stars and so on and so forth, but I only picked girls that I thought would cum for real on camera, otherwise I didn’t want them. And that’s the honest truth. I’m not saying that there weren’t a hundred thousand more of them out there. I can only pick twelve, so I picked twelve. [laughs] But that was my main criteria: it had to be real. You know, I think Annabelle Lee’s scene is really subtle, and some people will love it and some people will think it’s too subtle, but boy, oh boy, you just look at her skin and you can see what’s happening. To me, the best part of the scene was not so much the orgasms or how pretty she is or how great her little body is, but how the little hairs on her arm went up, you know?
TS: That’s so funny that you said that because it was one of the things I was specifically going to ask you about. Shooting in High Definition in a couple of those scenes I could see the actual texture of the skin and the tiny little hairs on the skin standing up in certain light. How does HD affect how you go about shooting these films?
MM: Well, it usually doesn’t. Listen, there are advantages, like being able to see the hairs stand up or sweat actually breaking on the skin, those kind of nuances. The ripples that happen on the human body when we go through our orgasms are a beautiful experience, and you want to be able to take that experience and show it to a viewer. You want to be able to show a girl when she’s actually getting wet, you know? And if a girl squirts you want to see her pussy flower. You want to see every nuance. But at the same time, you also see more cellulite, more pimples, more marks – more everything that you don’t want to see. You can airbrush video if you want to sit there frame-by-frame and have a grand old time, but we don’t do that. So, you have to take the good with the bad. [laughs]
TS: When HD was becoming the new medium, I remember reading articles about how a lot of the stars were worried all their blemishes and all the inconsistencies in their skin tone are going to come out for the camera, so does that change the way you choose angles or make your shot selection?
MM: It changes a lot of things. Yeah, it changes lighting, which is one of the biggest issues, especially in something like this. It doesn’t affect me when I do some of the movies. It does with some of the other movies. With this particular movie, it most certainly did have a huge effect because lighting is everything when you’re trying to create a mood and you’re trying to show differences and nuances, as you will. If a girl has really bad skin, you can’t have that light because it finds every pimple. It finds every blemish, mark, scar – everything. You can’t help it. If there is make-up on it, it enhances it even more. It may not be red, but now it’s a glowing mound of light, and it sucks ass. It really does. I feel bad for the girl because I want the girl to look at her scenes and say, ‘My God! You made me look so good! Thank you!’ We’re our own worst critic and I see things through every girl’s eye. I tell the girls, ‘Oh, sweetheart. Please, please, please go back inside, take some of that make-up off. I know you’re trying to hide that zit, but all it’s doing is enhancing it.’ I’m the first person to tell somebody that. Most people, especially the dudes, you know, guy directors don’t usually say that. They would rather make horrible comments about the girl behind the camera. [laughs] I would rather tell the girl to her face and just say, ‘Honey, I just want you to look great. Please go take a couple of layers of that shit off. It’s bad.’ They get upset at first, and then you just go, ‘I just want you to look as great as I can make you look.’ Listen, I’m the first one to say I am not in great shape. Everything that could possibly be wrong with the human body is wrong on my body. [laughs] But, at the same time, I can’t care or I wouldn’t be able to perform.
TS: Isn’t that where the sexiness comes in for a lot of people and whether or not they find stars sexy? They go in there with confidence. Confidence is that whole sexy thing as far as what I can tell.
MM: Absolutely. That’s why I love BBWs [Big Beautiful Women]. Big women walk in the door [and] they know they own the place and ‘fuck you’ if you don’t like fat. How cool is that? Now, whether that is your thing or not, you still have to be able to appreciate a woman who can walk in with confidence. Me? I just get cum drunk. I get sex stupid. I walk in and as long as it’s sex going on I don’t think of my body. I can’t go in there and be sexual and sensual and all those things and go, ‘Oh, my God! My ass looks so bad I can’t.’ I can’t do it or I’d be worthless. I remember even ten and twenty years ago, when I was so not fat at all, when I was ninety-eight pounds, there were times I looked in the mirror and went, ‘Oh, my God! Look how fat I am!’ I’m wearing a size zero, for Christ’s sake. So, now I look at it as, yes, there will be some people who don’t like me and there were people who didn’t like me then. But, some people could still sit there and look at me and go, ‘Wow! She’s still sexy and it doesn’t matter what she looks like’ or ‘I like that. I like that her body moves,’ or whatever the case may be. I remember reading reviews from when I was 30 and people saying that I was fat and that I had flabby tits. I look at the scene now and I go, ‘Oh, my God! I had a rockin’ body!’ [laughs] I wish I had it back!
TS: It seems like the amount of effort people put in striving for perfection these days is completely out of kilter. I’m a little bit older too, but it seems like people weren’t that hung up to the detail that they are now about looks.
MM: No, that’s not true.
TS: You don’t think so?
MM: We’re less hung up about it than we were when I first got in the business. I mean, people were downright cruel, cruel, ten or fifteen years ago. I can attest to that like you wouldn’t believe because I’ve worked for everybody and I’ve done every kind of scene and I have been around. I have been in the sex business since 1983, and I can tell you it was a hundred times worse in years past than it is now. Now, I could sit there and I could do a scene with someone like Debi Diamond or like Ginger Lynn, who is my age… you know, within a couple years of each other, and here we are that people find us sexy. And let me tell you something: ten years ago? Ten years ago, I was ten years younger and I was looked at like a big, fat old hag. Now, people embrace that. People go ‘Oh, my God! I love older women. Ah, ooohhh, sexy, hot, ooohhh.’ [laughs] And it’s nice. It’s really nice. Whether people you know outside the industry will go, ‘Yeah, but you’re still a slut, a whore and da da da…,’ the truth of the matter is what the fuck am I saving it for at this point?
TS: That’s surprising to hear you say that because one of the last interviews I did was with the son of Arthur Morowitz, who ran Distribpix back in the day. We were talking about guys like Ron Jeremy and the first generation of porn stars and we kind of agreed that the reason some of those movies are still appealing is because a lot of those people didn’t have the silicone and didn’t have the fake this and the fake that. People could kind of identify with those guys in the movies a lot more, like ‘Hey! That really could be me.’
MM: Yeah, but there were a lot of reasons why. I mean, I’ve been a porn fan since I was a child. It’s kind of silly, but for me the draw about it was, first of all, we didn’t have a lot of choices. There were a handful of people fucking on camera. That’s all there was, you know? [laughs] We didn’t have any other imagery to go to, so these people became icons. It’s well-warranted that they’re icons, but they became icons because we didn’t have anything else. I mean, I remember that some of the boys in school would get all excited because Bridget from Bridget Loves Bernie would wear something that was a little bit below her neckline. So, it just depends on how you want to look at things. What I love about it is that the people that did it really genuinely loved what they were doing. I’m sure there were a few exceptions, but it wasn’t the end of the line. The ’80s and the ’90s were where some people were still there because they loved it and they wanted to do it, some people were there for the adulation, but some people were there because it was the end of the line for them. In the late ’90s and early ’00s, it most certainly became the end of the line business for the majority of the people that were here, which made me extremely sad because I’ve always loved porn. That’s why we had so much bad sex! I mean, ugh! It’s so funny because, when I worked for Playgirl, we did so many scenes. We probably did somewhere between twenty and fifty scenes a month. The thing that was horrifying is that, out of those twenty, eighteen, if it wasn’t for the fucking art direction and the costuming and the brilliant camera work, I couldn’t have watched one of them. They were just so horrific. The girls were wooden. The guys were worse. They were a bunch of automatons and you stuck them together and you said, ‘Okay, penis in hole. Let’s fuck.’ And that’s all we got. It didn’t matter who directed, what we asked [or] what we begged for. I shot three scenes for Playgirl when I first came on board with them and I gave them pretty much what Nica [Noelle] is doing now. I gave them more sensuality and more sexuality, and the people were together more than they were fucking five feet away from each other. They went, ‘What the fuck is this?’ ‘Well, this is real sex.’ ‘Well, we don’t want real sex. We want porn. We make porn here.’ Well, there I go. That’s the major issue with a lot of these companies. Now, to bring up Nica, Nica took… listen, Dan started it first. Dan from Girlfriends Films started doing it where the girls were really having sex. And there were a couple people here and there, smatterings through the years that experimented with that wonderful concept of showing people actually having sex. [laughs] It worked for some and didn’t work for others, and usually you started at an amateur level where the camera work was horrible and the lighting was horrible and the people were usually not watchable. Then, you try to do it here, but trying to get the people to break the concept of fucking from five feet away and moaning and cumming ten minutes before a hand even reached them, you know, was really, really foreign to a lot of the performers. [laughs] What people failed to realize is that we are all monkeys and monkey see, monkey do. You come in, you do the scene and you think that it’s status quo. Then, you do a hundred scenes like that and now you’re fucking the girl at home exactly the way you fucked her on camera. So, this horrible, horrible chain of events began, and it just escalated and got worse. [It became] who could fuck further away. ‘Oh, I can lean back so that you can see just the tip of my dick and you won’t even see my body because it’s a POV scene and it’s ugly. I hate that! The dick in the hole shot is ugly!
TS: Some would argue that the whole act in general is pretty hideous if you think about it, which is why you need to try to approach it from an acting and directing with a very light heart.
MM: Sex is a hideous act?
TS: Watching it. It’s not in and of itself, but…
MM: Well, I don’t think so. I don’t think so at all, but for different reasons that maybe somebody else feels opposite about. For me, I get off on the connection. Listen, I’m a woman and no matter what I’m still going to like what women like, but I also like things that men like. I’m very auditory. I’m very visual. Those are two things that are really male attributes more than female attributes, but I am that person. I get visually stimulated and aurally stimulated by things more so than most of my female counterparts. So, for me, I don’t even need to see the act. I just need to hear it and I get all rustled up – if it sounds hot. And it doesn’t sound hot for me to hear, ‘Oh! Oh! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck yeah! Fuck yeah! Fuck yeah! Unnnnnhhhh!’ God, where are the socks so I could stuff them in your god damn mouth! It’s so painful to try to get people to do what is so natural. Dan has done it. I think Kathryn Annelle does it amazingly well. And then Nica has taken that concept and she has transformed it into her boy/girl line, which is brilliant. This is something that was so long coming and now New Sensations and Wicked, who has been trying for years, and a couple of other companies, are now trying to follow suit. Whether they’re going to be successful or not I can’t tell you. One of the problems will always be that the director has to have the idea of what real sex looks like too. If you take someone who has been performing for ten or twenty years and doing it one way, their concept of what real sex looks like is extremely skewed at that point. If you take a director that has been directing by the numbers for ten or fifteen years, you’re still going to get the same product, especially if those actors have never worked for someone like Nica. They don’t know what they’re supposed to do and you can’t give them direction because you have no concept of it whatsoever. It becomes very difficult.
TS: Do you think things have changed a lot because of the influence of women in general, like yourself and like Nica?
MM: No, there has always been the influence of women in the industry – always. When I was directing back in the early ’90s there were many women who came before me, brilliant women like Candida Royale and tons of others.
TS: Mainly I was talking more about how things are kind of… the pendulum. They talk about a pendulum swinging and it’s kind of coming back to a more realistic, more sensual type movie as opposed to some of the dreck that they put out.
MM: It’s just a fad. It’s like everything else. You know, they’re trying to follow a trend where people are saying, ‘Oh, yes, because more women have influence.’ There have always been the same amount of women influencing this industry as there were before, but it still comes down to the fact that there are a lot of asexual people in our industry who will never change and won’t take a chance and won’t do this and won’t do that. Nica was very lucky. She’s got Jon Blitt, who is amazing. He was willing to let her run with that change in the boy-girl genre. We already knew it worked for the girl-girl stuff, but to make it work in the boy-girl stuff, that’s where the concept really went wild. Will anyone else be able to really grasp it? It’s going to be tough [and] it’s going to be hard because I’ve watched some of the other stuff that’s out there. Maybe Viv Thomas, but he’s out of the loop. He’s out of the mainstream loop, so right now Nica is the only one making those movies that I can go, ‘Oooh! That’s pretty raw passion!’ And the girls are more attractive than in the amateur stuff – maybe not as attractive as the stuff Zero Tolerance is trying to do because Zero Tolerance’s girls all look like little dolls. They all have perfect make-up on and they may be the same girls but it’s the other way, you know? It’s still too fake for the people who want real, but they’re not going to let the girls come on with just lipstick and a little under-eye cover-up and go fuck on camera with their hair askew and looking like a mess. Neither is Wicked. Wicked’s girlsare not about to get on camera with no make-up on, so you’re still going to have this juxtaposition of the mainstream porn and then the stuff like what Nica and Viv Thomas do as far as the boy-girl genre goes. Now, as far as the girl-girl genre goes, there are a ton of great girl-girl companies out there that nobody knows about. I looked at Dana Dane’s stuff. It’s a little too pretty for me and a little too neatly packaged, but her stuff is beautiful. I mean, it’s really beautiful and if you’re looking for something that’s a cross between what the three major girl-girl companies are doing and, let’s say, what Wicked is doing, or what Zero Tolerance is doing, she’s a great in-between person. You’re getting beautiful camera work [and] you’re getting beautiful lighting. The music is a bit too much for me because I’m not a big dance music kind of person. Other than that, her stuff is beautiful, but like I said, it’s a little too neatly packaged for me. I prefer stuff like what the big three are doing and I love what Kathryn Annelle is doing right now. I mean, my God! She’s really taken it out of the box and she is trying to do her own thing and breaking away from what everybody else is doing. Everybody else is doing something different too. The stuff that I’m doing for Dan… he went in a different direction and it’s great. Everybody is trying to find their own niche and not be lumped together, but the big three will always be lumped together.
TS: Let’s bring it back to your actual directing career. You said you’ve been in the sex industry since ’83, but you’ve only been in adult since ’94, if I’m not mistaken.
MM: Yes, since ’94.
TS: You began by directing CD-ROMs. Did you also start performing at that time or did that come a little bit later?
MM: I started performing in ’94. I came in as a performer. I came in at 30 and I was the oldest girl around, with the exception of maybe Nina [Hartley], who was maybe my age or thereabouts. Nobody else in my age group was performing. I felt that I wasn’t going to have a very long shelf life, so what I did was start directing right away. The first thing I did was a solo movie of all things. [laughs] It was the first thing I ever did, which was for a very experimental company. Why I did it was because it was the first interactive movie to come out. It came with a CD and you could call on the phone and talk to somebody who talked you through the scene, so it was kind of phone sex meet video. It was a great concept and the company who put the money up to do it was doing an experiment, believe it or not, to save children. That’s what the concept was originally for, but they had no way to experiment with whether it would work or not to raise money so they could get it out on a national level. This was the cheapest way for them to implement a test and that’s how that came about. After that, I directed quite a few movies. I was the first sole director for the Spice Channel. I did a shit load of stuff and the first thing I did for them was people fucking in a hot air balloon, and that was fun. Then I did some CD-ROM games, which was a blast, but I wrote more of those than I did anything else. I did direct some of them and I was in some of them as well.
TS: You also won a lot of awards for a lot of those CD-ROMs.
MM: Yeah, well, because they were innovative [and] there weren’t a lot of people making them at the time. It’s not like I was competing with ten thousand movies coming out. [laughs] I was competing with four or five things, [but] we did really good stuff and fun stuff. I was very lucky. I’ve had a great, fun career, but I’ve always diversified and I’ve always tried to make it challenging, so that I didn’t get bored here. I love it here and I love the people here, so I wanted to stay, just maybe not in front of the camera. For twelve years I got out from being in front of the camera, but that’s because for those twelve years nobody wanted my sorry old ass in front of it.
TS: You’re being too hard on yourself.
MM: No, it’s not that. It was the times. It was the fad of the times. Everybody was young and everybody was doing anal. I wasn’t young and I didn’t do anal, so I had no place in front of the camera. But, I had a very, very great career behind, so I don’t have any regrets.
TS: So, what are some of the personal goals you strive for when you do get behind the camera? Do you prefer to push boundaries or are you more concerned with the aesthetic overall look when you direct your films, or do you have to try to find a balance between the two?
MM: It depends on who my client is. I’m definitely on my knees for the client – always. I wasn’t always like that, which is why I didn’t get to do any more S&M movies. I definitely pushed boundaries that, at the time, were bad, bad, boundaries. [laughs] I wish someone would let me do another S&M movie because I think now I definitely could find that balance where I’m not necessarily pushing the envelope. I’m not done with it yet, but I’m doing a fetish short for the Fetish Film Festival. For me, I’ve always been a very dominant person in a lot of ways and that shows when I direct. I’m not that much of a control freak. I mean, if my crew has suggestions, I totally take them, you know? I do walk in knowing what I want and I try to hire the people that give me what I want. My first thing when I direct is visual. I want it to be visually appealing, but I think I concentrate too much on lighting at times because I’m a product of the early ’90s when we had such horrible lighting. [laughs] I think that’s one of the things that sticks in my craw is that the lighting has to be good. It can’t be flat. It can’t be boring. It can’t be glaring on the skin and it can’t be too dark. Nighttime is not blue. It’s the one thing I learned from the whole ’90s Silk Stalking lighting: fucking night is not blue, damn it! Stop with the blue gel. It kills me! [laughs]
TS: I wanted to ask you this because all of us have good days and bad days with everything, right? And I know you worked with people like Nica, and we’ve talked about that whole approach to making it real and raw. With Nica especially, she doesn’t like to cut or do loops or anything like that. So, as a director, how do you deal in a medium where it has to be real and authentic, but maybe the performers just don’t quite have it on a particular day? How do you kind of fake it, but try to make it real? How do you balance that? I’m really curious.
MM: Oh, it’s the worst. It’s really hard in this little sub-genre of girl-girl that I’ve been directing for Dan for Girlfriends, and it’s really tough because it’s so obvious when girls don’t have chemistry together. I like to use my regular girls, but I can’t put them in every fucking movie, so I have to go outside the box and pick these other girls. You try to pick girls that you think are going to be great. For instance, Dan makes a couple suggestions [and] I make a couple suggestions and we try to find this happy medium where it works together, but not all the girls do well together. Unless you have one main aggressive girl who can make that scene work regardless, you’re screwed. That was the case and has been the case in the past and there’s no doubt about it that anyone who watched any of my movies, or anyone’s movies for that matter, can see when there’s no chemistry at all. I’ve done scenes where I had no chemistry with the girl I was with and actually loathed her, and people have told me it’s one of the best scenes I ever did. [They said], ‘Oh, my God! I love that scene’ and that really is a testament to the type of performer that I am, but I don’t always get me in front of the camera. [laughs] It’s really frustrating for me because I’m the first one to go, ‘Dude, you don’t fucking like sex! Get out! I can’t stand watching you fuck!’ I do refer to quite a few of the performers as watching them fuck is like watching paint dry. It’s worse. It’s worse than that. It’s so frustrating because it’s something that should come so natural, something that could be so beautiful and they pervert it into something so ugly. You could ask any of the directors. It’s why most of the directors in the ’90s, and I could say this for a fact, took a fucking nap while we were shooting because there was nothing worth watching. People were a bunch of automatons going through and just fucking. And now, I would say a good half of the industry should not be here after watching them fuck. I’ve had people go, ‘Oh, you should see what I do.’ I’ll watch it and I’ll be like, ‘How do I respond to this?’ You could definitely say anything you want: the scripts are bad, the acting is bad – you could say anything you want, but at the end of the day it’s a fuck film. If the people aren’t fucking and fucking well, then why am I here? You can’t teach people how to fuck and that’s what it really comes down to: you can’t teach people how to fuck. I can teach somebody to say dialogue better. I can tell people what side of the camera to walk in on. I can do the lighting beautifully. I can do all of that, but at the end of the day, I can’t teach you how to fuck. And there’s no two ways about it. I can’t teach someone sensuality or sexuality. I can put two bodies together and just go at it, which is what happens, you know, and it’s sad. I’m sure it’s sad for other directors too, but it’s really sad for me.
MM: I try to do some fancier camera work and then hope the editor gets it and says, ‘Oh, God! This scene sucks.’ But, the problem, not so much with Kathryn Annelle because her editor does more quick cuts, but with Girlfriends and Sweetheart [Video] is they like longer shots. So, if there’s no chemistry in the room when they’re filming it, you won’t see any chemistry on screen. It just is what it is. When you go out and find a sex partner, you still have a 50/50 chance that that person is going to suck ass. Even if you’re making out with them and they’re great [at] kissing, once you get down to the brass tacks, maybe he’ll cum too quick. [Maybe] she doesn’t cum at all. You don’t know what you’re going to get. It’s always a mixed bag and I think that’s what’s great about what they do because, regardless of anything else, it’s real. [laughs] Sometimes we just don’t have chemistry with each other, period.
TS: Let me ask you a little bit about who you would look at as an influence. I remember reading somewhere that you really like John Leslie as one of your big influences.
MM: I love John Leslie.
TS: And I know you’re a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles, so I wanted to ask you specifically about those last two because you mentioned how one of the films you did was inspired by Clive Barker, so can you actually take elements of someone like a Hitchcock or an Orson Welles and incorporate that into your directing style or is that really impossible considering the type of movies they did?
MM: Absolutely. I used elements of The Rope, which is one of my favorite Hitchcock movies. I used that in a Wicked movie. I’m a huge fan of Akira Kurosawa, so I used Rashomon. I think Wicked called it Lies. I mean, it’s not Rashomon, but it’s inspired by Rashomon. I do that all the time. I’m greatly influenced by so many of the wonderful directors and writers. Listen, I love [Aldous] Huxley, so for me I’d love to do Brave New World even though, for the most part, I think Brad Armstrong did that already. Probably more than once he was influenced by Huxley. It just depends on who’s writing [and] who’s directing. I wrote a phenomenal script and unfortunately the director who took it had no idea of the concept and just could not follow through. Now, had they been a conspiracy theorist, or even a big lover of any literature, they might have grasped it, but they couldn’t. I take from Shakespeare. I take from everywhere. Like I said, I’m a big Akira Kurosawa fan, so for me the ultimate would be doing Ran. Shakespeare did it first, but I love the way that Akira Kurosawa got that story out and I would love to do something on that kind of a grand scale. At the same time, I think when you make a porno that grand everything else gets lost because you’re just so busy with the action and the race cars and the “this” and the “that”. I’ve worked on huge budget pornos and the sex becomes secondary to the director. You can’t help it because you’re finally getting to do something different. Your heart and your mind and your soul go into doing all those elements that you didn’t get to play with before. And you can’t blame them.
TS: Are there concepts that you’ve had that you think are, for lack of a better term, too smart to be put into porn form? Is that a wall you have come up against occasionally?
MM: Absolutely, at times. It’s not so much that the concept is too intelligent. What happens is some concepts just don’t relate well to porn. I have this fascination with death and I always have. I think there are a lot of people out there who have a fascination with death, but you have to be very careful how you approach it because death and porn are not really such a great mix unless you’re doing it like Ghost, which is fine. [laughs] I’m dark, so for me that becomes a big problem. I love all dystopian kinds of stuff and I would love to do a version of The Road, but cannibalism and porn? Once again, not really a great concept together, you know? [laughs] So, it just depends. I would love to do Naked Lunch, but we can’t do drugs, and how can you do Naked Lunch without drugs? [laughs] It’s all these things. It’s all these concepts. Too intelligent is kind of a bad way to put it because too many things come into play. There are too many variables. I mean, am I going to do Ulysses anytime soon? No. That would be a little too intelligent. Even just trying to do The Odyssey. [laughs]
TS: Wasn’t [Ulysses] that James Joyce book that took place in a single day?
MM: Yeah, but it bounces around and it jumps around and there are a lot of characters. It’s one of those impossible books. It’s not impossible, but you would need a huge budget to do something like that. At the same time, I don’t know too many intelligentsia who could only read the book once. We all have read the book, though you either read the book once and you go, ‘What the fuck was that!? I’m never going to touch that shit again’ or you go, ‘Oooh. I’ve got to read that book again.’ I read Foucault’s Pendulum and I’m probably one of the few people that actually enjoyed that book. Would I like to take concepts of that and put it into a film? Sure, but you can’t. It’s just not workable. It’s not workable to take any of Umberto Eco’s stuff and really do something with it. The Name of the Rose was brilliantly done as a movie, but that was some beaucoup buck-a-roos in that movie. [laughs] So, concept-wise you can have a great idea and try to do it and try to bring certain elements in from what you’ve read and what you’ve done and so on and so forth. I read very eclectic things and I read everyday pulp too. I love comic books and I take a lot of my stuff from the old EC comic books because I was a huge fan of Vampirella, which I have from years ago. The main story [is one] which I’ve been wanting to make into a movie, a softcore adventure movie or horror movie or whatever you want to call it. One of the concepts came from an old Night Gallery episode. The rest of the concepts come from Vampirella, which was an enormous influence on me as a child. I was a big H.P. Lovecraft fan growing up and Vampirella is all steeped in the Cthulhu mythos and, you know, another reason why I love Metallica! Everything comes in its form and goes in some sort of trajectory. Even though mine goes on tangents and all over the place, it actually has some kind of a rhythm. [laughs]
TS: Let me ask you a little bit about your writing angle too. I know you’ve done one documentary at least. Porn, It’s a Living is what it was called. I know you did a screenplay that was a comedy. I could not find the name of it anywhere, but it was nominated for a Best Screenplay in ’97.
MM: That was probably the Rainwoman script. One of my friends jumped in and had a little role and he got nominated. It was hysterical. His name was Addle Pate. The best part was that him and I were the only ones on set that knew what that meant, so we were kind of having fun with it. The whole movie is really kind of silly, but beyond silly. We built little model sets that were really cheesy-looking and we destroyed them like Godzilla destroys stuff, but with water. We just had fun. We had a lot of fun and I was very lucky back then. I was able to do a lot of fun stuff.
TS: You also wrote The Jeffersons parody back in 2009.
MM: I did. And Taxi just came out.
TS: I used to watch shows like that when I was younger and I wanted to ask you if it’s a lot harder to tackle a porn parody that is about a very endearing show.
MM: No, it’s easier to do it. [laughs] It’s much easier to do, especially a show that I watched. I used to watch The Jeffersons. I knew the characters, so writing for those characters was super-easy. The only thing that was rough was that, for instance, I wrote a kick-ass scene in The Jeffersons that I had to completely change because the girls refused to work with each other.
TS: That’s disappointing.
MM: I had to change the scene and then I had to change it a second time because the other set of girls wouldn’t work with each other either. The scene was phenomenal and it was exactly what the fans would have wanted to see, and I couldn’t do it because the girls didn’t like each other. This becomes an issue. I wrote the Taxi parody [and] I’ve written quite a few parodies that did well numbers-wise, and then I’ve also written take-offs on movies like Always and a couple other ones. Always did very well for Francois, when he did it for Sin City. One of my favorites was…oh, God, now I won’t remember the name of it…oh…Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor…
TS: Shoot, I can’t remember it either.
MM: …a comedy…the script that I wrote for that was great. I liked it so much. I’ve actually had people read the script since the movie was done and the script is phenomenal. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the budget to do the costume changes and 90% of that movie was how cool the costumes and the locations and everything were. But, you just have to walk away because in reality you’re not writing Gone With the Wind, so you’ve got to walk away and let it go on its own. If it does well, it does and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’ve been nominated for a shit load of stuff, art directing and writing and acting and all that, and I’ve never won an award. But, considering that, you guys, AEBN, last year, the only boy-girl feature I did all year was your top-selling feature. I’m in two of the four scenes, so it’s not like they weren’t watching for me and that was huge for me. I got nominated Best Actress and at AVN for the only boy-girl feature I did all year, so I guess I’m doing something right. I may not be doing it right enough to win, or to get into the Hall Of Fame or whatever it takes or whatever it is, but I’m doing something right considering I did maybe a dozen movies last year. I’ll be nominated this year too. I know I will, at least for best girl-girl scene with Justine Joli in River Rock [Women's Prison] because if I don’t then there are a bunch of blind people out there, or they just think I’m too fat – one or the other. [laughs]
TS: Let me come back to that scene in a second because I remember she was one of the people you had really, really wanted to work with. Back to the acknowledgement point you were making a second ago. I admitted to you already that I knew you were very, very involved in the industry, but I didn’t realize the extent of all the stuff you had done until I started doing my research. Do you wish you were more recognized for all those things or do you like sort of flying under the radar or being out of the limelight?
MM: It varies. For instance, I was on the red carpet for AVN last year and I walked out and people were like, ‘Oh, are you somebody?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m up for Best Actress’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, really? You are?’ So, there are times like that that I do wish I was a little bit recognized, at least in my own little circle of life. But, I do love the anonymity when I go out with my family or with my friends or in my own neighborhood. You know, I’ve been living in the same place for 16 years. Ninety percent of the people who know me know what I do and know who I am. I’m just comfortable with the fact they have the knowledge, so I don’t have to deal with gossip and all the bullshit, but I’m not so in their face that they’re like, ‘I saw you sucking dick last night.’ I don’t get that and I’m fine with that. So, I do like flying under the radar, but there are times when I get these little pangs of, ‘What do you mean you don’t know who I am!?’
TS: Did they really ask the question, ‘Are you somebody?’ Was that exactly how they phrased it?
MM: Yeah, they did. They actually asked me that.
TS: Wow. That’s awful. I mean, you’ve got to figure if you’re at a big awards ceremony…
MM: It was really tactless, but at the same time, when you’re getting inundated with thousands of people walking past and they were given this assignment and they don’t watch porn and they don’t know who anybody is…you know? At the same time, I walked down the red carpet and there were people that were, ‘Oh, my God! It’s Melissa Monet! Oh, my God, I love you!’ So, you get a little bit of that and you get people going, ‘Who’s the old broad?’ [laughs] It’s just the dichotomy of different people from different walks of life. Some people know who you are. Some people don’t. Listen, there were people out there who don’t know who the fuck Stephen Hawking is. Shame on them, but they don’t.
TS: Yeah. I don’t know how.
MM: There are people who don’t even know the name of our president, which I couldn’t even imagine that’s possible these days, but those people are there and you know it. All you have to do is watch Jaywalking and you know how stupid a lot of people are, so I can’t take too much offense. I try to take it with a grain of salt, but every once in awhile, I’m in my own circle of people and they’re like, ‘I’ve never heard of you’ and I’m like, ‘How could you never have heard of me!?’ The worst though, I have to say the absolute worst, is when I first came back. I think it was the second scene I did. Thank God my very first scene was phenomenal and was really an affirmation that I should come back because my second scene, if that was the first, I wouldn’t have gone in front of the camera. It was for a company that I’ve since worked for and they were delightful to work for, but this scummy director and the absolute bottom-dwelling actor that he had come in… the guy was sweaty. He was gross. He was jerking off on the couch and left a huge sweat stain and he couldn’t get hard. He was in the bathroom for a half-hour before that and pretty much, within earshot, said, ‘How do you expect me to get hard when you give me fat old pigs like that to fuck?’
TS: You’ve got to be kidding me.
MM: I just turned around and said, ‘I’m not going to fuck him. I’m not going to do it.’ They said, ‘Well, you’ll never work in this town again.’ I said, ‘Really? Really?‘ I went, ‘You’re such an ass.’ I said, ‘As of right now, you are officially blacklisted and if you think that by little old me blacklisting you that it’s just going to be little old me, let me tell you, mother fucker, [I] never heard of you. [I] never saw you a day in my life and I will never see you again.’ And I walked out the door. It was horrible. I was there for five-and-a-half hours. I did a lot of work before this guy even walked in. I had to do twenty solos and it was awful. In my sixteen years in this business, it was the worst experience I ever had.
TS: That’s horrible. I can’t believe people do that kind of crap.
MM: It is horrible and it’s because we, as professionals, are great, but then the fringe people are scum. There are some good fringe people and there are some scummy professional people too, but for the most part, as a business, we’re a phenomenal business. We’re a tight-knit community and we prove it every day, but then we have these people that are from the outside or, like I said, people that don’t belong here. The girls that go on Twitter, now that we have an HIV scare again, that go on Twitter and start going, ‘Well, that’s what you get for fucking a gay guy.’ No, that’s not what you get for fucking a gay guy. That’s what you get for not asking for a clean test when you’re doing an anal cream pie, you dumb fuck! That’s what you get! That’s what you get for not looking at the test. That’s what you get for not using this as a profession, but as your end-of-your-rope kind of business. I’m kind of fired up about this because it’s fresh and I’m kind of pissed off right now. All these stupid girls going on, and not just the girls, but the guys that are sitting there being so judgmental and not realizing it really could happen to any of us. They just need to chill. And we’re going to find out that it’s nothing anyway. We catch it so quickly and we’ve just got to chill.
TS: I agree. Well, let me switch to something you’re also fired up about that I know you wanted to talk about: animals. I know you have a dog of your own and I know you wanted to talk about the PSA you’re putting together with Julia Ann, so tell me a little about that.
MM: I’m doing a PSA for Animal Rescue through Girlfriends Films. Dan is great [because] he saw what Julia and I do and he was like, ‘I think you guys should do this.’ He’s been wanting to do it for a long time. I guess it just never really came to fruition. The moment he said it to me, I’m like, ‘I’m gonna do it! I’m gonna run with it!’ We’re going to start shooting it November 9, and of course so many of the girls have rescue animals and they all want to be involved. I’m trying to get a couple of girls here [who have] actually been in retirement. I’m trying to coax one right now to come out because she only did girl-girl for the longest time and she has a lot of fans out there. Dan loves the idea. I’m trying to get a celebrity also, who is an open lesbian, who does rescue. I want to get her as well. So, we’re going to mix it up, but I’m really excited about this project. I wrote what I think is a nice PSA about adopting and fostering. I would like to do a couple of different ones. I might also do one on neutering your pet, although people just don’t get it. But, it’s not going to be one of those Sarah McLachlan things where the dog is dying or on the edge of the cage and we’re going past it, watching it pass its last breath. [laughs] It’s going to be more about the fact that these girls rescued these dogs, or in some cases, the dogs rescued them. We’re going to have a couple of kitty cats. Andy San Dimas and Zoe Voss are bringing their kitties and I’m trying to find someone with a herp, a snake or a lizard, which I would love to do because I’ve got a guy on Facebook that does rescue herps and I would love to show something of his plight. People don’t realize that you can get a snake that is already trained and is terrific, or an iguana that already goes to the bathroom in the litter box and does tricks and all kinds of stuff. You don’t have to go to a pet shop so they can still keep breeding these poor creatures just to put them down, or for them to die. It’s a horrible, horrible cycle.
TS: Well, it’s great that you’re doing something to help out like that.
MM: There was an actor in our industry who dumped his dog and when we found out, a couple of his friends told us at least where to find the dog. So, Julia and Lindsey Meadows and one of the guys who works with us, who is a big animal lover, went out and we put flyers out everywhere and all kinds of things and we found the dog. He dumped this puppy on the side of the railroad tracks because it wasn’t mean enough.
TS: That’s ridiculous.
MM: This scumbag piece of shit did this and then his stupid girlfriend started calling and threatening us. And he threatened Julia. It got really ugly for a while. I mean, really ugly. Then, of course, they said, ‘No, the dog got out. The gardener let him out.’ Really? You drove quite far away from your house, dumped the dog and we found the dog within a block of where you dumped it, so I don’t think the gardener let it out and led it to the railroad tracks. Good try. Good try to save yourself, you fucking piece of shit! Anyway, while we were doing this, we went to all the shelters because you never know who might pick up the dog and bring it to the shelter. She was a big dog. Lindsay Meadows ended up adopting dogs. The gentleman that was with us, he ended up adopting a Pit [Bull] and Julia and I went to East Valley Shelter and took twelve dogs. [laughs]
MM: Yes, twelve dogs! [laughs] All of which went to wonderful, wonderful homes. We were very lucky. We’ve also had quite a few other dogs come through here as fosters. They stay at Julia’s or I’ve had a few, and we find them homes and we get them adopted, give them medical care and we do all that. We have a great support system within the adult industry of tons and tons of animal lovers.
TS: That’s awesome.
MM: Oh, it’s beyond awesome. You don’t know how great it is when we have these little parties. We just had one for Julia’s birthday and half the people there were people who adopted dogs from us. One of our friends took two of our more difficult dogs and he loves them to death. He’s a director [and] producer in our business and he lives in D.C. He took two of our dogs and he loves them and he sends us all these great pictures of them lying in the sun, hanging out, doing this, playing, eating… it’s like, okay, we don’t need any pictures of the dog taking a shit. We get it! [laughs] But, it’s such a wonderful, fulfilling feeling and right now Julia has one dog at her house that is scared to death of people. She’s getting better, but we’re pretty sure she’s not going anywhere. She’s going to be one of our long-term babies. [laughs] Sometimes we take on dogs that are really special needs and Julia Ann is amazing. She’s paid for some of these dogs that were completely feral to be trained. I mean, it’s very expensive. Tens of thousands of dollars go to rescuing these dogs. She’s amazing.
TS: I could probably go on and on forever, but I wanted to ask one more question about what you have coming up on your slate as far as directing or acting that people should keep their eyes peeled for.
MM: Well, I’m doing a scene either tomorrow or Saturday because one is a dialogue day and one is a scene day, for Nica, for Sweetheart. It’s a girl-girl scene, but I don’t know who my co-star is yet. I’m doing a scene next week for Girlfriends with Asa Akira, which I’m real excited about because I just directed her in a scene and she’s phenomenal. Then, I’m directing the PSA for Girlfriends and then I’m doing a movie called Strays, which kind of ties in the whole animal rescue thing for Girlfriends as well. Right now, I’m supposed to be art directing and wardrobing a movie for James Avalon, but I don’t know because his dates might fall into the same time that I’m directing, so I’m not sure about that one. I’d be really excited [to do that one] because James Avalon and I work so well together and we have so much fun. We’ve done some great, great shows together and I’m really excited to be working with him again. Oh, and I’m writing a script that I’m hoping Kathryn Annelle will do, but I don’t know.
TS: Where are the best places people can find you? I know you’re on MySpace. Are there any other links?
MM: No, I don’t have a website and I don’t do any of that, but they can always find me on the girl-girl forums. I’m on Girlfriends, I’m on Sweetheart and I’m on the Lezlove Forum. Do you guys have a forum?
TS: We have xPeeps, which is a social networking site.
MM: Oh, no, no because I type ninety words per minute, so it’s easy for me to go on the forums. I don’t have time for [social networking].
TS: I wish I could stay a lot longer, but I know you’ve got a lot of stuff to do. I’ve got so many other things I could ask you.
MM: The only thing I have to do today is do my manicure and pedicure for my scene tomorrow. Whenever I’m shooting, I do a Zen kind of day for pampering. It’s so weird, but for me it’s part of the ritual of getting into fucking. [laughs]
TS: [laughs] I really appreciate your time. Sorry I goofed on the time we were supposed to chat.
MM: No, this worked out even better, so it’s great. Thank you.
TS: You’re very welcome and I wish you the best of luck with the movie. I hope it does super-well and I hope the rest of your career does well. I’m sure I’ll be seeing you in other films, doing some reviews and stuff down the road.
MM: Well, thank you very much. I hope you don’t go blind. [laughs]
TS: [laughs] I haven’t in four years, so I’m doing okay so far.
MM: Oh, good. So, the religious right has been wrong all this time. No, but thank you very much. Your questions have been really terrific. Usually you get asked the same old shit all the time and it’s nice and it’s refreshing to be asked about things a little bit outside of the box. It’s really nice. Obviously, I didn’t have to explain all my references. That’s even better.
TS: That’s one of the reasons I was looking forward to talking to you is because you’re a really smart woman and I really enjoy talking to intelligent people. There are a lot of things you can talk about that go outside, ‘How long have you been in porn?’ you know? Those are so ridiculous. You should know that as an interviewer going in how long they’ve been in porn.
MM: Yeah. You obviously did enough to know that I love The Great and Secret Show and that I’m a Hitchcock fan and Orson Welles fan and stuff, which is something that no one brings up.
TS: I would have loved to have talked Star Wars or anything like that too, but it would have to be a marathon interview and I know you don’t have time for that.
MM: I have the time, but I don’t know if you have the space.
TS: [laughs] I don’t even know if my recording software can handle these massive interviews that I like to do. It’s ridiculous.
TS: I will keep that in mind. I really, really appreciate your time and I can’t thank you enough for taking time out.
MM: No, thank you. It’s been delightful talking to you and honestly I just looked at my clock to look at how much time had gone by and I don’t feel like it did at all, so it’s lovely. Thank you so much for letting me babble on.
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