Jenna Jameson (2009)
Some of the people I’ve interviewed have only been tangentially connected to SF/fantasy/horror. Ex-pornstar Jenna Jameson is one of them, but as she was in a (not very good) movie about zombie strippers, called as you may guess, Zombie Strippers, we were given the chance to speak to her. (Read a review of the film here.)
She cried off our first interview as she had a cold, but when I finally got to speak to her (still with a cold) I found her to be an extremely charming, very sharp, and driven person.
From Death Ray 16.
Stripping Zombies Bare
Jenna Jameson is the world’s most famous porn star, or was, until she gave up sex on screen. Now she’s tootling about having fun. Words by Guy Haley.
Jenna Jameson is a household name, albeit in an under-the-counter kind of way. Put it like this, ask your mum who Jenna Jameson is, and she’ll not have a clue, but ask your youngish male mates the same, and chances are they’ll be frothing at the mouth.
Jameson has made millions from the porn industry. Being not only a consummate sex-star but also an astute businesswoman, she turned her early successes – she’s won more than 20 awards – into a thriving business named ClubJenna. She’s become something of a spokesperson for the adult industry, and is in the process of making a tentative crossover to the mainstream.
Her autobiography, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale, spent six weeks at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list in 2004. It detailed the painful tale of how Jenna Massoli trod a road of rape, drug abuse and unhappy marriages to become the star Jenna Jameson. Her latest non-adult film, Zombie Strippers, was out last month, in which she stars alongside horror fan favourite Robert Englund. Despite suffering from a cold, she spoke to us about nudity and flesh-eating when she came to the UK earlier this year.
Death Ray: I know that you retired recently from the adult film industry. Do you not just feel like retiring altogether?
Jenna Jameson: Well, you know, I sold my company two years ago for a great sum of money, so I definitely don’t need to work. But I took six months off and I felt like I was going crazy. I need to work, it’s in my blood, so now I just approach things on a level of whether or not they make me feel passionate. This movie is definitely fun and piqued my interest. I get a lot of offers to do movies where I’m the naked girl or I’m the stripper, or I’m the fling, or the girl running down the beach naked. This movie features me nude, but it definitely has some other things to offer. I thought that it was funny, I loved being a stripper that read Nietchze. I loved the fact that it took jabs a the political problems in the US. Those are the things that made me want to do it. I think people thought ‘yeah, it’s a natural transiition for Jenna to go into horror movies’, but to be honest I did it because I am really big horror movie fan.
DR: Do you read Nietzsche?
JJ: To be quite honest, I had never read Nietzsche, but I made sure that I did once I had got the role, I was like, ah, I better make sure that I’m well-versed.
DR: How did you find it?
JJ: I thought it was boring! Haha!
DR: You did the comic Shadowhunter this year too. What prompted you to do that?
JJ: I was approached by Virgin comics. I’d always been a comicbook fan, my brother collected Superman comics, and I was a big fan of Todd McFarlane, of Spawn, so when they came to me I was just like, ‘Ooh, this is going to be amazing.” It’s all my idea, you know. I came up with Shadowhunter, and the storyline, and interviewed all the artists, so it’s a labour of love. So I hope in the future we get to the point where gets made into a feature film.
DR: On the one hand you are incredibly feted, but on the other hand people are reluctant to be associated with you. Do you think that that’s hypocritical?
JJ: It really, really, really is. I run into it every single day. On the one hand, everybody wants to be associated with my work, because it’s controversial, because it brings the public eye, it’s going to sell their movie, it’s going to sell their club, or their tennis shoes or whatever, but they don’t necessarily want to be associated with me. It’s so weird, but it will get to the point where I do take over and dominate the world, it’s only matter of time!
DR: You already dominate the adult world…
JJ: Oh and there’s much more to come. I’m about to launch my denim collection, I’m taking over the fashion world, and I’m launching my reality show that’s going to document my leap from adult to mainstream, I’m launching a fragrance, I’m going to be producing a movie based on my book about my life… pretty much anything you can do, I’m doing.
DR: You’ve done quite a lot of other stuff, you have hosted the E! show, had roles on TV… do you feel lucky to have been able to do all these things?
JJ: I am lucky. I am offered things that no normal human being would ever be offered. You know, I cut my first single the day before yesterday, and I’ll be doing an album. It was something I never thought I’d do. I was out at a club last night and they played my track and it was just like woah! Surreal.
DR: You did the Oxford debating society didn’t you? And you won!
JJ: I did. I think that when I was approached to do it, it was one of the few times of my life that I felt scared, I felt intimidated. At the time my husband looked at me, and he was like, ‘Jenna, is there anybody that’s out there that knows more about pornography? You are pretty much an expert, why would you think that you couldn’t win a debate about it?’ And so, I was like, ‘Oh, okay! I guess you are right.’ So I went in and I won! I think it was by something like 437 to 2.
DR: What was your winning argument?
JJ: It was about the right to view pornography. I had a massively long dissertation, of course. But the bottom line is that we’re a free society and as long as we’re careful and we police the fact that there are young people that do look at the internet… It’s about being good parents. And on the other side: welcoming that sort of thing into out life. Porn is something that can better your life, you need to broaden your horizons and open your mind, it makes you a more complete person. I really think that people are ready to feel comfortable with their sexuality. I feel that I am the one to just lead them along a little bit. Put a little bridle on them and yank them away from their ashamed past. I think porn is a wonderful tool for couples that need a little spice in their life, and it’s great for women to explore their sexuality and not feel ashamed. I am the ultimate feminist, I believe in women taking back the control. Fuck men, and fuck the fact that they can have sex with anything they want and not makes them a playboy and if girls do it then they are a slut. No, no I don’t believe in that at all! So there!