LOS ANGELES - Wicked Pictures contract player Jessica Drake will make her directorial debut this week when cameras roll on the studio's new project, What Girls Like. Written by Drake, Girls marks the first of four titles the AVN award-winning starlet will direct for Wicked this year. Drake took a moment to speak about the project and to dispel any rumors that she is retiring from performing.
"I have been looking forward to this for a long time. I'm nervous, but not too nervous," Drake told AVN. "I feel comfortable."
Drake has embraced challenges throughout her career in the industry. The statuesque beauty thrives on new experiences and has utilized her reign at Wicked to learn the mechanics that go into producing the big-budget vehicles she often stars in. Drake served as assistant director on such notable epics as Brad Armstrong's Coming Home and wrote scripts for Just Between Us, Love Always, and Dating 101 amongst others.
"I realized the more I had to do with a movie the happier I was with the end result," Drake noted. "Wicked gave me the opportunity to have a lot of artistic and creative input on projects. I started doing art and set direction, wardrobe. I started writing two to three years ago and was an assistant director on many of Brad's titles. Brad really encouraged me to establish my name as a director."
Drake described her first directorial project as a collection of fictionalized confessionals designed to give viewers "insight into the type of sex a particular girl likes most."
"I chose What Girls Like because it's a vignette," explained Drake. "It's something I can definitely handle out of the gate. I won't feel overwhelmed. I'm truly going to do this on my own. I'm not going to have anyone there holding my hand."
Drake, however, is not abandoning performing. She scheduled a double penetration in Girls for herself and assures AVN there is more to come.
"I don't want fans to think that because I'm beginning to direct my movies it marks the transition toward my retirement," she stressed. "I happen to like to incorporate it all. I understand that I can't be in front of the camera forever. So, I might as well learn everything now rather than to reach the end of my career and go, ‘Oh my God! What am I going to do?' I'd rather explore all of my options while they're still options - before I'm maybe forced into picking one thing because of necessity."
Drake's d.p. is scheduled as the production's first scene of the day, something the starlet hopes not to lament. "I scheduled it first to get it out of way, but that will be a challenge for me because as soon as I have really great sex ... I'm a little bit slow," she quipped. "I'll be taking half an hour to recuperate!"
And, what if other performers need to catch a break? Will Drake's performer background benefit them?
"It might work as disadvantage because, if a chick walks in and says she has cramps, I'm gonna hand her a Midol and tell her to get to work," laughed Drake. "You might get more sympathy from me or you might not because I have been the girl that's done it outside in the rain by the beach on a rock in the middle of the night in the freezing cold! I've already done it so, if I can do it, you can do it!"
Making their own debuts for Wicked in Girls are newly signed performers Alektra Blue and Mikayla Mendez. "I am so excited to be shooting their first movie under contract," enthused Drake. "I have spoken to both in great length and already have more movie ideas for them."
Drake was quick to dismiss any notions of rivalry between her and roster-mate Stormy Daniels when asked about the inevitable comparisons that will rise amongst fans and critics.
"Stormy has done a lot to pave the way for female directors," said Drake. "She's definitely carved out her niche and excels in most everything, but particularly comedy. Operation Desert Stormy is a funny movie. I don't go as far comedic as that. My talent has been writing dramas. There's a place for everybody. Both of us know we want what's best for Wicked and what sells for Wicked."
Despite a few location and casting snafus, Drake is confident production on Girls will run smooth and she is already looking forward to future projects. "I really learned from the best," Drake acknowledged. "Being at Wicked, in general, allowed me to be around the best crews and best directors and, of course, working with Brad. He goes above and beyond what a lot of directors out there do. He is involved in every aspect of his productions no matter how small. I'm going take my cue from him."
Cast for What Girls Like also includes Brooke Belle, Sammie Rhodes, Michelle McClaren, and Jada Fire. Filming is this Wednesday and Thursday.
Drake will direct a minimum of six movies for Wicked in 2009.