I caught up with what Johan Paulik and Lukas Ridgeston are up to these days. They are both still very involved in Bel Ami, the company that made them world-famous supermodels, but their work is focused more behind the scenes these days.
I first met the Bel Ami boys when GAYVN invited them to accept the Hall of Fame honors along with director George Duroy. It was their first trip to the United States and they were treated like rock stars. We hosted an intimate fundraiser brunch at our house in the Hollywood hills with a few celebrities and a priest and spent half the day chatting, and so far every time they've made it back to this part of the country, we get to see each other briefly. But even after the guys have gone on to military training, having relationships with girls and weaning themselves off the camera, Bel Ami remains one of the top producers of gay porn featuring handsome young men from Eastern Europe.
Of course, the new breed of Bel Ami is growing online at BelAmiOnline.com and viewers can read Johan's Journal, where he practices English on his personal blog (also available by going to JohansJournal.com). Johan is very much enjoying his roles as director and narrator of some of the latest titles, and is starting a new line, Johan's Journal, in which he coaxes young newcomers to take their clothes off and play around with other guys.
"There is no doubt about it, Johan plays a pivotal role in our backstage activities, but he is also spending a lot of time training some new guys to help him out with this kind of work, so you can probably expect in the future to see a few different faces taking on roles similar to Johan's," said Los Angeles-based Jody Burman, the director of Bel Ami's online marketing and business development. "Chatting to the models — and in fact anyone — is something that comes naturally to Johan, so he views it not so much as work but as an extension of his normal life. He's someone who can get almost anyone to open up and tell their life story."
And they do. Johan's Journal 2 is scheduled to come out in April and features models who are students, truck drivers, soccer enthusiasts — and they're all opening up to Johan.
In May, Sex Buddies will start a new line for the company, and in June, there's Graffiti 2, the sequel to the popular award-winning title. And Ridgeston will soon have his own line that rivals Johan's Journals.
"Lukas is now full time as a director working on his own line of movies. The first one, Intimate Liaisons, will be coming out very soon," Burman said. "It is a feature about a boy who steps through a mirror and is taken on a guided tour of his own sensuality and desires by his mirror image. It is really very well filmed and the lead roles are played by our identical twins Milo and Elijah Peters. The scenes are already released on BelAmiOnline and are proving to be quite a hit, especially as the twins don't mind getting a bit friendly with each other."
Director and company owner Duroy still pushes for intense intimacy among his guys, like in the GAYVN Award-nominated Lemonade and A+ 2 as well as upcoming titles like Love Affairs, in which Lukas lenses 10 beautiful lads on the coast of Cape Town, South Africa.
"Bel Ami has always remained true to George's main idea that love and sex between two guys can be a beautiful and erotic thing," Burman said. "Especially in these days when [many] movies involve some form of masochistic behavior... it is the dedication to this ideal and an equal dedication to the highest production values that keeps Bel Ami set apart from the rest."