WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.—Mainstream crossover sensation James Deen, for the first time, writes candidly about his experience filming The Canyons in an article for TheDailyBeast.com.
Deen's piece covers his first meeting with writer Bret Easton Ellis at the members-only Soho House in West Hollywood, Calif., to the wariness of director Paul Schrader over casting an adult actor, to his co-star Lindsay Lohan of whom he wants to "write nothing" but quickly acquiesces and praises her.
"I think Lindsay is amazing, and I don’t have a single negative thing to say about her," Deen said. "She added a level of exposure to this movie that my name alone could never have created. The message behind The Canyons was sure to get out."
What started out as a Twitter conversation, in which Deen thought Ellis' tweets to him were a typo, the two began chatting and the Hollywood gossip sites picked up on it—well before any offer was even put forth for Deen to act in the movie.
"I was being discussed because they felt my image and ideals embodied the principles they shared," Deen said. "My honesty and transparency in interviews, my choice of profession, and my mission statement about doing things for personal fulfillment before any secondary motivations correlated perfectly with their reasons for making the film. Bret couldn’t promise me a thing, and he never tried."
The final straw to being cast in the film was the director, Schrader. As Deen describes it, not only was Schrader cautious about using an adult actor as the lead role in a mainstream production, but his wife, Deen was told, "hates porn, hates sex, hates sexuality, hates The Canyons—hates, hates, hates."
However, after showing his wife a video of two actors auditioning for the part without revealing who they were, Schrader's wife picked Deen. That sealed the deal.
The Canyons will premiere early this summer on IFC with a day-and-date release both in theaters and on digital platforms.
"I have yet to see the film," Deen said. "I am waiting for it to be completed before I watch anything. My biggest fear is that I did not do a good job. I hope my acting did the film justice. I don’t care if people don’t take me seriously as an actor. I don’t mind being the butt of Paul Schrader’s jokes. I don’t mind being the odd one out at these weird Hollywood parties. I like when they try to make me feel awkward and then they end up looking foolish. I wanted to make this movie. I believe in the idea. Do things for yourself. Do them because you believe in them. I have been preaching that for years. It was nice to connect with two people who share my ideals, Bret Easton Ellis and [producer] Braxton Pope. I had so much fun working on this movie and hope I get the opportunity to create other films I can stand behind the same way I stand behind The Canyons."
To read the entire article, click here.