LAS VEGAS—Introducing Sasha Grey for her delivery Friday afternoon of the official 2010 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo keynote address, director Tristan Taormino said of the wunderkind actress/directrix/musician/existentialist/fuck junkie/etc., "Sasha Grey follows in the footsteps of no one."
The statement served as Taormino's answer to the question bandied about among porn pundits since practically the first second Grey stepped foot onto a XXX set as to whether she might be the next Jenna Jameson. Assuring that she meant no disrespect to The Jenna by this, Taormino underscored the point with the question, "Who else do you know of who has worked with Academy Award winning director Steven Soderbergh and won the year's highest accolade for cock-sucking?"
With that, Grey took the podium and eloquently—albeit very raspily (with apologies for her travel-thrashed vocal cords)—orated for around 10 to 15 minutes about what she's learned in her nearly four years in the industry and where she hopes to help steer it over the course of the newly dawned decade.
Recounting her carefully self-researched entrance into the business, Grey emphatically advised that any woman thinking of following in her footsteps "does so of their own volition, and not at anyone's coercion."
She later related a word of advice she's long treasured from John Stagliano, given a week after he shot her in her very first scene for his Fashionistas Safado: The Challenge. "Hey kid," she said Stagliano offered, "don't let anyone burn you out. Do this on your own."
That's just what Grey has strived for steadfastly and unapologetically, charging herself from the outset—as she's reasserted many times and did again here—with almost a mission statement of sorts to make adult movies more erotic, more entertaining ... and less engendering of fast-foward button use.
"I think tonality is what's missing from today's adult films," she proposed. "If we make them more dynamic and more truly evocative of people's sexual fantasies, they won't fast-forward."
Invoking her oft-echoed refrain of how she viewed porn as an avenue to explore her more outre sexual curiosities safely with tested professionals, Grey noted that she has numerous fans both female and male who complain to her that they can't watch her movies because they consider them too "hard" for their taste. Because of this and her own evolving predilections toward the softer, more sensual side of sexuality, she said she will be aiming with her nascent production company Grey Art to create fare of that sensibility without abandoning her hard-edged image.
Something increasingly dwindling among the porn community, Grey professed, is the sense of solidarity that existed in the '70s and '80s.
"The cynic in me wants to say maybe that was a better time, almost like it was taken more seriously then," she lamented, adding that as the industry has grown and become more of a societal establishment, its producers have also grown apart. In order to power on into the coming years, she entreated, the community must band back together.
"It's a new decade for adult entertainment," Grey said. "Obviously, people want to watch adult films. It's accepted, but it's so easy to trash and villify. It's come a long way, but we have an opportunity to bring it even further, and then even further than that 10 years from now."
Sasha Grey is signing at the AVN booth (#4015) in the Sands Expo Center today and tomorrow beginning at noon.