CHATSWORTH, Calif.—After six years away from sex on camera, AVN Hall of Famer Tabitha Stevens is back with a fury. And now for the first time she has placed herself directly into the hands of her fans—virtually, anyhow—with Third Degree Films' Total Interactive Control of Tabitha Stevens, produced by Tabitha herself and helmed by her husband, mainstream director Gary Orona.
AVN spoke one-on-one with Stevens about Interactive Control, her thoughts on returning to porn, and a few of the other projects she's had in the works. Our complete interview follows below:
AVN: Tell us what sets Total Interactive Control of Tabitha Stevens apart in the interactive genre.
Tabitha Stevens: First of all, our options are a little bit, I think, more intense than most. You have choices whether you want me to be romantic or dirty, so that's kind of crazy, and when we have the romantic sex, it's with a totally different look—it's more of a romantic setting, with a nice bed and everything like that. And then when I go into the dirty sex option, it's really a beat up, dirty room, it looks like it's a dirty mattress, I'm in really high-heel boots, my hair is crazy, dark makeup. So you get the feeling that you're going to have sex with a real dirty bitch.
AVN: So is it your husband you're working with in the production?
TS: No, this is a friend of ours. My husband directed the show, shot the show, he did pretty much everything else on the show. He did the menu system, everything. The quality of the show is awesome. It's high-def, we have a pyramid navigation system, so it's easier to navigate. I don't think anybody in our business has done that. So it's easy when you're in some place to go back to the root menu, so you don't have to watch the whole entire show; if you choose you want to stop, you stop. They're all 100 percent real cumshots. The production design, the value, the sets, everything is much different. I just think that we took a lot more time and caring into this project.
AVN: Compared to everything you've shot in the past, how was shooting this a different experience?
TS: Maybe because I was the producer on the show as well, I did the set design, I did my own hair and makeup, I did my own wardrobe, it made me more excited when doing the scene. As far as having the sex, yeah, it's a little bit tougher, though we did spread it out over a longer period of time. Where most studios would have, let's say, a week to do it, I had an unlimited amount of time to do this. So I didn't do everything all in like two days or two weeks—we spread it out over a month and a half. So this way, I did it the way I wanted to have it done. Recreating it was a little tough, because you know, you're looking for continuity, so we had to be really, really careful when we were lighting the set, when we would go back in and have everything shot. But the toughest part I think I had was the anal. And I'll say this to anybody, it's the truth: I'm not a great anal person. I know the fans like to see it, and that's why we put it in there. I'm just one of those people that, it's not my forte. The blowjob stuff is awesome. Seriously, if you guys don't like this blowjob ... it's just so dirty, and the way it just explodes over my entire face, and I just take it and rub it in on my face, it's just classic.
AVN: What made you decide to do an interactive in the first place?
TS: I've always wanted to do one. Through the years, Tera Patrick did one, my friend Devon did one, all these people are doing interactives, and nobody asked me to do an interactive. And I'm thinking, "OK, is there something wrong with me, that nobody wants me to do an interactive?" It was kind of weird. But of course I never went to everybody and said, "Hey, I want to do one." I just kind of kept it quiet and waited to see if maybe somebody would ask me to do it. And when I [got back into the business], the first thing I really wanted to do was shoot an interactive. I wanted to let my fans feel like they can have me in that way. Again, I could have asked, I'm sure, "Hey, could you put me in one?" but it's like a blessing in disguise, because my husband shot it, and my husband is amazing. He's HBO and Cinemax's top late-night producer for all their shows, so he knows what he's doing. You want to do something that you're going to be super, super proud of, and I'm really glad that I waited to do this project.
AVN: So how much stuff have you done since you got back in, and how much are you planning to do?
TS: I got back into the business I think somewhere around April, and it was one of those things that, I figured the MILF thing was big, and I thought, "OK, I have to be in that category because of my age—I'm 39 years old, they're probably going to put me in that category anyway," but it's been a little weird, I must say. I'm not going to lie about this. It's a little weird, because I don't feel like I look like what a typical MILF would look like. Of course, little wrinkles here and there, that's normal, but my body, I can keep up with the 20-year-olds as far as the way my body looks. So it's kind of weird when you see yourself in a MILF movie, I'm like, "Wait a second," like it doesn't seem right. So I've done, let's say, under a dozen movies. They've been MILF titles, and then there are a couple that I've done that haven't been, and I actually produced one for Cherry Boxxx Pictures, Tabitha Stevens' Sticky Wet Sex, which is out. That was a cool show, that was a lot of fun. Right now, I'm still shooting ... not as much, because I'm producing. My husband and I are shooting a bunch of shows and we're producing those, and you know, I'll jump in them, of course, but it's not that I have to be the star of everything. I like to produce it and come up with great ideas and cool stuff that I know the fans will like.
AVN: What do you think of the industry now compared to when you left it?
TS: I think it's a little different. The industry has changed. People are very nice—they were always very nice—but they don't seem as family-like as it was before. When you went on the set, everybody kind of knew everybody, and was happy to see each other. Not that people aren't happy to see each other, but it's kind of ... it seems a little bit foreign to me. I don't know if the respect is still there. Let's say Seka came on my set back in the day; you were like, "Holy crap, that's Seka!" I don't know if that's ... I think people are like, "Tabitha what? Yeah, I think I've heard of you." It's what it is. It's a little ego-crusher for a time because you worked so hard. Actually, I'm recognized more from doing Dr. 90210 and Howard Stern than I am in the adult business at this point. I can't go to a Chili's without people saying, "Hey, wait a minute, aren't you on ... " But that's kind of cool, because they help each other out, hand-in-hand. You need that, I think, to keep the name going. Now I've heard—this isn't my experience, I haven't seen this—but nowadays, people aren't really chipper to go to work. They just go, and they're like, "When am I going to be out of here? Oh, I have to do that scene? Oh, do I have to take it to the face? Oh, great." And that's not my attitude, that's not how I did my job back in the day. You didn't like those days when you had to work 'til 4 in the morning, and that's happened to pretty much all of us in the adult business. But you know what? That's our job, that's what we get paid for. So you go, you do the best job you can, you get your check at the end of the day, and you go home. It's a little different now from that. But I have to say, there are very nice girls that are in the business now, I've met quite a few, and they're attractive girls, too. It's more diverse, I think, than it was. Because when I was in, everybody had the big hair, the big tits, everything like that. Now it's different. It's kind of cool, because you do get all kinds of girls. Everybody has different tastes, so it's kind of cool.
AVN: Have you experienced anything on a set that has really surprised you?
TS: I worked for a couple of the internet companies—I worked for Naughty America once and I think Brazzers twice—and I will say the people there are very nice, they're very cool, but I just have to say that it almost seems like when you're working for internet companies, it's like a production line. It's not as relaxed as it would be on a regular set. Everything seems almost more like you're going to the doctor ... it's like a machine. I think the internet way is like a machine—they get you in, they get you out. I like the internet companies, but it's just different. Maybe it's because I'm a sociable person and I feel like you're more social when you're on a regular set. I don't know. It's a little different.
AVN: What kind of reactions have you been getting from industry people and fans to your return?
TS: Industry people, I don't know ... nobody really says too much! There's a couple of people I've worked with, like Cheyne Collins, who was like, "Wow, you look fantastic, you look better than you did before!" The same with the fans. I worked with Tom Byron on his Seasoned Players series, Seasoned Players 10 is the one, and it was cool to see Tom, because I hadn't seen him in a while, and I hadn't worked with him since 1995 or '96, something like that. It was a long time. But it was really cool, because he was like, "Wow, you look great! Your attitude's great. I hope everything goes well for you." He was really surprised how my attitude was and how good I looked. And he looks great too, you know, you look at Tom and you're like, "Wow, this guy's how old? And he can still do that?!" Dyanna Lauren, I saw her at a box cover shoot, when I was shooting the box for Total Interactive Control of Tabitha Stevens—I saw Dyanna Lauren and Raylene, and it was really cool to see them, because it's like a breath of fresh air in a way. Everybody looks good and is taking care of themselves, and that's pretty awesome.
Total Interactive Control of Tabitha Stevens is available now from Third Degree Films. Find more of Tabitha Stevens at www.tabithastevens.com.