For Evan Stone, good things came in threes at this year’s AVN Awards. Not only did the veteran porn star enter the AVN Hall of Fame; he also earned two awards—for Male Performer of the Year and Best Supporting Actor.
And three also marks the number of times Stone has been named Male Performer of the Year. That lets him into an exclusive group with two other members: Manuel Ferrara (2005, 2006, 2010) and Lexington Steele (2000, 2002, 2003). Stone’s previous wins were in 2001 and 2008, the latter of which garnered him a Rolex. (“I already got my retirement watch early in the game,” he jokes.)
Porn stars are sometimes described as sexual athletes, and one can point to Stone as a paragon of that type. Seeing him at an adult industry party is like watching the football captain at the homecoming dance. Guys and girls alike want to hang with him, to bask in the warmth of his sheer energy. Aside from that, there’s also his easy charm and down-to-earth, working-guy appeal. Because truly, Stone knows what it means to work.
“I had every job you could imagine,” Stone says, who grew up in Dallas as the adopted son of a fireman who also ran a signmaking business. His most lucrative position was doing phone collections, he says—the last “real job” he had before a 10-year stint as a male stripper and exotic dancer.
“But before that,” Stone recollects, “I worked at a slaughterhouse, I worked on the kill floor, I worked fork lifts for Pepsi-Cola ... gas station attendant, auto mechanic. Yeah, I was an auto mechanic, too; that job sucked. Out there in the Texas heat, under a car, smashing your hands all up.”
His favorite gig, “other than porno,” was also in Texas: “I worked at Medieval Times when I was in Dallas. Riding Andalusian stallions. … It's just the best job ever.”
Now he’s doing something he seems to enjoy so much it almost can’t be called work. But he certainly doesn’t slack off. Stone was in so many big features this year, he was almost guaranteed to celebrate a win sometime during the evening. He completely embraced the role of the Riddler in Axel Braun’s Batman XXX, for which he won Best Supporting Actor, but he was also seen in This Ain’t Avatar, which won for Best 3D Release, and Big Lebowski: A XXX Parody, which earned Tom Byron a Best Actor nod. (“That was such a great movie ... I was watching them work—it was cool, it was just like watching television. Because everyone was just nailing their part.”) And he was seen in several other nominated movies, including A-Team: A XXX Parody, Alice, Devil in Miss Jones: The Resurrection and Rawhide II: Dirty Deeds. (“That was the only movie I ever begged to be in,” said Stone, who was in the first Rawhide.)
After 11 years in the business, there’s little that Stone doesn’t know about shooting porn. He sat down with AVN to share a little of that accumulated knowledge.
Out of a really big year, what movie did you enjoy making the most?
Wow, every day's so much fun, I really can't say the most fun. Every day is an adventure and fun—they would all have to be the best one. ... I don't care if it's one scene, I'm going to try to make it the best I can make it. I'll do everything in my power to help the whole movie look good, not just my part.
What's the most strenuous thing you did?
I would have to say this movie we did with Axel [Braun]: This Ain't Ghostbusters [which wrapped in early 2011]. A lot of technical stuff, a lot of green screen, and we're shooting in 3D. And 3D, it really takes three times as long. ... But I do think it's the new generation of what's going to come out—porn in 3D.
“I believe the video game market will get 3D into the homes before porno does. But everybody knows these kids, who are 16, 17, are going to be 18 soon and be able to get porn on their televisions, and that will be the market that we will have soon.
You’re so physical as a performer. What kind of sports do you do?
I played football in college and got hurt, and I really don't watch sports anymore—that was kinda it. So even to go to a professional game, it's not my thing. If work's come up rather than going to a professional game, I've gone to work instead.
What I do every morning is take my dog—it used to be dogs—and we go out here to Rocky Peak. I get up at 4 in the morning, it's old Army training, so I'm up there as the sun's coming up, and I run my dog—it's a good hour, hour and a half of running—and I look over the whole valley. So that by the time I get to work I've already climbed a mountain, and everything is downhill from there.
What kind of roles do you like the best? What do you really seek out?
Before, when I had long hair, I was always playing the bad guy. Or I was the detective, the guy with the long hair. Or the doctor who's a specialist. ... But since I cut my hair for Star Trek, then right off the bat I played three pilots in three movies. Then I got to play the real cop, then the real detective, then the real attorney, and these are all the parts I couldn't play before, so really, it was like a reinventing of the career.
Are you planning on keeping your hair short for now?
Well, every time I think about growing it out, someone says, “Hey, I need you to play …” The next that came up was the Riddler, and then I had to grow it long enough so they could perm it to do Ghostbusters, and now they're going to cut it again because I'm playing Electro. And they've changed the color of my hair so many times that now I don't even know what color my hair is.
What haven't you done that you'd like to do?
Apocalypse Now! [Laughter, then a pause.] Well, you know, I always love to do a Western. ... I'd love to do more westerns, like a Clint Eastwood one.
You hardly do anything for Elegant Angel, Evil Angel. Do you prefer doing features?
They've never called me. Before, I saw them at the parties and stuff, I had long hair ... it’s just not the look, what they're looking for. ... I mean, I would work for them. I don't know why it just never happened. ...
Tom Byron asked me, “How come you don't do gonzo?” And I said, “No one ever asked me.” He said, “I'm doing a gonzo—I won't have you there all day, and I'll pay you this.” And I said, “It's a little bit less, but yeah, I'll do it,” and it was great.
What advice do you have for girls getting into the business?
Don't be in such a big hurry to get an agent. A lot of girls have made it being free agents. And unless you don't have a car and no transportation or are totally incapable of taking care of yourself, like getting your nails done or getting a health test, then stay away from agencies until—forever. ... [Pauses] I'm going to get a phone call from every agent: “Why don't you like us?”
I'm the only guy—and I've been the only guy—who doesn't have an agent. Don't have one, never had one. Every male talent has one. Every single one of them. ...
It doesn't take long to know everybody. But I've had problems where [a production company] just looked at the [agency] websites and people say, “Let's pick him.” ... So, it's probably cost me work for that very reason. But if I'm going to hire someone to answer my phone, I'm not going to pay them that much.
Do you like working behind the camera?
Oh yeah. Years ago I executive produced two big movies and paid for it all myself, made them and directed them. But I spent so much time trying to get accounts receivable that you almost have to have a whole staff calling people all the time, trying to get your money from satellite broadcasts, international sales. And then I'd rather not do a job at all rather than feel like I'm getting fucked doing it. And back then distributors were just sending out your product and not telling you how many they were copying. … So the last one I did, I made it, edited it and just sold it flat out. And then I don't have to deal with all that other stuff.
And I just directed one for Hustler. Last month I did a TSA spoof, and I've got something coming up next month for them. It's just fun. I told them either I'm going to do a two-day movie and you guys pick the talent, or I'm going to make a five-day movie and I'll pick the talent. They were already booked up for five-day productions, so we did a two-day shoot. [Stone wrote and directed.] It makes it fun. That way I'm not just hiring my friends and getting calls from my friends: “How come you didn't put me in your movie?” It works out for them because that way they can just get a look they want for their company. ... I don't want my look on a two-day movie. I want my look on a five-day movie.
You've been through the good times and the bad times…how has it changed for you as a performer?
For me it hasn't changed a bit. … When I came in, I came in with a group of guys and there aren't that many of them left. The job itself is pretty cyclical—sometimes we have good years. When I first got in, it was awesome. People were shooting features, nothing but features. And then everybody was sick of features, and everybody went to gonzo. Nothing but gonzo. “Oh, you shoot features? It'll never happen.” And then we went back to features and some gonzo.
And then the parodies started, and that brought another generation. There were no DVD sales before, but people wanted the hard copy of Batman [XXX]—they wanted the physical copy. Before, with the internet, downloading to the hard drive, you just grab whatever you need. Now you need the physical copy; you put that with your comic books and all that fun stuff.
And that’s changed a lot too. ... Now that [companies] are getting some of that money back, they're putting more money into production and we're getting some better features out of it. Not to mention that because of the economy, we're shooting now in some much nicer places. Before it was, “I'll never have adult in my house.” Now it's, “Can you get someone out here to shoot? It's 18 bedrooms, 16-car garage.”
All those things are available, but now we're getting out of that, because we're shooting a lot more green screen and it's virtual reality—and pretty soon we'll all be cartoon characters, and I'll be going to work not for having sex but just to do voiceover for my cartoon character.
How long do you see yourself staying in porn?
I don't know—I, uh—when it stops being fun. Because when it becomes work, it’s gonna show. I don't care how good of an actor you are: If it's work and it shows, then people are going to see that and they're not going to want to hire you. And I've seen that; I've seen some of the guys who are doing this for a long time—I'm not going to say who they were—and then they just got tired of it. You can see it in their performance and then their attitude offstage, just around the crew and stuff. The energy you give out is the energy you give out, and if you're, like, “Wow, how long is this going to take; how much longer am I gonna be here; how many positions do you want?” it's kind of hard to make an exciting feature like that. Some directors are like that—not any that I work for—but they're just there for the paycheck, and it's reflected in your work. ...
I'll do this until the Democrats shut us down, or the Republicans, or whoever doesn't like us. Until somebody shuts us down. Until they throw the Constitution out the window.
Photograph: Evan Stone receiving Male Performer of the Year at the 2011 AVN Awards. Photograph courtesy Big Mike/EMMreport.com.