CHATSWORTH, Calif.—The first time James Deen won AVN's Male Performer of the Year trophy, in 2009, he pulled a highly memorable disappearing act, leaving then girlfriend Joanna Angel to run up to the podium and bewilderedly accept on his behalf.
As he later confessed, James had intentionally gone and hid when the category came up, due to the crippling case of stagefright from which he suffers.
This time around he was determined, should his name get called again, to face his fear and make that terrifying trek onstage. And that he did. More or less. Making for yet another, arguably even more unforgettable AVN Awards moment, James accepted his second Male Performer of the Year award with his back to the audience. At least until he managed to solicit a bumrush of moral support from performer/director Tim Von Swine, who zealously milked the opportunity to bask in the limelight beside him for a few seconds.
James insists his away-facing speech was not premeditated. "I had no plan," he told AVN. "As I was walking up the stairs my heart started to beat so fast I thought I was going to pass out. I honestly didn't even think about what I was doing."
It's long been a conundrum for many why James is so petrified to so much as stand before a large group of people, even fully clothed, but has no problem stripping completely naked in front of a few. According to him, that's not quite an accurate assessment of the matter.
"It isn't the group of people or the clothing," he said. "I still get nervous before every scene, I just have the added assistance of a co-star to share the screen with. On the stage it is just all me."
Asked whether he thought it would be easier for him to accept awards if he could do it naked, he replied, "I think it would. I feel like it would add comedy to the situation and I could use that as a defense mechanism."
Whatever his method of acceptance, the fact that James Deen has now been named AVN's Male Performer of the Year twice and is still under the age of 30 is nothing short of staggering. With the majority of his life yet lying ahead of him, what more does the Boy Wonder hope to accomplish?
"I think the idea of winning it multiple years in a row would be cool," he mused. "I like the idea of being the youngest person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. There are a lot of awards I could win that could be considered major accomplishments. To me, though, as long as I am still able to perform and create adult films, I will consider myself a success."
Photo by Nate "Igor" Smith/DrivenByBoredom.com.