LOS ANGELES—Vivid Entertainment started its casting process last Friday for The New Behind the Green Door, a remake of the landmark Golden Age adult film.
Both male and female talent packed Vivid's modern headquarters, nestled into the side of the Hollywood Hills on Cahuenga Boulevard, to audition in front of Vivid director of production Marci Hirsch, director Paul Thomas, production manager Shylar Cobi, Eli Cross, and a very special guest in McKenna Taylor, daughter of the late Marilyn Chambers, who famously starred in the Mitchell Brothers 1972 original Behind the Green Door.
Taylor, a 21-year-old college student, told AVN that Hirsch and P.T. contacted her godmother to see if she'd be willing to come in and help with the movie behind the scenes. Taylor, who had a very close relationship with her mother, is helping Vivid to cast the lead roles and even read with some of the performers who auditioned.
"I'm more than willing to do anything that has to do with my mom," Taylor said. "I thought the new version of the movie was cool when I heard about it. Whoever comes in and plays my mom's role has big shoes to fill. The movie really started my mom's career, so it was important to her as it is to me."
Taylor describes Chambers, who passed away in 2009, as a great mother with whom she was very close.
"Like many mother-daughter relationships, she was my best friend," she said. "My mom taught me everything I know about being a person. She never pressured me into knowing information about her, ever, until I wanted to. She knew it was kind of a weird subject. I knew about her career, though. I knew she acted, and I knew it was movies I couldn't see.
"When I became older and more knowledgable of what she was doing it was cooler and more interesting. My friends, when they would find out, it was so embarrassing, but I think at first, I thought it was cool that my mom was a legend; she went through the whole sexual revolution and it was very interesting to me."
Auditions kicked off with newcomer Veruca James; then came reigning AVN Best New Starlet Brooklyn Lee, who was one of the few who had seen the original film.
Nick Manning read for the male lead and added some levity to the room when he said, "I worked with your mom!" after being introduced to Taylor. Manning worked with Chambers in 2001's Edge Play from VCA Pictures.
Chambers, who debuted in Behind the Green Door and then enjoyed a comeback for three films with VCA in the late 1990s and early 2000s, was open with her daughter about what she did, Taylor said. She wasn't kept in the dark about her mother's profession.
"I have seen some of my mom's movies, yes," Taylor confessed. "She was very open with me. Whenever I wanted to know something, I asked, and that's when she spoke about it. But other than that, she was like 'Whatever you want to know …' I was really curious and when it came time for her that I wanted her to talk to me about it, who better to ask for advice when you're a teenage girl? She's Marilyn Chambers!"
Other female performers who auditioned for the lead role of Hope included Maddy O'Reilly, Allie Haze, Penny Pax, Jennifer Best, Siri, Christie Stevens, Teal Conrad, Karina White, Tasha Reign, Lilith LaVey, Bailey Blue, Alyssa Branch, Chastity Lynn, Zoey Monroe, Kiera King, Lilly Banks, Brandy Aniston, Vicki Chase, Dayna Vendetta, Ash Hollywood, Krissy Lynn and Nikita Von James.
Thomas, Cross and some of the male talent who came to audition for the male lead of Mitch ran lines with the girls. Male performers who auditioned included Rusty Nails, Sam Knight, Cash Hunter, Seth Gamble, Eric John and Ryan Driller.
"Hope is someone who could be Marilyn Chambers' daughter," Thomas said with a hint of irony, taking note of the fact that he himself was sitting next to Chambers' daughter. "Hope needs to be innocent."
Taylor agreed with Thomas and said she wasn't looking for someone exactly like her mother, but perhaps someone who reminded her of her.
"Today was really interesting," Taylor said. "I've never witnessed a casting before so to be on this end watching them and to read with them was fun. It's a little weird because I'm personally involved because my mom was in it so I'm going into it thinking 'Do I look for someone that looks like my mom, acts like my mom?' It's going to be really difficult because I was so close with my mom, but once I let things go, it was easy to look for someone who could act and had the right look. I had fun.
"Coming into today I know my mom, when she was in the industry in the ’70s when she did Behind the Green Door, she looked like she was right from the stork," Taylor said referring to Chambers' natural, freshly scrubbed look. "Completely cute, bobby hair, thin, small boobs. And I know that it's a lot different now. So I didn't come into this thinking I need someone who's thin, has small boobs, and looks like a cheerleader that wears no makeup. I know that likely wasn't going to happen. I was looking for that innocence because that's totally what my mom had."
Auditions for the lead roles continue today at Vivid HQ and Taylor is no less excited to see the callbacks where talent will re-read lines in addition to a new scene they'd been given after auditions.
"There are a few people that I would love to see [read] again," Taylor said. "Not only because of how they acted, but something about them stuck out a little bit. It's always my mom in the back of my head, especially when I'm doing something like this, so I kind of channel her 'Help me out here. What do you think?'"
Taylor said that she expects to visit the set when shooting commences in roughly a month. For her, the success of this movie is personal. So, McKenna—a tall, leggy blond with piercing blue eyes—would you be interested in appearing on-screen, even in a non-sex role?
"I'm not interested in going into the adult film industry, but it's definitely cool to say that my mom was Marilyn Chambers, and if there's anything I can do to further forward or protect her legacy, I will," she said.
Pictured above: McKenna Taylor