Bret Easton Ellis seeks porn star to headline sexual thriller 'The Canyons'

Bret-Easton-Ellis

Image Credit: Jeff Burton

Quick, go look in your phone contacts and text all the porn stars you know: Bret Easton Ellis wants YOU for his next film project!

Ellis (American Psycho, The Informers) announced via Twitter that his psycho-sexual thriller The Canyons, which documents “five twenty-somethings’ quest for power, love, sex and success in 2012 Hollywood,” is holding open auditions for four to five lead roles. The catch is that Ellis elegantly requires said leads “to act and be full frontal naked banging girls and guys realistically.”

At the top of the dream cast for the Paul Schrader-directed feature is porn star James Deen, whom Ellis is convinced is perfect to play the role of Christian, a “handsome, fit power player and major manipulator” who “enjoys setting up three-ways and filming them.” Deen, 26, was the 2009 Male Performer of the Year at the Adult Video News Awards, and has over 800 acting credits to his name, including (but not limited to) Breast Meat 3, Seduced by a Cougar 12, and The Joanna Angel Magical Threesome Adventure Experience (which was nominated for an AVN for Best DVD Extras). However, he has not yet made the transition to non-adult films.

This would not be the first time that an adult performer has attempted to engage in more mainstream entertainment endeavors. Jenna Jameson led the cast of Zombie Strippers! in 2008, but unsurprisingly, the movie didn’t exactly catch on with audiences. Traci Lords was still appearing in X-rated films when she landed a role in 1998’s Blade and a handful of guest spots on shows like Roseanne and Will & Grace. Sasha Grey notably appeared in the seventh season of Entourage as Vince’s porn star girlfriend, and she has a role in the upcoming Matthew Wilder drama Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story, based on the life of film legend Linda Lovelace, who herself has a storied history of trying to break into Hollywood after her 1972 film Deep Throat became a zeitgeist-quaking hit (although her successive projects were widely regarded as certified flops).

But where’s the success? Grey, who arguably has had the best chance of anyone with her turn on Entourage, was personally chosen by director Steven Soderbergh for his 2009 indie The Girlfriend Experience, but if Soderbergh and Ari Gold can’t bring an adult actress into the mainstream world, then who can? Perhaps Ellis, with his touch for gritty, heavily sexualized depictions of wholly-flawed characters, has exactly the right formula in mind to turn Deen into a success story.

PopWatchers, react! Can you see porn stars making their way into Hollywood from the San Fernando Valley (the porn capital of the world, and coincidentally, my hometown)? How does Ellis’s new project sound to you? Which of James Deen’s 879 IMDb acting credits speaks to you?

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