Nowadays it is more common to hear stories of celebrities making adult film videos than it is to hear about ex adult entertainment stars making it as actors. Since the development of video cameras on phones and the ability to share video across the internet, it has become easier and easier to get hold of private video footage.
Nobody is safe, from English TV presenters such as to Hollywood actors such as Colin Farrell, the celebrity sex tape has become more and more common. Sex tapes are becoming less popular, but the unwitting pornographic photos are still as enticing as ever for hackers. Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lawrence and Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz have all become surprising victims to pornographic pictures.
But what about those that did it the other way round? What about those stars of the silver screen that began their acting careers in the adult film industry? There are a number of reasons why these movie stars tried out adult films first, like rent payment. Others, however, just wanted the spotlight, no matter with or without their cloths.
Here we look at 10 movie stars who got their foot, or whatever body part came first, through the door via their work on pornographic films/pictures.
10. David Duchovny
Duchovny began his career in a Lowenbrau beer commercial in 1987. From there came small roles in Working Girl and Twin Peaks, but it was in the early 90s that Duchovny got his first lead role as the narrator in the soft-core r-rated series, Red Shoe Diaries. Maybe this is why he is so comfortable with the steamy scenes he has been a part of as the lead in the TV series Californication. Not long after his role in Red Shoe Duchovny won the role of paranormal investigator on a little science fiction TV series called the X Files and was thrust into the limelight.
The irony is that Duchovny famously had to enter a rehabilitation facility in Arizona in 2008 for treatment for sex addiction after he was discovered to have been cheating on his then wife, Deep Impact actress Tea Leoni. The pair have since divorced. Not surprising, really.
9. Cameron Diaz
It’s hard to believe this squeaky clean actress, who has never done a nude scene in her Hollywood career, had anything to do with the adult entertainment industry. But at the tender age of 19, Diaz teamed up with another girl to shoot some S and M footage. The premise was to get some tasteful nude pictures for her portfolio, and the camera was rolling as a backup in case the pictures didn’t work. All this just two years before she was cast alongside Jim Carrey in the 90s smash hit comedy The Mask and become a Hollywood favorite.
The photography reportedly tried to sell the film to a Russian pornographer. Diaz took the photographer to court and won, preventing the footage from ever being shown (sorry). However, the internet is a wonderous place…
8. Sasha Grey
The star of the seventh season of Entourage has made no secret of her adult entertainment star status. She made a name for herself by entering this industry at a young age, just after turning 18 and quickly became popular in the adult entertainment industry. Grey won awards for Best Three-way Scene and Best Group Scene at the 2007 Annual AVN Awards. The following year she became the youngest person to win the AVN Female Performer of the Year and Best Oral Sex Scene.
In 2009, following a succession of high profile TV spots, Sasha was cast in the low budget Canadian horror comedy Smash Cut. Grey also landed the lead role in the Steven Soderbergh film The Girlfriend Experience as well as roles in independent films such as I Melt With You and Open Windows.
7. Jackie Chan
“War. Huh. What is it good for. Absolutely nothing.” Rush Hour is one of Jackie Chan‘s most popular films, and the kung fu star has been a welcome addition to Hollywood for many years. In 1980, Chan starred in the Hollywood film The Big Brawl, but it wasn’t until his 1998 role in Rush Hour opposite Chris Tucker that Chan really came into prominence. He became a Hollywood star and went on to star in a multitude of films, including a Rush Hour sequel and the Shanghai Noon films.
The popular martial arts actor has stated that back in the 70s he had to do whatever it took to make money, even if this meant playing a sleazy rickshaw driver in the 70s adult film All in the Family. Chan has stated he doesn’t see it as a big deal, and has expressed little to no regret about taking part in the film.
6. Priya Anjali Rai
Priya began her career as a fashion and swimwear model and spent 12 years working as a stripper before she began a career in the adult entertainment industry. She made the transition in adult entertainment at the age of 29 and became a popular actress within the industry. In fact, Complex magazine placed her at no. 19 in the Top 100 Hottest Stars Right Now and she came in at no. 32 in the magazine’s 50 Prettiest Adult Film Stars of All Time.
In 2013, Priya announced she would be leaving the adult entertainment industry to focus on her mainstream acting career, bagging the role of Isis in the mainstream horror film Isis Rising: Curse of the Lady Mummy. Rai has successfully made the transition from Indian-American adult film star to mainstream actress, but how easy is it to shake off the shackles of the adult entertainment world?
5. Shu Qi
Shu Qi is probably best known for her role in the original Transporter film but Qi, who left her native hometown of Taipei at 17 to pursue a film career in Hong Kong, began her career in the adult entertainment industry. She starred in Hong Kong Category 3 film Sex and Zen 2 in 1996 as well as making appearances in the Chinese edition of Playboy.
She made her transition into mainstream cinema with her role in Viva Erotica in 1996. The film was well suited to her as it looked at the erotic industry in Hong Kong and earned Qi an award for Best Supporting Actress at the 16th Hong Kong Film Awards. Qi has since starred in the 1998 film Gorgeous and took the lead role in the 2004 Hong Kong horror The Eye 2. In 2005, she won the Best Actress Award at the Golden Horse Awards for her three roles in the film Three Times.
4. Sunny Leone
Sunny Leone, or Karenjit Kaur Vohra as she is known at home, is known as being a popular adult entertainment actress. Whilst studying to be a pediatric nurse, a class mate who was an exotic dancer introduced her to a Penthouse photographer. Sunny began modelling for Penthouse, Hustler and Lowrider. In 2003, the year she was named Penthouse Pet of the Year, Sunny signed with Vivid Entertainment and made the transition from model into hard-core adult film star. She starred in a number of adult films and won an AVN Award for Best Interactive DVD. In 2009, Sunny opened her own studio, Sunlust Pictures, with partner Daniel Weber.
Sunny began landing mainstream roles in 2008 in a movie entitled Pirates Blood and a film about the birth of the online porn industry titled Middle Men. Sunny went on to feature in the Indian reality TV show Bigg Boss and this led to her first Bollywood role in the sequel film Jism 2. Since then, Sunny has won roles in a number of Bollywood films, leaving her adult entertainment career in the past. Gone, but not forgotten.
3. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Before he became a time travelling robot in Terminator, Schwarzenegger made a buck posing for gay erotic magazines and photographers. The Hollywood body builder hit the big time in 1982 when he was cast in the successful fantasy film Conan the Barbarian, having previously had parts in Hercules in New York (1970) and 1976’s Stay Hungry. Two years later, he landed his most infamous role in The Terminator.
There have been many rumors that Arnie went “gay for pay” before hitting the big time but it’s never been substantiated. However, there is no getting out of the fact that the Running Man had naked snapshots taken for gay magazine, After Dark, as well as posing for controversial nude photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The Predator star has defended the pictures stating that they are “art.” Uh huh. Of course it is Arnie…
2. Matt Le Blanc
Does anybody remember the Friends episode where they discover Joey had a walk on in a porn film? “I can’t get to the copier, I’m thinking what do I do, what do I do? So I just watch them have sex.” There is a certain irony to this episode. In the 90s, Le Blanc starred in the soft-core television series The Red Shoe Diaries, appearing in a small number of episodes of the show that was narrated by fellow Hollywood star David Duchovny. Prior to this, Le Blanc had parts in other TV shows such as Married With Children, Vinnie and Bobby and TV 101.
It was his role as the sex-loving pizza-guzzling Joey in the ludicrously popular 90s TV show Friends that shot him to fame, and spawned the less popular spin-off series Joey. Le Blanc can currently be seen in popular comedy series Episodes alongside Brit talent Tamsin Grieg.
1. Sylvester Stallone
Before the Hollywood star ascended those Philadelphia steps as Rocky, he ascended a few women in the adult film Party at Kitty and Studs. Having the titular role of Stud, Stallone bared all for the film. Sly was reportedly paid a whopping $200 for the two days’ worth of work. Once Stallone hit it big, the film was recut, omitting the more graphic scenes and re-branding himself as the Italian Stallion.
The retitling actually came from his nickname after the Rocky films. Stallone has stated that he made the film out of desperation after being evicted from his flat and finding himself homeless. Stallone also starred in an erotic off-Broadway play called Score prior to finding fame in Hollywood.