Hollywood is a tough industry for actors. While many thespians have been able to achieve prominence in the industry through completely wholesome means, others have had to bare skin onscreen or in publications to be able to get a foot into the film industry's door. The circumstances surrounding how these actors ended up featuring in adult entertainment, however, vary greatly.
There are actors who acknowledge that their unwholesome pasts were necessary evils for them to either get noticed or simply to make a living. Of course, some of them resent the fact that their adult footage and/or photos went public after they had made a name for themselves. On the opposite end of the spectrum, though, there are actors who aren't at all ashamed of the skin they showed in the past and even defend their choice of appearing in non-GP-rated movies and magazines.
Here are ten mainstream actors whom you'll likely be surprised have adult entertainment pasts:
10 David Duchovny
David Duchovny is, of course, best known for playing Fox Mulder on the television series The X-Files, which ran from 1993 to 2002. One of that character's strange but not often highlighted quirks is his enjoyment of adult film. Strikingly, one of Duchovny's important breaks in his career was being cast as a narrator on Playboy Entertainment's erotic drama series, Red Shoe Diaries, which aired on the American cable television network Showtime from 1992 to 1997. David was much more than a simple narrator in the film, however, as while he usually began the show by reading a letter from a woman who experienced love, passion and/or betrayal, the plot occasionally led to Duchovny's character having sex with the women who wrote the letters. The act was often portrayed in highly sensuous and quite graphic love scenes that featured a healthy dose of nudity.
It's also interesting to note that in 2008, David bravely announced that he had checked himself into a rehab facility for sex addiction.
9 Sibel Kekilli
Sibel Kekilli, mostly known as the actress that plays "Shae" in the wildly popular HBO TV series Game of Thrones, got her first big break unexpectedly in 2002. While shopping at a mall in Cologne, Germany, she was sighted by a casting director who invited her to try out for his film, Head-On. There were 350 other actresses auditioning, but the director was so impressed by Kekilli that she ended up landing the lead role. In fact, despite having had to undergo an appendectomy while shooting the film, Sibel still managed to deliver a performance that won her several major acting awards. Expectedly, that gained Kekilli considerable fame, but it also brought her negative attention: Sibel was exposed by a German tabloid to have previously starred in adult films under the stage name "Dilara". As a result, Sibel's parents broke off all contact with her, but she nevertheless went on to make several other critically acclaimed films, which won her several more acting awards. Eventually that landed her the "Thrones" role that she is best known for today.
8 Matt LeBlanc
Like David Duchovny, Matt LeBlanc appeared in some very steamy adult scenes for Playboy Entertainment's Red Shoe Diaries series. In 1991, he featured in two episodes of the show, both shot before Friends launched LeBlanc into superstardom beginning 1994. What's quite surprising though, is that in 1997, when Matt was already a famous celebrity, he appeared in a few more Red Diaries episodes. Perhaps it's not entirely fiction that in Friends, Matt's character, Joey, is revealed by his buddies to have featured in an adult film.
7 Perrey Reeves
All eight seasons of Entourage, which ran from 2004 to 2011, were huge hits for HBO, and in its first two seasons, one of the women who was the object of men's fantasies was Perrey Reeves. She played Melissa Gold, a former soap actress who eventually transformed herself into a Beverly Hills socialite. Before that largely successful stint, however, Perrey, like David Duchovny and Matt LeBlanc, appeared in Red Shoe Diaries. Specifically, she starred in the episode "The Last Motel", where she bounced around topless while sensual saxophone music played in the background. It shouldn't have been so surprising, therefore, that in Entourage, Reeves also stripped down a number of times.
6 Sasha Grey
Like Perrey Reeves, Sasha Grey also got her big break through Entourage, where she played a caricature of her real self. Later, in 2009, Sasha's mainstream career got a huge boost when she starred as the lead in Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience. But while Perrey did only softcore in Red Shoe Diaries, Grey spent five full years starring in full-on adult films all the way up until 2011. In fact, through the many films she starred in, Sasha became well known in the adult film world as "the woman with dead eyes" and as "the girl with no gag reflex". Grey also received various recognitions from the AVN Adult Movie Awards, including "Best Three-Way Sex Scene" and "Best Group Scene", as well as the "Female Performer of the Year" award she won in 2008.
In 2011, Sasha formally retired from featuring in adult films, but she remains outspoken in her defense of the industry and isn't ashamed of her beginnings in the field.
5 Jackie Chan
Yes, really. Jackie Chan had his turn as a sex icon, specifically, in the mid-70s skin flick comedy All in the Family. The Hong Kong film featured Chan as a rickshaw driver and had Jackie engaging in a nude sex scene. It's also the only film he has ever made that did not have him do a single fight scene or stunt sequence -- although it could be argued that his love scene was quite a stunt.
Looking back at the film, the Hong Kong-born martial arts actor explains, "I had to do anything I could to make a living 31 years ago, but I don't think it's a big deal. Even Marlon Brando used to be exposed in his movies."
4 Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz didn't really intend to shoot an adult film, but some softcore S&M footage that was taken of Diaz when she was a 19-year-old unknown made its way to the Internet after her career had taken off. One part of the video has Cameron spraying her bare breasts with compressed air as she giggles, "Whoa! Look at them! Look how big they got!"
The video was actually taken just as a backup in case the photos for the shoot didn't develop properly. However, photographer John Rutter unscrupulously ended up trying to sell the embarrassing material back to Cameron for $3.5 million in 2003 after Diaz had starred in blockbusters like The Mask, My Best Friend's Wedding, and There's Something About Mary. When Cameron refused to pay up, Rutter sold the footage to Scandal-Inc.com, which then charged $39.95 for each view. Diaz eventually filed a case against Rutter, and in 2005, he was convicted of forgery, attempted grand theft, and perjury.
3 Kevin Costner
An Emmy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, and two Academy Awards -- those are only some of the honors Kevin Costner has achieved through his appearance in such classics like The Untouchables, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and Dances with Wolves. However, like many Hollywood Stars, Costner also had humble beginnings in the industry. His film debut was for the 1986 independent softcore feature Sizzle Beach, U.S.A., which is also alternatively known as "Malibu Hot Summer". There, he played a cowboy who fell in love with one of three L.A. newcomers who were willing to do anything to achieve fame. It was obvious, however, that the plot was merely a vehicle to deliver as many steamy scenes as possible.
2 Sylvester Stallone
In 1970, before Sly Stallone made it big with the Rocky and Rambo franchises, he played the role of Stud in The Party at Kitty and Stud's. The film's plot revolved around the sex life of a young couple, Kitty and Stud, who engaged in sadomasochism and ended up having group sex with their party guests.
According to Stallone, he did the film out of desperation when he was kicked out of his apartment and found himself homeless and sleeping in a New York bus station. To survive, Sly had no second thoughts about taking the $200 for the work he put into the film. Predictably, when the feature debuted, it was considered highly forgettable, but because Sly eventually ended up becoming a star, the film's owners asked him for $100,000 for them not to release the movie. Stallone declined, saying he "wouldn't buy it for two bucks." The film has since been released theatrically and on DVD. Meanwhile, the movie's worldwide rights and original 35mm negatives were purchased on eBay for £270,000 in 2010.
1 Arnold Schwarzenegger
Bodybuilder, actor, businessman, and politician are roles that most people know Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger has played. But nude model for a gay publication? Yes, as the cover model for the now defunct After Dark magazine, "Ahnald" did an interview and a 22-page nude photo spread in the publication's special on bodybuilders in February of 1977. The pictorial, as well as an interview he conducted with hardcore adult magazine "Oui" around that time, was often brought up when he was running for Governor of California as a Republican. To "Oui", Arnold shared,
Men shouldn't feel like fags just because they want to have nice-looking bodies. Gay people are fighting the same kind of stereotyping that bodybuilders are: People have certain misconceptions about them just as they do about us. Well, I have absolutely no hang-ups about the fag.
Interestingly, as governor, the former Mr. Universe title-holder vetoed two gay marriage bills.