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An Interview with James Deen

An Interview with James Deen

This site can’t get enough of “The Canyons.” It has everything: Old Hollywood (amazing that the seventies can be considered Old Hollywood), new Hollywood, and the mainstreaming of porn. Here’s James Deen on working with Paul Schrader, but lets start here: “I have more IMDb credits than you do, Schrader! I’ve been in more movies than f–king Al Pacino!”

THR: Describe your audition process: did they see you and think you were perfect?

Kind of. Schrader was very nervous because Schrader was worried that I couldn’t act. So he wanted me to do this, like, standard thing. … He’s an old man. He plays all these weird Hollywood games and tries to do all that crap. It’s not like it doesn’t work on me. Hollywood, I guess – Hollywood is really gross and the mainstream [film] world is really, really disgusting. It is, or from what I can tell from it. Most people are really — they’re complete scumbags and they’re really insecure and they’re really pathetic. It seems that the way they, like, overcompensate or whatever [is] they have this whole “we don’t need you, you need me” power struggle. … It really makes no sense to me. But there’s all these, like, weird things where Paul Schrader’s from this old world — and he’s not “that guy” by any means.

THR: You said he freaked out when you couldn’t shoot one day because you were booked in advance to work on an adult film.

I have a voicemail saved, it’s hilarious. He’s like, “James, you said that you were going to [honor] your commitments and responsibilities. Maybe we just need to re-evaluate who our lead’s gonna be!” And I just called Braxton and [asked], “Is he serious?” [Braxton said], “If you can’t come in, we understand, don’t worry, we’ll take care of it, we’ll deal with Schrader. It does f–k us over a little bit but we understand the situation.” … I already have a career, I have a life. [Schrader's] not giving me a career. They found me because I was doing the thing that I was doing and getting offers to speak at colleges and stuff like that. That’s how they find me. … It’s just one of these weird, old Hollywood power plays that doesn’t make sense in today’s world. …  I think it’s comedic and Schrader’s actually a really good guy and he’s really talented and I really respect him and I think he’s really awesome.

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About Henry Baum - Editor

Henry Baum is the co-founder of FMR and the author of two novels about Hollywood: The Golden Calf and North of Sunset, as well as the novels God's Wife, and The American Book of the Dead. Currently, he's adapting his latest novel into a series. He is also the founder of the sister site to FMR, Self-Publishing Review, which provides reviews and resources for self-published authors. He lives in L.A.