HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE ADULT INDUSTRY?
I was a mainstream actor living out in California in the 70's, having acted in the film "Jesus Christ Superstar" and on stage in the longest running musical, "Beach Blanket Babylon". My performance caught the eye of the Mitchell Brothers of "Behind the Green Door" fame, and before I knew it, I made the choice to appear in "Autobiography of a Flea". I've always been extremely sexual, and the instant gratification of doing porno films really appealed to me.
HOW DID YOU TRANSITION FROM THERE TO DIRECTING?
In theory, being paid to have sex all the time sounds wonderful, but I realized as I got older that my mental stimulation was equally important. Directing allowed me to explore the thoughts in my head, while directing in adult provides a platform free of censorship and repression.
OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER DO YOU FEEL THE PUBLIC'S PERCEPTION OF ADULT MATERIAL HAS CHANGED?
It's a strange time. While the 70s were more sexually liberal from a cultural standpoint, porno movies were still only whispered about. It seems like American society is more sexually prude now--the swinging lifestyle many of us enjoyed in the 70s is much less common--but adult movies are openly talked about. A lot of the taboo is gone, and I find myself appearing on mainstream radio shows and in newspapers to discuss porn.
AND HAS THAT AFFECTED THE WAY THAT YOU WORK?
It doesn't. I've always tried to make exactly the movies I want to, while hoping there are enough people with similar tastes and turn ons as me for the movies to sell well.
YOU'RE CURRENTLY INTERESTED IN EXPLORING DARKER THEMES, WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION?
Although I enjoyed my many years working with Vivid, their public image as a slightly softer adult studio meant some of my more perverse ideas were too much. I was always able to make whatever movie I wanted to, but I would have to be conscious about the amount of spanking or bondage included. I started my studio Paul Thomas Presents in order to shoot whatever sexually twisted vision I have. I'm stepping away from the bigger budgets and focusing more on human nature, for better or worse. I want my movies to cut to the heart of sexuality.
AND YOU'RE STARTING A NEW COMPANY TO FACILITATE YOUR WORK IN THAT VEIN, HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
As I said, I wanted to work without limits. I now have more room to focus on the kinky fetishes that drive many of us through our lives. The things we are afraid to tell others about, but they are actually more normal than we might expect.
YOUR LATEST FILM IS CALLED “PERVERT” CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT IT?
It stars a newcomer named Lily LaBeau, a 5 foot 9 inch 19-year-old in the blush of her youth, as well as Samantha Ryan and Eric Swiss and the quintessential pervert, Otto Bauer. And what I've done with this is, I'm trying to go into areas that are much more twisted and much darker than areas that I have gone to during most of my career. I just find it fun to treat it really seriously, to find the darkest edge to it and make it work as a motion picture. Pervert includes two different stories about normal people with sexually perverse desires. There's plenty of ball gags, whips and chains to satisfy everyone's freaky side.
HOW DO YOU FEEL THE ADULT INDUSTRY SHOULD DEAL WITH THE FREE DISTRIBUTION OF CONTENT ON THE INTERNET?
Make movies where the erotic story heightens the sex, so it can't be broken down to several five minute sex scenes available online. My movies are a two-hour experience, not a five minute masturbation session. Because of this, people want to own it and be able to watch it repeatedly.
DO YOU THINK FETISH IS BECOMING PART OF THE MAINSTREAM CULTURE?
Whenever a fetish becomes commercialized, more pop up to take its place. Anal sex used to be taboo, but now it's talked about in TV shows all the time. So people reach even deeper and darker into their minds for practices, which excite them partially because it disgusts many others.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?
I don't think anyone really cares what music I like. In my movies, I try to use music depicting the moods of the characters and reflecting their sexual desires.