Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Adult Film Star Sasha Grey

The Girlfriend Experience star opens up on her cinematic tastes.

by | May 21, 2009 | Comments

Sasha Grey

Steven Soderbergh made waves when he premiered his latest film,
Girlfriend Experience
, at this year’s Sundance Film Festival — not so much due
to its subject, a high class call girl, but rather thanks to who plays her:
adult film actress
Sasha Grey, the 21-year-old award-winning star of countless
films we can’t mention here. An avowed cinephile and French New Wave enthusiast
who once considered taking the stage name
Anna Karina (and has been known as a
Godard devotee ever since), Grey shared her Five Favorite Films with Rotten
Tomatoes, revealing a penchant for intense character dramas that dare to be
honest and open — much like Grey herself. Read on for more about Sasha Grey’s
Five Favorite Films, her improvised central performance in The Girlfriend
, what it was like to share the screen with film critic
Glenn Kenny
(who appears in a cameo role), and more.


Stroszek (1977, 100% Tomatometer)

by Werner
. It’s such a hard movie not to like. You have this character who has
these hopes and dreams, he wants to come to America and he’s a struggling,
failed musician but he also really cares about everybody else around him, and he
doesn’t judge the people around him, no matter what their faults may be. I like
the characters and just the story itself.

Pierrot le Fou (1965, 76% Tomatometer)

Pierrot Le Fou
me, it’s just a very romantic story. It’s the ultimate, “let’s just drop
everything and run away together” movie; the way the story was told was so
unique. There’s one scene in particular where
Anna Karina
is on the beach, and she rolls over and she just says, “F— me.” To put that in
a film in that time period — you just didn’t expect that to come out of her
mouth. It’s titillating, I guess you could say.

Fat Girl (2001, 72% Tomatometer)

Fat Girl
don’t really know how to go into detail about it; the story is so intense, and
you’re not made to feel a certain way towards these characters. You see this mom
who’s kind of a b—- and doesn’t really care about her youngest daughter, and
you see this older sister who’s a b—-… especially at the end, you don’t really
feel sorry for these people.

I had a list of films that my theater teacher gave me, when I was about 14 or
15. One of the things he always told the class was you should be watching one
film per week, to study other actors and study the language of film. Fat Girl
just happened to be one of the films on the list.

A Woman Under the Influence (1973, 91% Tomatometer)

A Woman Under the Influence
think there’s something about all of these films that resonate with me — they’re
all stories and situations between characters that you couldn’t make with an
American studio today. A Woman Under the Influence is so raw, it’s so
wrong… it’s like, you knew those neighbors. It’s a really emotional film, and I
think for
John Cassavetes
to have his
own wife
play that character, it was even more challenging and even more of a risk.

Escape From New York (1981, 81% Tomatometer)

Escape From New York
! I mean, come on. John Carpenter,
Kurt Russell
as f—in’ Snake Plisskin — it doesn’t really get any better than that.

Was that on your theater teacher’s list?

It was not. [Laughs]


Can’t get enough Sasha Grey? Check out her Five Favorites in video form when she sat down with our friends at Current

Next: Sasha Grey talks shooting fast in New York, future roles, and
dishes the dirt on film critic Glenn Kenny.

The Girlfriend Experience was shot fast, and beyond writers Brian
Koppelman and David Levien’s outlines, was highly improvisational. How much of
your character was laid out for you before you came onboard, and how much did
you create her yourself?

SG:  There really was no
character on paper. I think Steven kind of left that up to me to do or not to
do, and I thankfully did. I wrote a character back story, and once I was happy
with that I gave it to Steven and asked him what he thought; he agreed with what
I had on paper, I guess you could say. A lot of the things in the film were
actually picked up from two escorts that Steven and I actually met; a lot of the
idiosyncratic behavior of Christine, or Chelsea — you see her buying a prepaid
phone, or she screens her clients with these personology books, or the way she
writes in her diary — a lot of those things were picked up from these women we
met. The casting director sent us links to these anonymous escorting blogs and I
read those; I tried to incorporate as much as I could into this character
because I knew going on set, Steven would want a very natural reaction in all of
the scenes. So it was finding a way to build this character and who she is, but
at the same time allowing these natural reactions to happen.


If the shoot lasted only 16 days, how much prep time did you
spend — working with Steven or otherwise — prior to filming?

SG: A lot of the things I did were solitary, because he
didn’t want me to do a lot. From the first time I met him to the time we went
into preproduction, it was a year and a half. In the in-between time I would
keep in touch with him, and I asked him if there were any films he wanted me to
watch, and he only named two: Vivre sa vie and Pierrot le fou. Aside from that,
I spent a good two, two and a half months [preparing].

Since Rotten Tomatoes is a film review site, I wanted to zero in
on one of your co-stars in particular: film critic Glenn Kenny, who plays an
escort blogger dubbed the “Erotic Connoisseur.” Tell us what it was like to work
with him.

SG: He was just brilliant. It was so hard for me not to
laugh at some of the s— he said. We actually talked about it a couple of weeks
ago when he interviewed me in New York, but that was… he was just insane. You
could tell he was a writer [from his dialogue], because he was just so good at


As an actress, musician, and adult film star, how much does the
concept of persona play a part in your life, both professional and personal?

SG: I would say there’s about ten percent reserved for me,
and it’s mostly to do with personal safety issues. I really try to be honest and
open, and to be myself, as much as I can, and I think that’s important
especially dealing with the primary industry that I’m in. So I try not to have a
separation between the two, and I just look at it as my life, and not just my
career. I think the only thing I don’t do as much publicly is, I probably curse
a lot more when I’m with my friends.

Will we see you in the near future in more mainstream roles?

SG: I actually have a film coming up in August, it’s a lead
role, a great role, and it’s against type. And I have two more that I was
actually just offered. Another film, Smash Cut, will be coming out at the end of
the year as well.


Read reviews and more from
The Girlfriend Experience
, in theaters this Friday.  For more Five Favorite Films, visit our archive.

Tag Cloud

Mary Poppins Returns Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt science fiction discovery Rom-Com documentaries twilight 94th Oscars hollywood Western TCM WarnerMedia blaxploitation Disney E3 romantic comedy Extras mob Quiz child's play BBC One Logo criterion TBS MGM richard e. Grant sitcom saw game show Oscars Character Guide posters A24 streamig Fox Searchlight AMC Plus 007 Spring TV cooking Spectrum Originals Columbia Pictures children's TV 2018 boxoffice summer preview Biopics deadpool Ovation Hallmark Christmas movies TV movies Summer National Geographic Exclusive Video movies comedies Black History Month composers Apple PaleyFest 21st Century Fox travel Musicals 24 frames 2020 action-comedy cinemax PlayStation Mystery kaiju Year in Review Creative Arts Emmys IMDb TV book halloween Netflix Red Carpet Crunchyroll LGBTQ Polls and Games popular Lifetime Christmas movies Syfy zero dark thirty 99% Women's History Month Infographic slasher MSNBC all-time TLC werewolf technology Tomatazos Best Actor comics ESPN miniseries indiana jones comic book movies Family kong Amazon Studios breaking bad Paramount diversity Crackle free movies Alien Amazon IFC Netflix Christmas movies cancelled television festival boxing politics Disney Plus sag awards Elton John MCU Photos Esquire christmas movies parents aapi festivals golden globes SXSW CW Seed hist CMT Lifetime quibi video Holidays streaming movies green book reboot die hard docuseries 79th Golden Globes Awards social media olympics Discovery Channel AMC unscripted australia stand-up comedy Arrowverse mockumentary art house hidden camera versus italian teaser true crime Video Games Prime Video television Fantasy spider-man royal family Vudu TCA Winter 2020 psycho target Grammys Emmys adaptation Shondaland scorecard ghosts First Reviews Action DC Comics spanish TruTV 73rd Emmy Awards Neflix 72 Emmy Awards Awards Rock Chilling Adventures of Sabrina asian-american streaming prank Captain marvel superhero blockbusters international trophy Sundance Now TCA Awards zombie Black Mirror james bond Sundance TV Schedule latino joker remakes spider-verse sequels Animation 93rd Oscars mcc hispanic Pet Sematary Song of Ice and Fire natural history YouTube Premium what to watch Toys Emmy Nominations History biography Tarantino nbcuniversal SXSW 2022 police drama APB American Society of Cinematographers Showtime BBC America new zealand godzilla Fox News 4/20 fast and furious toronto ratings Certified Fresh Freeform SundanceTV black E! YouTube Focus Features Turner Drama Marvel Bravo HBO Go documentary summer TV preview cancelled TV shows Best Director ABC Family Election Comedy Cartoon Network 45 lord of the rings Rocky dreamworks Winners gangster dogs jamie lee curtis marvel comics adenture FOX rt labs critics edition Interview rotten movies we love Nominations supernatural CNN pirates of the caribbean Starz Cosplay First Look VICE foreign BAFTA docudrama women Countdown VOD TCA 2017 DC streaming service spain crime Set visit Hallmark independent facebook Academy Awards Awards Tour Tubi rotten ABC Funimation emmy awards screen actors guild game of thrones anthology comiccon Oscar scary movies Avengers Turner Classic Movies SDCC Apple TV+ NBA movie nfl critic resources theme song scene in color Martial Arts indie legend Disney+ Disney Plus worst movies nature Amazon Prime Video dexter name the review Trophy Talk DGA 2015 ViacomCBS reviews Television Critics Association book adaptation suspense Sci-Fi rom-coms GoT Christmas japan Spike summer TV DirecTV french anime romance dragons Pop Pop TV slashers YouTube Red President DC Universe FX on Hulu Mudbound golden globe awards Fargo OneApp serial killer Walt Disney Pictures directors finale based on movie football CBS All Access vampires obituary BBC dark Instagram Live The Walking Dead Country Paramount Network TV crime drama Television Academy Star Trek TV One series 90s Comic-Con@Home 2021 The Walt Disney Company basketball 2017 laika binge TNT king arthur Universal franchise new star wars movies Superheroes IFC Films Stephen King San Diego Comic-Con comic new york 2021 rt labs Hollywood Foreign Press Association Sneak Peek mission: impossible Disney streaming service Hear Us Out south america king kong monster movies Sony Pictures stoner The CW adventure toy story The Witch Chernobyl Music 20th Century Fox heist movie Box Office revenge Dark Horse Comics news Pixar A&E Acorn TV stop motion GIFs cults HBO mutant 1990s El Rey Podcast vs. USA Network Brie Larson LGBT USA Comic Book Warner Bros. CBS BET Awards tv talk The Purge critics aliens RT21 Best Actress New York Comic Con Winter TV Disney Channel GLAAD best medical drama Classic Film spanish language award winner Film Festival Fall TV Apple TV Plus robots Calendar comic book movie obi wan Rocketman singing competition Epix marvel cinematic universe classics blockbuster Nat Geo Marathons universal monsters leaderboard telelvision NYCC zombies Superheroe 2016 X-Men Image Comics Sundance harry potter ITV Trivia spy thriller TIFF elevated horror Britbox Best Picture space crime thriller cats See It Skip It sports political drama witnail historical drama films high school know your critic scary renewed TV shows cars Legendary Tokyo Olympics chucky cops PBS Marvel Television FX comic books Tumblr canceled TV shows ID OWN Shudder venice 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards japanese Musical screenings batman BET Paramount Plus Horror Wes Anderson MTV Endgame cancelled Tags: Comedy doctor who HFPA WGN Universal Pictures fresh biopic The Arrangement Food Network sequel 2019 wonder woman Pacific Islander ABC Signature animated genre thriller Lionsgate video on demand spinoff Reality Cannes justice league HBO Max crossover Broadway Valentine's Day Baby Yoda worst halloween tv TV renewals Watching Series Adult Swim Mindy Kaling Holiday Pirates Reality Competition Ghostbusters Star Wars cancelled TV series Pride Month live action Trailer NBC dc young adult Marvel Studios a nightmare on elm street concert Mary poppins war Amazon Prime Kids & Family period drama feel good hispanic heritage month Super Bowl trailers debate Comedy Central canceled TV Land superman transformers South by Southwest Film Festival Peacock dramedy rt archives TCA Ellie Kemper Thanksgiving Nickelodeon Writers Guild of America black comedy razzies sopranos jurassic park satire Best and Worst Premiere Dates casting live event Opinion VH1 Travel Channel 71st Emmy Awards YA Heroines Teen Anna Paquin Mary Tyler Moore Lucasfilm RT History Comics on TV Masterpiece disaster kids archives FXX Film dceu Binge Guide The Academy cartoon talk show strong female leads psychological thriller Hulu