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

Filmmaker
Steven Soderbergh made waves when he premiered his latest film,
The
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
Experience
, 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)



Stroszek
Stroszek
by Werner
Herzog
. 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
To
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
I
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
I
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
It’s
John
Carpenter
! 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.

[rtimage]MapID=1211836&MapTypeID=2&photo=1&legacy=1[/rtimage]

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
it.

[rtimage]MapID=1211836&MapTypeID=2&photo=3&legacy=1[/rtimage]

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

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