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

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