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

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