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Improve Your Taste With... Sasha Grey
The adult film actress and star of The Girlfriend Experience on Led Zeppelin, Richard Kern, and The Graduate.
By James Brady Ryan
Sasha Grey is the adult film phenom who's often thought of as the thinking man's porn star. She's also the star of Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience and the upcoming documentary film 9to5: Days in Porn. Making the jump from the adult film world to mainstream Hollywood is nearly impossible, but with an upcoming multi-episode role on HBO's Entourage, it seems like Grey made it happen. And while she couldn't give us any recommendations when it came to porn — turns out she doesn't actually watch too much — she was more than happy to share her other cultural appetites.
See The Graduate. I recently re-watched it and I think it's a hilarious film. It's actually one of the best comedies out there. And there are just so many layers to that film: it's funny, it's serious, it's dramatic. It has things that everybody can relate to. And there's definitely an aesthetic to the film, visually, that's lost in the majority of films today. [Ben Braddock] just graduated from college. Whether or not people are college graduates, [they can still think], "Okay, I'm twenty, twenty-one years old. Where am I going from here? I've been completely serious about my life up until this point, but now I have no idea what I want."
Right now I'm actually editing my own book, so I'm kind of in pain, going over and over and over things with a fine-toothed comb. And that's coming out this fall. It's a photography book, and there's a lot of self-portraits and a lot of documentary-style photography, and my views on the photographs in the book, what they mean to me, and what inspired me to take them. I'm a huge fan of photography, a huge fan of Terry Richardson. I actually had the pleasure of shooting with him five or six times, same thing with Richard Kern. Especially Kern, I think he has such an interesting aesthetic. He lifted up that new-wave, post-punk era, and I really enjoy his aesthetic and his approach to his work.
I'm kind of all over the place with fashion. I've really been into vintage in the past year. I found a really cool place in Highland Park, in a really crappy area. They had some really cool pieces. They have stuff that ranges from the '50s to the '80s, but my favorite stuff there was the '60s and early '70s stuff. I've always kind of been obsessed with the aesthetics of the '60s and '70s — when I was a kid I wished I could be a beatnik or a hippie. I think it's just a general aesthetic I'm drawn to.
I'm really all over the place with music. Hendrix, Throbbing Gristle. Definitely Dennis Brown, Led Zeppelin, and Immortal Technique. But with Zeppelin, there's something very calming about it to me. [Their music] is so fulfilling and it's so rewarding. Without both of them Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, you wouldn't have a lot of the music that you have today. And I think the dynamics in their music and the dynamics in the band... the energy they have is something you don't get a lot in modern music. Even down to the way they actually recorded it. There's a texture and a feeling and a sound you don't get with digitally made music.
That was one of my favorites, and I'm very sad that it's no longer on. All police dramas obviously have an A story and a B story and a C story, but The Shield had so many interwoven stories. It really just kept you on the edge of your seat. And all the actors on the show were great, not just one or two of them. I think the photography of it was beautiful, and something we had never seen on television before. It really set the standard for cable television, for what the audience expects today. And Vic Mackie was awesome. But I love the whole crew.