Riley Steele is a workaholic porn star signed to Digital Playground, one of the most dominant adult video companies in the world. Her profile grew even more prominent last month when she co-hosted the Adult Video News Awards, the Oscars of the porn industry, where she also picked up an award for her crossover role in the horror flick Piranha 3D. We caught up with the 23-year-old as she ran errands in Los Angeles.
Here's the uncensored version of our interview.
CityBeat: So, do you think the people you grew up with in North County knew you might get into porn?
Riley Steele: Definitely. It wasn’t a big shock when everyone found out that I was doing porn now. My nickname growing up was “PoStar.”
I just loved porn. I was very sexual growing up. I would always get my girlfriends to do make-out, girl-girl videos. So, I guess you could say I was training for what I do now.
How did you break into the business?
I met [postar] Jesse Jane at a Hustler signing for [the porn movie] Pirates. She told me I should get into the industry—I always wanted to. I waited a couple years. I was about 20 when I sent Digital Playground’s owner Joone some pictures, and then he brought me into the office and signed me that day.
I don’t know many people who would even know Pirates was coming out, let alone actually go to the signing. Were you tagging along with someone else?
No, you know, I didn’t drive, so I made my friends drive me all the way down from Escondido to San Diego Hustler to go meet her. I think I might’ve only still been 17.
I didn’t even have an ID card or anything, so I snuck into that signing.
This is just my ignorance I think, but when some body starts off in porn, are there classes or training?
Nope. It’s sex. You can’t be taught how to have sex, you just do it. What you pick up over time is learning to have sex for the camera, not just having sex with another person or other people. You learn to know where the camera is when you can’t even see it and different ways to angle your body for the pop shot.
I guess you must develop your own style over time.
I have my own things with certain performers that I like to do and that they do to me that the reviewers seem to notice. I love when Eric Everhard does this cock slap thing in my face and my mouth. It’s really hot. He always does that to me. James Dean, for some reason, we always go balls deep, completely gagging on his dick and just stuff like that.
Errr. What’s it like when you come back to San Diego?
No one really treats me differently. It’s boring for me to go down there because I don’t like being away from work. When I’m not working, I tend to freak out.
Do you ever worry about over-working yourself?
Never. I can’t work enough. We just got back from AVN and I took a couple days off, and now I’m e-mailing Digital, asking “What can I do? What can I do? What can I do?” And they’re like, “You need to realize that these are your only few weeks off and once it starts again, you’re not going to have any free time.”
About the AVN: Were you surprised you were picked to host the awards?
I didn’t expect that, especially with me only being in it two years. From Piranha I’ve gotten to do a lot of things girls haven’t done in such a short amount of time. I think the industry really recognized all my hard work, all Digital’s hard work, and that we really have been breaking down a lot of doors. The first thing I wanted to know was how many dresses would I get to wear. [Answer: Four.]
Were there similarities between filming porn and filming Piranha 3D?
No, it was completely different from porn. It wasn’t a two-day shoot. It was a lot of underwater swim training, a lot of cold water, but I still had a lot of boobs in my face, so it was fun.
Do you set boundaries for yourself at all?
I’ll try anything once. I say, “Try it on camera if you’ve never tried it before because if you never want to try it again, at least you have it on video.” I do try to limit myself in my digital movies and do more of the kinkier things I like in my own personal life for my website. Digital’s movies do try to gravitate more towards couples and making women feel comfortable watching porn—because most women aren’t—so I keep a lot of that dirtier, kinkier stuff for rileysteele.com.
Can you give me an example?
I was e-mailing our director Robby D one time when I was having this fantasy of being locked in this closet, tied up with a mask on and some boyfriend of mine fucks me, leaves me there and then goes out to the bar and tells his friends, “You can go fuck my girlfriend.” I wanted a whole movie based on that, and Robby e-mailed me back, “You have some sick issues. We cannot do that on film. Save it for your website.”
You’re totally cool with that?
Yeah. It’s not degrading if I want it.