This is your first year attending the AVN Awards as a publicist and a performer/director.
Yeah. Last year I had MonStar of StarFactory PR handle everything for me. In 2012, I acquired StarFactory. Now it’s my job to make sure my girls get to their interviews on time, which is funny, because I’m the one who made this interview run late.
That’s more than okay. Any interview during which I can drink, is a good interview ... It’s interesting that you went into PR. It seems like most performers transition into directing, which I know you also do. Which do you prefer, PR or directing?
I like both. I’ve just directed my forth movie for Filly Films. My first movie, Tanya Tate's The MILF Masseuse, is up for an AVN Award for Best Older Woman/Younger Girl release, so I’m very excited. The third one just came out, which is Tanya Tate’s Tea & Muffin Party. In that one, I invited me girlfriends over for some muffin tasting and tea.
I assume “muffin tasting” means pussy eating, but what is “tea tasting” a euphemism for?
It’s literally a spot of tea.
Is saying “muffin” in Britain like saying “pussy” in the states?
Yeah. You don’t say muffin here?
If someone says muffin, I’d assume they were talking about the food. What about when people say “pussy” in Britain?
If you were a kid, you would be referring to a cat. But, if you were older, you’d probably be referring to a female vagina.
As opposed to a man pussy?
Well, if you call a man a pussy in Britain, you’re calling him a wimp.
Americans tend to think British accents sound intelligent, which is why British actors often do the voice-overs for science documentaries. Do you think that is why, when British women talk dirty, it sounds extra dirty? Americans think the accent implies intelligence, which provides a surprising contrast when talking dirty.
A lot of American guys do like the British accent. They seem to think it sounds more authoritative. I don’t have a posh voice. I have a Liverpool voice. It is strict. It is good for playing a hot schoolmaster or a demanding boss — someone with authority. American men think we are prim and proper because of our accent, when obviously we are not. Then, when we suddenly start getting nasty and start talking dirty, then it’s like, “Woah.”
You don’t look like most British women I’ve met. You’re not nearly pale enough.
If I was really white, then I’d look out of place over here. I have to make sure I keep up me tan. When I go back to England, everyone is like, “You’re really tan.” I’m like, “Am I?” because I feel really pale in California.
You just won MILF of the Year at the XBIZ Awards and you’re nominated in the same category for the AVNs. Does winning awards make you more marketable? Can you charge producers more for a scene if you are the reigning MILF of the Year?
Maybe years ago you could, but not now with how the economy is. The companies don’t have as much money. I’m not going to pull me rates up just because I’ve won an award. I think your popularity will grow because you get more recognition. It is more about building your brand. The more popular you are, the more companies want to book you.
The “Tanya Tate” brand seems to be the busty, blonde, British MILF, but you also seem to play a lot of dominant roles.
I’ve played submissive roles once or twice, but it doesn’t feel right. It’s not me. I don’t like pain.
You don’t mind inflicting it. You just don’t like taking it.
Exactly. I’m not into getting electrocuted, or being tied up, or anything where I am not in control. I like being in control. Though, sometimes in a scene, if I am really comfortable with the person, then I can just let go, and say, “Ok, just do whatever.” And I know my partner will keep it within my limits.
I did do a scene where they said, “Okay, you’re submissive,” and they told the other girl, “You’re dominant.” Well she wasn’t naturally dominant and I wasn’t submissive, so that turned out to be a lot of fun, because she wasn’t really dominating me. She wasn’t really pulling me hair or ragging me across the floor. We were just doing loads of play fighting. Some people will really do hair pulling and be nasty to you, where as she was really soft. When we saw the end result, it looked amazing. It looked like she was dominating me, like she really was dragging me across the floor by my hair when I was really pushing myself along.
I’ve done a scene for my website with Adrianna Nicole where she used a strap-on. I like her as a person, I’m comfortable with her, and I’ve worked with her before, so that was one of the few times where I’ve really let someone else dominate me. I’ve done a “Porn Star Punishment” scene, and I said afterward, "Well that was probably the mildest porn star punishment you’ve ever done."
Was that for Kink.com?
It was for Brazzers.com
, but I think they took that site down because it was too harsh. I haven’t worked with Kink.com yet, but actually I’m doing a scene for them soon. It’s a foot fetish
scene but I will be dominating. Yes!
I want to explore domination more. It is especially good for me as a director. As a director, you’ve got to get out of the performers what you need for the movie. So, a lot of the roles I play in my films, I’m very manipulative. I’m kind of a motherly figure, so I’m a very loveable character. People warm to me, but really I am manipulating them to have sex with me, and to do the scene the way I need them to. So, in the scene I’ll turn all filthy and nasty, but I’m really a sweet person.
Really I am. The way you see me on film, I’m not that nasty in real life. That’s just how I get on camera. Because I’m so sweet off camera, then these girls get on camera and I start abusing them, and they just go with it. I’m one of those people who you think is nice, then I start molesting you. But I make it all better after. I’ll say, “Oh, did mommy hurt you? It’s okay. Mommy loves you.”
Your character kind of sounds like a psychopath, or a character in a horror film.
I should do a horror porno like that. That might be my next project. You’ve got me thinking.
Weren’t you just in a horror movie for Digital Playground called My Haunted House? What character did you play in that?
I played Stoya’s roommate. There was a ghost in the house, or some spirit. At the end of my scene, this hand comes out and grabs me.
Do you have sex with a ghost?
Well, I have sex with a guy, then he disappears, so is he a ghost? Wooooooo.
As a director, what is your biggest pet peeve about working with adult performers?
Being late. If I send a call sheet out to the talent saying you have to be here at this time, you have to have this wardrobe, you have to have your hair freshly washed, and you have to have your nails looking nice. There are occasions where not all the things on that list are ticked off. They’ll say, “My agent didn’t tell me,” or, “I was given the wrong time.”
When I directed a movie for Penthouse, it was very different. Penthouse is a really big production company so I wasn’t the one dealing with getting the talent there on time and making sure they were ready. Other people handled those things for me. With Filly Films, when a person would call last minute to cancel or they just didn’t answer their phone, I’d be the one running around, trying to replace them. Then, if you change the talent, you have to change the storyline. And you’ve only got so many hours in the day. You realize you can't fit everything in, so maybe you have to drop some of the storyline.
On a smaller production, as director, you are always working around the various issues that come up. It can get difficult. A big part is keeping the talent happy. If I’m on set, maybe it’s her first girl/girl scene, or maybe she’s not really into the girl, or maybe she’s not moving the way I want her to for the scene. I have to tell her exactly what I want. Then I have to make sure the camera person captures the best angles to make the scene look hot. Sometimes the talent is amazing and you hardly have to direct a scene, which is so pleasing. You have the right set, the right chemistry, and the right talent—
The talent is actually talented.
Yes, and you know the movie is going to be good. But, sometimes someone comes in and they are not what you want. They do not meet your expectations.
That happens in life too, when you bring a girl home and she gets naked, and she looks nothing like you imagined, but by then it's too late.
I’ve been quite lucky in that respect. With most of the girls, you get what you expect.
As a PR rep, what does it take to turn a performer into someone who is recognizable outside of the pornosphere? Does it take a sex scandal like with Bree Olson and Charlie Sheen? Does it take being in a mainstream film like Sasha Grey or James Deen?
That’s a tough question. Only a very small percentage of porn stars make it mainstream. Some girls come to me and say, “I want you to help me become more recognizable. I want to start winning awards,” or —
How many come to you and say, “I want to be the next Jenna Jameson” or “I want to be in Playboy”?
I’ve had a few. They don’t realize that Jenna Jameson had a lot of different factors working for her. She had a big company and big sponsorships. She was a contract girl. With contract girls, the companies build them. If you're not a contract girl, you need help from a PR company like StarFactory, but we still can’t do everything for you.
Take Adrianna Luna. She has been with us for a year. She has worked really hard on her scenes. She is very popular. She is a lovely girl. She looks really hot. She got StarFactory on board. We’ve helped raise awareness of her. We put out press releases on her. We help her with social media. We submit her work for awards. We stay in touch with the critics. We put her in the right places for the right people to see her. It's a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. As a performer, you have to be willing to put in the extra time. You have to be willing to do the interviews, to do the radio shows, to go to awards shows. As a result of both our efforts and her hard work, Adrianna Luna was nominated for Best New Starlet for both the XBIZ and the AVNs. She was up for Penthouse Pet of the year, and she was named, Danni Girl of the Year, so she is doing really well. I’m pleased with what she has done, and what we have done for her.
Do you help brand these girls? Do you interview them, and see what would make for a good press release, and then emphasize those elements? Like with Adrianna Luna, I always hear about how she trains in cross-fit and MMA. Is that your handiwork?
Well that is what she likes. We’ll talk to our clients and ask, “What are you about? What do you want your fans to know about you?” We build on that for them. So, for example, we get Adrianna in magazines and on websites that cater to people who like crossfit and MMA. We try to expand their brand reach. For myself, I do comic book stuff.
Do you actually like comic books? Did you grow up reading comic books?
Oh yeah. I would tell you the ones I read, like The Beano and The Dandy, but you’d be like, "What the hell is that?" I did read comics and I did watch superhero movies. Superman 2 was my first movie. So yes, I did and I do have an interest in comics and superheroes. So, for me, going to comic conventions is what I like, but now it also helps brand me and reach those fans.
The first press release I remember receiving on you was about your sex scandal with the professional hurler, Greg Jacob. Honestly, do you ever suggest to your clients that they try to sleep with someone famous and maybe try to film it?
I would never specifically tell a client, “Hey, you have to do this scandal.” If they ask me, I’d probably sit down and have a conversation about it, but I’ve never suggested it. I’ve never told a client to go and sleep with someone so we can get it in the papers.
Although, I have to tell you, when I was in London last month, I was recruiting for my pro/am series: Tanya’s Tate’s Casting Couch. There is this guy in the boy band, One Direction, who had just dated Taylor Swift: Harry Styles. I went to his house and I posted a little letter through his door, inviting him onto my casting couch. A photographer got a picture of me delivering the letter and they ran a story in one of the newspapers. I’m not going to lie. That was set up. I had the photographer there so we could get the pictures to the newspapers. But, he is cute and I really did want him on my casting couch. Of course he didn’t take me up on the offer, but apparently he does likes MILFs.
See more explicit content of Tanya Tate at TanyaTate.com
, see her cosplay work on her SFW site JustaLottaTanya.com
, and follow her on Twitter at @TanyaTate
See more explicit coverage of the convention and awards show at AVNAwards.com and AdultEntertainmentExpo.com.
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