Many times, aspiring actors don't make it to the big screen. The film industry is harsh, especially to those who don't "have what it takes." So, instead of letting life get them down, there are those who pursued another avenue of acting – porn.
Naturally, it isn't very easy for someone who came from adult films to transition successfully to traditional acting. But it is possible and believe it or not, there are a few heartthrobs we know and love today that came from porn.
Acting Industry: Competitive, Harsh or Rewarding?
It goes without saying that the acting or film industry is harsh, with cut-throat competition and somewhat dependent on chance and luck. It is; however, also quite rewarding, based on the lifestyles we see or read about of A-list celebrities.
Going through countless guides and articles online about the acting industry, one phrase is constant on every page: be prepared to work hard. Much like professional chefs tend to despise newly graduated culinary arts students who think they've earned wearing the toque without the experience, veterans in the film industry often laugh at starlings who have a naïve outlook on the journey ahead of them. To become a great actor, one must usually start from the very bottom.
Acting itself is not competitive; it is the industry that, much like any other industry, works under the same rules of economics. There is too much supply of actors fighting for a demand (a role) that is low. Because of the limited offerings, only the best of the best make it to the top or at least obtain a career that is self-sufficient on acting. Then there are those who succeed and could earn 6-digits for every episode of a TV series or more for a film.
The industry is harsh because luck plays a big part in how things work. You need to be at the right place, at the right time and know the right people. There are times when one of two people with exactly the same skill sets and could even look alike would land the job just because he or she bumped into the director at the elevator or something as equally random. In short, one cannot be picky nor wait for opportunities to fall on his lap – the aspiring actor needs to run after said opportunities.
Never being late to meetings and auditions, learning your craft amidst thousands of others doing the same, memorizing countless lines even during those lazy days, making no excuses to be subpar, and pushing oneself to act a certain role regardless of personal conditions are only some of the real-talk advice for those who want to succeed in the industry.
6 Porn Stars Who Became Popular Actors
Now that we have an idea of how difficult it is to make it big in the acting industry, we understand why some came from adult films before stardom. Let's take a look at the journey of porn stars who became successful actors.
1. Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone truly had the grit and perseverance of Rocky Balboa because before the actor found success in his career, he had periods where he was homeless and survived on the money he made through porn. He even became known as "The Italian Stallone," after appearing in an adult film called The Party at Kitty and Stud's.
Source: Instagram/ legend_sylvesterstallone
2. Sasha Grey
Perhaps a household name in the porn industry, Sasha Grey has won 15 awards in the adult film industry. In 2009, she made her debut in the film industry as the lead in The Girlfriend Experience. That was only the start for the actress who has now appeared in numerous major films and TV shows.
Source: Instagram/ @sashagrey
3. Cameron Diaz
We all know and love the blue-eyed attractive blonde Cameron Diaz. From her voice as Princess Fiona in the Shrek series to the bombshell Charlie's angel, Cameron is one of the most popular actresses of Hollywood. Little did we know that the superstar appeared in a soft-core smut video when she was 19 years old. She then made a certified porn video with Jason Segal. The actress, wanting to erase that short period from her career, was demanded by the owners of the film a total of $3.5 million to wipe off any trace of her porn star identity completely.
Source: Instagram/ @camerondiaz
4. Helen Mirren
The Queen actress Helen Mirren was not always the shy and finesse actress in most of her roles. In the movie Caligula, the almost-naked actress simulated sexual intercourse which was close enough to be considered porn at that time.
Source: Instagram/ @helenmirren
5. Matt LeBlanc
He's sexy, he's funny, he's Joey! Before the Friends superstar got to deliver his iconic line, "How you doin'?" he did random jobs like waiting and starring in a porn video. Much like the role he played of a struggling actor in the classic series, Matt LeBlanc was down to his last $11 before landing the part of Joey. He starred in an American erotic drama series entitled, Red Show Diaries which aired from 1992 to 1997. During the last seasons on Friends, however, Matt was receiving a nice sum of $1 million per episode and billions in royalties every time the show is aired on any network. Oh, and he also does Top Gear. Now that is one successful career.
Source: Instagram/ @friends_1994_
6. Sibel Kekilli
Most of us may know her as "Shae," the stunning lover and loyal friend of Tyrion Lannister from The Game of Thrones, but Sibel actually began her career in adult films under her stage name, "Dilara."
Source: Instagram/ @sibelkekilli
6 Actors Who Went To The Adult Industry
1. Tom Sizemore
Black Hawk Down and Natural Born Killers actor Tom Sizemore was not always in the middle of an action-packed setting. The actor, who was in court-ordered rehabilitation back in 2005, agreed to do an adult film given that he gets a share of the profits. The 70-minute DVD titled The Tom Sizemore Sex Scandal depicted some hardcore scenes of Tom having a foursome with three women.
Source: Instagram/ @src_entertainment
2. Jaimee Foxworth
The child actress Jaimee Foxworth played Judy Winslow on Family Matters but was written off after four seasons. The actress struggled with her career and when she turned 19, started doing porn, drugs and alcohol. Fortunately, she went into rehab, got clean and even appeared in Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
Source: Instagram/ @jaimeethefoxx
3. Adam West
The Batman TV show of the '60s starred Adam West who also did some risky movie's two decades later. After his role in Young Lady Chatterly II, which has some mild porn scenes, West went on to some child-friendly projects such as The Fairly OddParents and Family Guy.
Source: Instagram/ @idestroyhumanity
4. Paul Thomas
Most known for his role as Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar before going into the adult film industry, Paul Thomas has since then acted and directed numerous porn films.
5. Dustin Diamond
After his role as Screech in Saved by the Bell, Dustin Diamond went into the adult film industry to try and eliminate his past persona as Screech. Aside from making the headlines when it was released, the tape didn't do much for Dustin in the long run. He did, however, admit that he used a stunt double during the nude scenes because he "was not an idiot who was going to really put himself out there."
Source: Instagram/ @dustindiamondofficial
Although not an actress in the traditional sense, Chyna, the professional wrestler who was named the "Ninth Wonder of the World" during her prime at the WWE, also did some adult films later on in her career. She starred in several movies and videos, the most notable being 1 Night in China and the porn parody of The Avengers. After leaving adult films, she went on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and The Surreal Life. Unfortunately, Chyna passed away from accidental overdose in 2016.
Source: Instagram/ @chyna9th
Whether it's going into adult films to survive until their big break or debut or the other way around which is doing porn as a means to make ends meet after being dumped by the industry, many actors and actresses often have no other choice but to make the hard choices. While some feel ashamed for that point in their career and wish to erase it if possible, others don't see it as a big deal and accept the period as a stepping stone.