From: Tim Evanson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Ryan Idol interview I
Date: Wed, 21 May 97 20:42:28
Organization: Tim Evanson's Home Page (coming soon!)
My straight friend Geoff (Hi Geoff! How's the rugrat?) was in San Francisco the other day, when he spotted the following in the Chronicle.
As many of you may know, Ryan Idol was interviewed in the New York gay bar and entertainment magazine "HX". In that interview, Idol had quite disparaging things to say about some of his colleagues. ("Jeff Stryker has about two brain cells, Lex Baldwin has three, and Rex [Chandler] has about four if he's lucky.") Meanwhile, in the same January 3rd issue of "HX", "Making Porn" writer/director/producer Ronnie Larsen takes a few potshots at the very men he cast in his play, Johnny Hanson and Rex Chandler: "I was less than thrilled with Rex and Johnny. Both ran out on their contracts, they both got bad reviews, and they both were extremely difficult backstage." (On the other hand, Larsen's comments backfire just a bit: After all, it was Larsen himself who cast these men in his play in a brazen display of stunt casting.)
NOW, however, Idol has returned to the cast of "Making Porn." Idol just completed a month-long run of the play in San Francisco. Boy, humble pie must taste awful...
NOW, although this is a "legit" newspaper, please takes Idol's interview and the information presented herein with a bit ol' chunk of salt. In another interview (to also be posted tonight), Idol changes a lot of these details. In addition, much of this information is contradicted by information Idol himself has volunteered before. (He's claimed to be from Oakland; Worcester, Mass.; Wooster, Mass.; and Nebraska.) Indeed, when Idol claims he made his hetero movie to sell a dildo--it's a pure falsehood since no dildo ever came out.
Also, please note that Idol claims his salary will be double what he made last time (what baloney!), he'll have "total creative control" (pure manure), and get residuals on tapes sold (NEVER WILL HAPPEN). Yes, he'll get co-star approval; he almost always has in the past. (THIS is news???)
I dunno what your take on this will be, but I came away partly laughing at his enormous and arrogant ego, and partly disgusted with the same. His capacity for lying (I asked around at UCLA and his claim about attending a culinary academy there is a blatant lie) knows no bounds, and his lack of self-reflection stunned me. Even the straight guy who gave me the article said he was shocked at the obnoxiousness that came across, and he felt certain that the interview had been severely edited to avoid making Idol come off like a fool.
Anyway, here is an interview Idol did as his play ran in SF. Enjoy!
"Idol Dreams of Life After Porn," interview by Edward Guthmann. San Francisco Chronicle, May 5, 1997.
In high school, Ryan Idol says, he was such a skinny dweeb that when he asked a girl out at the beginning of one class period, "people talked about it so much that she had broken up with me at the end of the next period. She just said, 'I don't think this is going to work.' "
Things change. Today Idol is the biggest name in the gay porn industry, the star of such hot-selling videos as "Idol Worship," "Idol Country," and "Idol Eyes." In a business that spins out beefcake at an amazing rate and turns its "stars" into burnouts after three or four years, Idol stirs more fantasies -- and commands higher salaries -- than any other grind-and-grunter around.
"Without being vain," Idol says after a photo shoot in his Union Square hotel room, "I am the No. 1-selling video star in the world."
A former navy man, construction worker and aspiring poet, Idol is currently starring at the Cable Car Theatre in "Making Porn," a raunchy satire on the gay-porn industry, set in San Francisco in 1982, that was seen here in two previous productions -- but never with anyone approaching Idols celebrity.
Idol, who started out wanting a career in legitimate stage and movies, plays Jack, a straight actor who can't find work, takes a job in a skin-flick and tries to keep his new status ascret from his girlfriend. Idol, who gets naked in several scenes, played the role for four months in New York and has a four-week commitment here with a possible two-week extension.
After that, he's back to his West Hollywood home where he's preparing his last and biggest film, "IDol Gods," which he describes as "a breathtaking carnal olympic event." Idol says he'll have total creative control, co-star approval and the biggest salary -- $50,000 up front, plus residuals on every tape sold -- that any porn star ever demanded.
During a 90-minute conversation, the 30-year-old Idol -- who grew up in Wooster, Mass., and Keene, N.H., as Marc Anthony Donais -- reflected on his career, announced his retirement from porn after "Idol Gods" and revealed his ultimate dream: to play Danny Zuko in "Grease" and Tony in "West Side Story."
Does "Making Porn" give an accurate picture of the porn business?
Given its time frame it does. But the industry has come a long way and I like to think I had a little bit to do with that. There are still the two-bit directors and sleazebags, but... now it's gone to big business. There's a lot more glamour and glitz and a little bit more respect.
How many videos have you made?
I've only done six films in seven, almost eight years. I think that is also a part of my success. I make one movie every year and a half, where a lot of "B" and "C" porno stars are doing one movie a week.
What are the misconceptions people have about porn stars?
I don't think there are any. Everything people think about porn stars is true but then there are the select few that it doesn't apply to. And I think I'm one of them.
Whom do you admire among gay porn stars:
Did you ever take steroids?
I have done steroids, I've done drugs. I've done everything that I think could be called experimental. Between 27 and 29 I went through a very rough time. Drugs played a role in that emptiness... There was a whole evolution of things that happened over a period of time. And now I am who I am today and I'm a better person that I was even just yesterday, never mind three years ago or 10 years ago.
Did you go through any 12-step programs?
AA didn't work for me. It's a co-dependency thing in itself. I created the seven-step program, which is basically a program to understand yourself and to love yourself. And I'm willing to share this 'cause I think it may be helpful. [He opens his briefcase and reads aloud from his text.]
Ever make a straight porno movie?
I did one and it was under the advisement of my management at the time 'cause they wanted to promote a product, a toy. A replica of my tallywacker. I didn't think it was a good career move 'cause Jeff Stryker [gay porn's other top draw] had done career straight movies or bisexual movies and for some reason he lost his audience.
I just chose not to take that path and I think that's why my career is as strong as it is now 'cause I didn't get greedy back then and want to do everything.
Are you gay?
This comes up in interviews all the time. I don't like to label myself. Some people say that's a cop-out but I go further to say, "I'm into pleasures of the flesh." There's a mystique in saying that that satisfies certain people. If somebody wants me to be straight in their head for their fantasy, then that works for them. If they want me to be gay, that works, too.
Do fans offer you large sums of money to have sex?
Yes, they have offered.
Have you responded?
I plead the Fifth on the grounds that I may incriminate myself.
What are you doing this play when you could make more money with videos and personal appearances?
It's a transitional thing for me. I've made so much easy money. And now --this is something I'm aware of because of my therapy -- I need to humble myself. I need to get back into a working society instead of getting large amounts of money to show up at these nightclubs and take off my clothes. there's not a lot of self-worth and self-esteem that comes from that.
Why no more videos?
I'm not getting out of the business because I hate it or despise it. I'm getting out because it's time. Things are evolving. I want to find other avenues and do projects that have a message for people. I don't want to be a Jesus Christ or anything like that but I do want, like I think any artist does, to touch people in a positive way.
Also, part of my pholsophy is "leave 'em wanting more." I don't want to be the old Elvis. I want to go out in style, with grace.
What's in the future?
I'd like to start a restaurant in the next five to seven years, called Le Chambre de Ryan. I'll be the chef. I'm attending the culinary program at UCLA.