James Bartholet interview
One can say that the quality of acting in porn took a huge leap when James Bartholet arrived on the scene. His professionalism and sheer acting abilities raised the level of acting in this industry. It is not a surprise that when the comeback of the parodies began, he was in the forefront with roles in Not Bewitched XXX, This Ain't the Partridge Family XXX, Saw: A Hardcore Parody, Not MASH XXX, and a few of the Not the Brady's XXX films. He is a true character actor who can delve into a variety of roles. He has an amazing range and it is not surprising that his selflessness reaches out to teaching his invaluable acting workshops for both mainstream and adult audiences.
Hi James, it has been another banner year for you in the parody world. One of your best performances is in "9 1/2 Weeks: An Erotic Parody". What was it about this role that made it so fun to act out?
This was a change for me, and a good chance to show a dramatic side to my acting. Our director David Lord wanted me for the role, and wanted me to play this with no comedy and very serious, which I appreciated. Don’t get me wrong, I love to do comedy roles, but it’s always welcome to stretch myself as an actor and take on something different than what I do normally. It was a good shoot and I think the movie is a hit. I was very happy to be a part of it, the cast and crew were great, and we got several award nominations for this
Another nominated non-sex performance you had this year is "On The Air." Why was this role so much fun?
I always like working with Jonathan Morgan, he’s a really good director who gives an actor specific direction instead of just saying ”move here and here”, yet he gives me room to express myself. I know, this is porn, but in the movies we make now, there is also good acting, and much better production than what was done years ago, and there’s an audience out there who appreciates that, that’s why I keep working in these productions. “On The Air” also hits close to home for me because of all the years as a radio talk show host that I’ve been doing. It was just myself, the director, and crew when we were shooting my scenes, so I had to imagine the interactions with the callers. I think the final product is really good, and again I was happy to be a part of this.
Your "Inside the Industry" radio show continues to be one of the best shows on the airwaves. How was the show created?
I created “Inside The Industry” years ago, and the first inception of this was an Internet and cable program, that I originally created with Mika Tan as my cohost. Then when I started the radio program, that I created with Michelle Maylene. I had some options to go with a terrestrial radio station, even with the XXX content, but I looked into Internet Radio and saw that it was just starting to catch fire, and saw that the potential audience was global, not just locally, so I got on that bandwagon real quick. I’ll be speaking on a panel at AVN/AEE in Vegas this month about Internet Radio, come and check that out. One wonderful thing I’ve noticed about our program is the huge female audience we have, of course there’s a lot of men listening, but it’s refreshing to see a lot of women who love to watch our movies, and love to talk about these movies and the stars. That’s something you didn’t see years ago. It’s definitely a trend that all of us in the industry need to note, our growing female audience.
You are definitely the "go to" guy when it comes to acting. How did you get your start in mainstream acting? Did you always wanted to be an actor even as a kid?
I was a child actor, and I have always loved being onstage or in front of the camera. I am very fortunate to have a family that supported and encouraged my acting. I work onstage and in front of the cameras from coast to coast, and as that classic song from Disney’s Pinocchio goes …..“An actors life for me”. When you love what you do, it shows, and I love acting.
Your acting workshops are highly requested and attended. Why did you start them?
Thank you, I like doing these workshops, and a lot of performers have taken these and made some significant strides in their career because they’re taking the time to work on their craft. Nowadays, with the features and parodies that we make, to really stand out in the industry you have to have some acting abilities as well. A lot of performers like Luna Star, Jack Vegas, Nikki Daniels, Charity Bangs, and Britney Amber, to name just a few, have studied with me. I also coach actors in the mainstream industry as well.
What has been the biggest surprise for you about the adult industry?
How well the production is made. A majority of directors and producers want to make quality releases. I like seeing that. I like also seeing that there are organizations like APAC where the performers are coming together to try and make the industry better.
How did you get involved in the adult industry?
I was covering a filming for a mainstream entertainment news segment that I was doing, I was on the set and they asked me if I would do a non sex acting cameo. It grew from there. I had friends in the industry before that, and I was dating a few of the girls, so I knew about it, and actually being on a set, and seeing it first hand I was impressed. I had numerous roles as an established non sex actor, and then started performing. My first on camera sex role was in “Saw XXX A Hardcore Parody” and that was a lot of fun to make. There’s still fans talking about that movie. I’ve worked on gonzo and features and parodies, and I always love doing the features and parodies.
Since you have been nominated so many times and won several times at awards shows, what are your thoughts about award shows celebrating the accomplishment of the adult industry?
I think it’s a great thing, we work so hard on these and we deserve the recognition. Just like in the mainstream industry, we take the time to honor our own, and I think the awards are very important and greatly appreciated.
Many adult stars are animal lovers. Are you one of them? Are you a cat or dog person?
Yes, I am an animal lover, and I am involved every year in Kelly Holland’s charity event “Vice Is Nice”. I had a cat for many years, but I’m back as a dog owner. A dog or cat give you that unconditional love and having that dog gets you out every day. I see a lot of people from the industry at the dog parks around town. It’s important for us to give back to the community and doing charity events to help save the lives of our four legged friends are a very good thing.
What is your dream role?
Wow, now that’s a list? LOL I have several parody and feature projects I would love to make soon. I don’t want to tell what a lot of these are, because I don’t want someone to run out and do these, but I’ve got a lot of interesting projects planned.
I really hope to get a chance to direct this year, and make some of these projects now.
I’ve got the experience, plus years of being on camera, and I’ve been learning from some of the best directors in the industry on what works, and how to make a hit movie.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I’m super busy with work, and I’m already doing what interests me, including hosting the radio program and hosting the AVN news segments on avn.com
. Outside of the industry, I like being outdoors, and I’m studying Feng Shui and home staging to make a business of that one day. Like I always say, have an exit plan. I always be working as an actor and host, but I love to keep busy and I love making that money.
What are some of the qualities that a person needs to be a good radio show host?
Be a good listener. A good and successful host listens to his guests and lets them talk, but also knows when to come in and keep the interview flowing.
Do you have any web sites or future projects that you would like to promote? What are you currently working on film wise?
A LOT of new projects coming up; “Barbarella XXX” for ABP and Wicked, A “Beauty and The Beast XXX” for Harry Sparks will be coming out soon. We shot the entire movie on a green screen. “Hotel No Tell 2” for Jonathan Morgan and Wicked Pictures, and “This Ain’t Modern Family XXX” for Andre Madness and Hustler Video. I have a mainstream horror movie; “Hitchhiker Massacre” coming out, I co star and co produce that. “Isis Rising” another mainstream horror movie that I co star and co produce is out worldwide now, and you can get it on Amazon. I have a lot of new feature and parody projects that I will be filming this year, plus a lot of fun content scenes, so as they say….stay tuned.
You can follow me on Twitter at @jamesbartholet
You can see AVN and AVN News on avn.com
You can also see me on Porn Star Game Night hosting with Priya Rai on the King Adult Network.
And you can hear me every week on the air on “Inside The Industry” on latalkradio.com and iTunes.
Interview by Apache Warrior