XCritic Interview: Jesse Jane Discusses Her Career in Adult, Performing as a Contract Talent and Return Scene for TrenchcoatX
For nearly fifteen years, Jesse Jane reigned as one of the premier performers in adult entertainment. Debuting as a contract talent for Digital Playground in 2002, the blonde, green-eyed starlet reached industry icon status under the studio’s umbrella before concluding her on-screen career as a Jules Jordan Video exclusive in January of last year.
Jesse kindly spoke with XCritic on the afternoon of January 11 to discuss life after performing, her thoughts on issues currently plaguing the adult business, the impending launch of her toy line during the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo this month and more. Jesse also announced an upcoming return scene for Kayden Kross’ TrenchcoatX studio, where she will perform with fellow Digital Playground alumni Kross and Riley Steele.
You can follow Jesse on Twitter under the handle @JesseJane and find her FreeOnes page here.
(Interview conducted by Cass Ashlen)
We are coming up on the one-year marker of your official retirement from performing in the adult industry - it was during AVN last year that you had your big send-off. Can you tell us about the past year and how the last twelve months have been in your world?
You know what? It’s been relaxing for me, not living on a plane. I’m still doing appearances and I’ve been busy getting ready for my toy line to launch, which will launch at AVN. So, I’m still staying busy, but I’ve had a little bit more relaxation time.
Sure. Can you talk about the reasons behind your decision to retire at that particular time?
Honestly, the industry just is not the same as it was. I loved everybody in it - it’s not that - but with the free Internet, it just kind of killed the industry. People are trying to shoot stuff that shocks you instead of just some sexy stuff. The people are different - nobody wants to protect the girls anymore. When I was in it, you were treated amazingly. And now, with people bashing each other, people committing suicide, getting sick, rape on set and all that stuff, it’s just not glamorous anymore.
I’ve seen a few of your social media posts where you have spoken out about certain issues. The treatment of performers and diseases and such - would you consider those to be the primary issues facing the adult business?
I think the bullying when we are supposed to have each other’s backs … we are already in an industry where people attack us because they don’t agree with what we do. We are supposed to be each other’s family and have each other’s backs. Directors weren’t caring about the girls anymore - “Whatever. I’ll find another girl.” Even guys that were attacking people in the industry, they’re like, “If nobody’s going to have my back, I’m going to have my own and I’m going to go off and treat everybody else like shit, too.” And I think free Internet really killed the industry.
Absolutely. What changes would you perhaps like to see implemented in the adult industry to better the business?
You know, I would love to see stuff that Digital Playground used to make, more vignette-style movies where it was sexy, not about what crazy thing you can do for shock value. Make it sexy again.
I would love to have some movies like we used to do at Digital Playground where they have beautiful people, sexy music where you would get turned on by it. Sex is not something for shock value. Sexy is sexy. (Laughs)
Looking back, what do you consider some of the proudest or standout moments of your career?
You know, I had a lot of great times. I was really fortunate and lucky. I don’t know which one would stand out the most. I guess all the traveling, cool parties and people I met, and just the great sex. I don’t really have a particular time because after doing it for fifteen years, there were just way too many good times.
But, Kayden (Kross) is shooting movies now. So, we are going to shoot her, me and Riley (Steele) a scene. I’m going to come back and do a scene for Kayden’s movie.
Yeah, to bring the Digital Playground girls back together. So, it’s going to be Riley, Kayden and I.
Yeah, that will shock everybody. She was like, “You would come back and do my movie?” I’m like, “Yeah - it’s you. We’re friends.” I feel like the stuff Kayden has been shooting for TrenchcoatX, she has a really good eye. I told her I would do it because I like her stuff. I’m like, “You’re actually trying to make porn sexy again.” I love her stuff, so I was like, “Yeah, I’ll come back. You remember how we shot stuff and how everything was sexy. And you’re trying to bring it back to porn.” Which would be great, you know?
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Sure. And that will be coming up in the next few months?
It will be like next week.
Oh, wow. (Laughs) Very cool.
Yeah, I’m super excited. It will be a fun reunion.
Sort of on the flip side, do you have any regrets in regard to your career or things you wish you had done differently?
I definitely wish I would have done residuals and stuff, and not let them trademark my name. I would have been a little bit more business-smart, but when you are not in an industry and know nothing about it, you learn as you go. Don’t get me wrong: Everything was great for me. But there were a couple of things I would have done differently.
You were someone who garnered quite a bit of mainstream appeal during your career. Not only did you acquire parts in numerous mainstream projects, but if, say, a news magazine was doing a piece on the adult industry, they would often approach you for input. Why do you feel you were able to cross over in a way that perhaps other performers are not?
I think maybe it was … I’m a parent, so I lived in Oklahoma. I stayed out of L.A. I lived two separate lives, so I was more approachable, I know how to speak and handle myself a certain way. I might do porn, but I still know how to act in public. I could speak what everybody wants to know about adult.
Like I said, I got in the industry at the right time. I’ll act like a dork and make people laugh. There are two sides to me. I’m fun and I’m wild, but I’m also responsible and smart. I’m a parent and I have responsibilities.
You spent essentially your entire career as a contract talent - first, of course, with Digital Playground and then under Jules Jordan Video for your last two years of performing. Can you talk about working for those two companies and perhaps contrast the differences between the two?
Digital Playground was a company where we had a lot of contract girls and we shot movies with dialogue - feature films. It was fun, it was cutesy, it was sexy - that was Digital Playground-style. And then, with Jules Jordan, his was a little bit dirtier, but everything about his stuff was sexy - the way he dressed you, the way the lighting was.
They are two different companies, but they both have their own style and sexiness. Jules Jordan, you don’t do any dialogue - it’s “Fuck me,” whatever. (Laughs)
Are you glad to have spent basically your entire career as a contract performer and do you feel that is the best position for a talent to be in?
Oh, yeah - and nobody is doing contract girls anymore.
That’s non-existent now. But I love the fact that I came in with a contract - I always had a contract the whole time in this industry. It was the way to do it because I had control of what I was doing.
Speaking as somebody who was at the top of the industry for so many years, is there one misconception about the adult business from those outside of it that you wish you could dispel?
There is. Everybody thinks that because you’re a porn star that you just fuck everybody and they can come up and grab you or treat you a certain way. We’re people, too, you know? That’s our job, we do that as a source of entertainment and that’s how we make our money. Everybody’s like, “Oh, you probably just take thousands of dicks.” It’s like, “No, not even close.” That one always gets on my nerves.
Right. What advice would you give to someone entering the adult industry as a performer now?
I would tell them - especially if it was a girl - that make sure you want to do it, one. If you think so-and-so isn’t going to see it, if you are worried about someone seeing it, then don’t do it. If you are already worried about people seeing it, it means you don’t want to do it. It’s not for you.
And, too, don’t let anybody bully you into doing certain scenes just to make it because that’s what everybody does. It’s your body, you make the decision, you are in control. They are just your agents who help book you. You make them their money. Know your worth and just know that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.
Also, I would tell them this is a business, so your body and your image is your look, so cool it on the partying, you know? Take care of yourself, because that’s your paycheque.
Do you feel there is sort of a role reversal in the adult industry in that many performers don’t seem to realize that the agents work for them and not the other way around? That’s just how it seems to me sometimes.
Yeah. What’s funny is that these directors, they say, “You have to do this or you won’t get booked.” Yeah? Well, then don’t book me. And the agents - it’s like, “Dude, you need to shut up. I am your money.”
I think everybody is bullying everybody because everyone is worried about their money because of the way the industry went. I watch it, I’ve seen it, and I’m like, “Girl, you know they can’t talk to you that way. You do know that you’re their paycheque, right?” (Laughs)
While I was researching in preparation to speak with you today, I went back and looked at an interview I conducted with you in December 2011 when I was running my own site. You mentioned to me then that you wished to release an autobiography at some point. Is that still something you are looking at down the road?
I’m working on that. I found a guy in Dallas and we are actually going to get on that in February because this month I’m so busy. We are going to start doing our sit-downs and getting it together.
That’s excellent. I think a lot of people would be interested in reading that. I know I definitely would.
Yeah. It’s going to be interesting. We were discussing in our initial meeting how the book would go. It will be like, “Jesse Jane: The Double Life.” Me being a parent, soccer mom and me as a porn star.
Based on your social media posts, it’s obvious you are a big Oklahoma football fan.
Outside of football, what are some of your interests and hobbies?
I love to dance. I take dance class. I love going to any sporting event - I’m a tomboy. I love going to the movies. I’m a movie buff.
When I’m home, I like to just relax because I’m always on the go and there is just so much to do. So, when I’m here, I’ve learned to enjoy my time and just do chill things.
How about favorites: Favorite movie, T.V. show, etc.?
I loved Sons of Anarchy when it was on. That was my show. I like so many movies, that would be hard to decide. I think The Ugly Truth is hilarious. I like so many classic movies, like Dirty Dancing and stuff.
Are there any other current or upcoming projects in the works that you would like to mention?
Well, my toy line comes out at AVN, which is pretty exciting. And like I said, we already did the official meeting for the book, so we’re actually going to start writing it next month. Hopefully, that will be out at the end of year.
Nothing else that I can think of right now. I always said if there was a cool (adult industry performing) project, I would do it. It has to be cool. It has to be sexy and stuff, not cheap crap. (Laughs)
Sure. And it’s nice that you can do things on your terms.
And that’s what I like. I’ve been around so long. Some of the girls … Teagan (Presley), she came back, she’s doing porn again and it’s fun. You have to remember, back in the day we were contract stars. The era we were in was the big deal of porn - we had Kayden, we had Riley, we had BiBi, we had Stoya - we had everybody.
Sure. I remember that time period, and Digital Playground, with all of you on the roster, probably were head and shoulders the top studio in the industry for a long time.
Yeah. We were the top studio for sure for the longest time. Nobody beat us. We had the number-one girls. I’m not saying we were the only ones who shot good stuff - there are plenty of companies who shoot good stuff. But we made couples watch porn. We made girls comfortable and girls were watching it more by themselves, even without their husbands and boyfriends. I remember, they were like, “I hated porn, but when you all started doing it, you made me like porn because you make it good and make it funny, and you make it visually stimulating for the girl as well.”
Right. And that must have been a rewarding thing to hear.
Yeah. I love hearing from my fans if they can have their baby watching my movies or little stuff like that. I’m like, “Aww.” I love hearing that stuff.
To finish up, is there anything else you wish to say to readers?
I love everybody! (Laughs)
(Laughs) Cool. Thanks for taking some time to speak with me today, I appreciate it. It’s nice to hear that you are happy and in a good place.
I am, actually. I went through a little depression area for a little bit. I just wasn’t happy with things. But I took that time and found myself again, and I’m great. I’m in such a great place.
That’s great. I have always felt that you were a very good representative for the adult industry and someone who conducted yourself with class. And on a personal note, you have always been cool to me over the years and I feel you are one of the good people in the business.
Aww, thank you! (Laughs)
I’m glad that everything has come together for you.
Thanks! Yeah, everything has come together.
Awesome. I wish you the best in all your future projects - it sounds like you have a lot of cool things coming up. Have a terrific day.
Alright - you too, babe!