What’s the Secret Behind Porn Superstar James Deen’s Big Hollywood Crossover (Video)

“The porn star next door” is starring in a new mainstream TV show, producing short films and dispensing advice in his own sex column

After starring in erotic cinematic offerings such as “My Sister’s First Anal,” “Gangbang Me” and “Wet Asses 2,” adult film star James Deen is taking a whack at mainstream success. In the last couple of years, the man known as the “hung porn star next door” — thanks to his boyish good looks and enormous …  heart — has been able to do what few pornographers have: move into a more upstanding neighborhood.

He just finished shooting a new TV pilot. A documentary about his life has already been picked up by Showtime and is scheduled to air sometime next year.

His swelling non-porn resume also includes 2013’s “The Canyons,” opposite Lindsay Lohan, Showtime’s “Happyish,” and several short films, which he produced.

“It was a lot of luck,” Deen told TheWrap. “I’m loud, I do interviews and I get around. I’m slutty like that.”

These days, Deen is venturing into the culinary world with his own web series, “James Deen Loves Food,” where he can be seen attempting to cook a pound of bacon completely in the buff (warning: frying pork slabs while naked can be extremely hazardous to a penis).

Most recently, he’s been dispensing sex advice in his own column, “WWJDD,” short for What Would James Deen Do? on TheFrisky.com.

“There’s something about him that’s very attainable,” the site’s editor-in-chief, Amelia McDonell-Parry, told TheWrap. “Women find that extremely hot.”

McDonell-Parry first interviewed Deen for her women’s lifestyle site. She was so smitten that she offered him his own column. Her readers, she says, can’t seem to get enough of him.

“His articles are always in our top five on the day they come out,” McDonell-Parry said. “Also, he’s not afraid to admit when he doesn’t know something, which is refreshing.”

To a woman suffering from a sexual dry spell, Deen writes in his column, “I think I’ve had sex almost every day for the last 15 years of my life. I don’t have a problem with going home with a stranger.” Then he adds to his frustrated reader:  “The problem isn’t you. No matter what you look like, I can promise you that there are at least 20 people in a one-mile radius that want to fuck you.”

But it’s Deen’s wholesome, aw-shucks demeanor and short stature (he’s 5 foot 8 inches and 150 pounds) that have made him a favorite among young women and gay men.

Hollywood insiders say it’s because Deen is the perfect mix of naughty and nice, a combination that seems to appeal to the more open-minded millennial generation.

“Deen can go from light to dark in like a second,” “The Canyons” writer Bret Easton Ellis told TheWrap. “If you watch some of his porn, he plays a very charming seductive guy who can get really dark with some of the more hardcore BDSM stuff. That’s part of his charm.”

His rise to the top of the industry has a lot to do with the fact that more women are buying porn these days. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 28 percent of people watching porn online are female. The number has quadrupled in the last three years alone.

“There seems to be a shift towards men who are better looking, in a way that they weren’t when porn as being mostly watched by men,” said Ellis. “And James Deen is what women are watching.”

In a field where actors have a limited shelf life, Deen has managed to establish himself as one of porn’s most enduring superstars — male or female. He was named the fourth most searched adult entertainer in the world, according to Pornhub, right after Kim Kardashian (who first gained fame with a best-selling sex tape), former “Teen Mom” star Farrah Abraham (who starred in her own sex tape with Deen) and retired porn star Lisa Ann.

In his 11 years in the adult industry, Deen has appeared in no fewer than 4,500 scenes (he admits he doesn’t remember many of them), and is the youngest person to win the industry’s “Male Performer of the Year” at the 2009 AVN porn convention, regarded as the Oscars of adult entertainment.

An ABC News segment which aired on “Nightline” in 2012 warned viewers, “For any parent concerned about what their teen does online, the huge popularity of the young man you are about to meet may be deeply disturbing.”

Ironically, the segment has since been viewed a whopping 1.6 million times on YouTube.

Born Bryan Matthew Sevilla in Pasadena, California, Deen has none of the tragic stories typically associated with adult film stars. He grew up in a loving home with Jewish parents, both computer scientists. Porn wasn’t something he fell into — it was a longtime childhood dream.

“In third grade we sat around in a room and said, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and I said I wanted to be a porn star,” Deen recalled. “I got suspended from school because they thought I was just being disruptive.”

He said he lost his virginity at age 12 and got into drugs not long after. At 15, he dropped out of school and moved out of his parents’ home, staying in squats and abandoned houses. He made money by panhadling and working at Starbucks.

He was listening to a radio show one day when he heard an interview with porn star Jenna Jameson. A caller had asked how he could break into the industry. Jameson told him that if he could stay hard in a room full of 20 people and climax when the director yelled, “Cum!” he could become a porn star.

Soon Deen was testing his sexual abilities at parties, having intercourse with women in front of groups of spectators. He discovered that not only could he “perform” in front of other people, he could ejaculate on command.

In 2003, a friend who worked as a stripper gave him the phone number of “someone involved” in the adult industry, who then introduced him to a casting agent. Within two or three weeks he booked his first gig. He chose to use his high school nickname, which he got because of the way he pinched his cigarettes while smoking.

It wasn’t long before Deen became a household name. He got his big mainstream break when he snagged the lead role in the 2013 erotic thriller “The Canyons,” opposite Lindsay Lohan. “American Psycho” author Ellis had seen one of his films and asked director Paul Schrader of “American Gigolo” fame to give him a chance.

Deen seemed to be a perfect fit for the role.

“When we were looking at the actors, they were playing the role too evil,” Ellis said. “What was lacking was a kind of neutrality that the role needed and James had that.”

He may never become the next Ryan Gosling but Deen doesn’t seem overly concerned.

“If I never get a job in mainstream I will be OK. I have a whole other job in a completely different entertaining field,” he laughed. “Porn is really honest and respectful and very professional, as opposed to mainstream where it’s all really manipulative and messed up.”

He says he’s been approached to do other mainstream projects, which he won’t specify, but turned them down because he doesn’t want to jump into things just for the sake of exposure.

“I’m willing to do more stuff if it’s the right thing,” he said. “I’m very luck to have the luxury to be able to turn down everything or nothing,” adding, “I’m very privileged.”








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