Oyster #89: Faye Reagan
Jason Crombie interviews the porn star and discovers she's very, very cool.
Here's one from the Oyster archives - Jason Crombie's interview with hipster porn star Faye Reagan for issue #89:
I have to admit, when Oyster asked me to interview porn star Faye Reagan, I was more than a little apprehensive. First of all, I don't know anything about pornography - I masturbate once in a blue moon, and when I do I fantasize almost exclusively about my girlfriend or Helen Mirren. Secondly, I don't feel comfortable discussing the facts of life with women who are too young to remember where they were when Kurt died (colour me thirty-something). But most of all, I was worried that by interviewing Faye I'd be announcing myself as just another creepy dude who thinks nothing of exploiting the hug-starved and adrift. Fortunately, Faye doesn't fall into the 'Lost Girl' category; she knows exactly what she's doing, and you better believe she has her best interests in mind. And even though she can't recall much about that fateful day in 1994 when grunge died, Faye is wise for her years, and very, very cool.
Jason Crombie: Hi Faye!
Faye Reagan: Hi!
How are you?
I'm good! How are you?
I'm a little bit nervous. I haven't really talked to a porn star before... I feel a bit... well, not weird, but... I'm really worried I'm going to say or ask the wrong thing.
Oh no, it'll be fine.
Ok. First question: where are you from?
I was born in Nashville Tennessee, but I'm not from there. My parents only lived there until I was eight months old, and then we moved to, and I spent my whole life in, Vegas.
Do you have brothers and sisters?
I do. I have a seven-year-old sister, and then a 16-year-old brother...
So, you're the oldest.
Yeah, I'm the oldest, and I have one other sister who's 19.
How old are you?
21? How old are your parents? They must be in their forties.
My dad just turned fifty and my mom is 45.
How do your parents feel about you being in the porn biz? I bet you never get sick of that question. Sorry.
That's okay. When I first started doing it, and when they first found out ? they find out about everything they were so upset, so angry, and there was crying and...
Yeah, crying and screaming, and then I think maybe a month later we started talking again, and they wanted to come out to California to come and see me. When they eventually came out, they were actually kind of happy because I used to have a lot of piercings, like, in my face. I use to have my ears gauged and... I pretty much had to take all that out when I started doing porn. So when my parents saw me, all that stuff was gone, and I'd had my nails done, and I was dressed pretty, you know? My mom was like, Oh!? And they were really happy. They hated my piercings, just hated them; they hated when I painted my nails black...
They were happy you'd ditched all the piercings?
Yeah, and when they saw that I wasn't wear-ing stripper heels and fishnets to dinner, they were kind of okay with that, too. I mean, nobody wants their daughter to do porn, but... we're better now.
Here's another question that you've never been asked: how did you get into the industry, like, was it something you wanted to do? Had you thought about it for while?
No, I'd never thought about it. It wasn't planned. It was kind of circumstantial. I fell into it.
I have really strict parents, especially as far as boys went. I couldn't date, I couldn't go to the prom, and I couldn't go to anybody's house...
You weren't allowed near boys.
Not at all. And when I turned 18 I was still living at home and going to school and it was still the same, even though I was 18, I was under their roof, living by their rules.
So you never had a boyfriend?
I had my first boyfriend when I was 18, and I wanted to go to his house, and wanted to hang out, and just be a regular kid, you know?
So I went ahead and did those things, and my parents got really angry.
Then what happened?
Anyway, one night I went out and my car had an oil leak. My dad had said to me, "Don't drive that car around too much; I have to fix the oil leak." But I took it into the desert, to a party, and the oil leak worsened and I basically drove the car until it was out of oil and the engine seized up. And I thought, Oh my god, I am in so much trouble.
What did you do with the car?
It wouldn't start, so I just left it at a gas station. I was so freaked out and scared.
Scared you'd get in trouble for driving the car?
Yeah. I didn't tell my parents anything, and I didn't go home. The car sat there for a week and then it got towed, and then, finally, I told them what happened.
Wait, where were you this whole time?
I stayed at my boyfriend's house, and my parents got super mad and said "You know what? We want you out." And my boyfriend's mom said, "You can stay here with us," so I was like, "Okay! Bye!" When my parents found out I was actually going to move, they freaked out. They were like, "No, no, no. Just kidding! Come back home." But I was out of there. So, I didn't have a car, but I had a job and was going to school. But then the company I worked for went out of business and let everybody go. I was a receptionist, so I was one of the first people to go, and eventually I stopped going to school too.
I know. So now I had no car, no job, and I wasn't going to school. I was basically doing nothing, you know?
Anyway, I went to a friend's wedding and there was a recruiter there, like, a guy who works for an agency.
A guy who finds people to act in porn movies?
Faye: Yeah. And he said to me, "You know, you could make a lot of money, blah, blah, blah... And of course my boyfriend at the time who didn't have a job and was super-lazy said, "Oh yeah! You should totally do this! We could make lots of money!" So I thought about it for a month, and then... You know, being in that position, not having a car, no job, having nothing, I just thought, what the hell, I'll just try it. So when I moved out here (L.A.) and started doing it, I discovered I liked it! But my boyfriend wanted me to just do a bunch of movies, make some money, and then move back to Vegas and buy a house that he and I and all his friends could live in. He said, "I want to go home; I miss my friends." But I just thought: I've already started doing this, I can't take it back now, and I want to make a name for myself, so, go home. And that was how I got in.
Wow. I guess we should talk about the first thing you did in porn. It must have been nerve-wracking.
Yeah, it was. I'm sort of different than most girls in the business, not all of them, but most of them...
In what way?
Most girls have a lot more experience than me because they lost their virginity when they were, like, 13 or 14 years old. They'd already been having tonnes of sex, and I didn't lose my virginity until I was 18...
Please tell me you did not lose your virginity on set.
No, no. I lost it a couple of months before I started doing porn.
What? Jesus Christ, come on.
Yeah, so sex, in and of itself, was still a new thing to me, let alone doing it on camera.
Oh my god.
Oh my god... That's crazy!
I know, and my first scene was with two guys, and I'd never done that, and it was... yeah, it was scary, but I got through it.
But now it's just like second nature, you know?
Yeah. How... how does it work? I mean do you get to choose whom you do it with?
Well, that's the thing: a lot of people don't. I would say that about 98% of the people in the business don't get to choose who they work for. But I'm different because when I came into the business I had a really bad agent, one of the worst agents, but I didn't know any better. Like, I didn't know that you could just do girl/girl, and I didn't know you could take it slow. My agent wanted me to hurry up and get out there doing a bunch of stuff so he could collect commission on it, instead of telling me to go slow so I could have a longer career. So I was doing all these gangbangs and blow-bangs, all this crazy stuff, and I didn't know I had other options, you know?
Anyway, I met this girl/girl agent and he told me I needed to slow down, and that I could get paid just as much doing girl/girl.
Which has got to be an easier option.
Totally. So I snuck away from my old agent and started doing girls.
This is the weirdest conversation I've ever had. Please continue.
I quit doing boys and just did girl/girl. A little while later I met my boyfriend [Dane Cross], who's also in the business and he found out that I'd done girl/boy before, so he was like, "Will you please do a scene with me? Pleeeease?" So I did one, and one turned into two, and then two turned into three, and then I arrived at a place where I only do girls and him, my boyfriend.
So, that's kinda nice, right?
Yeah. So I did that for two years and then last July I got kind of bored and went back to doing boys again, but I decided to do it my way this time. I made it clear that I was only going to work with people that I liked. In the beginning I was working with the creepiest, grossest, bottom-of-the-barrel guys.
Eventually though, from being in the industry for two years, I met a lot of guys that I liked. So I made a list that said these are the only people I will work with; these twenty guys, that's it, no one else. I told my agent that if a company wanted me to work with a guy who wasn't on my list they could ask me and I'd decide. I also made my rate really high, like, $600 higher than other girls.
Cool. What's it like on set? Like, does it feel like a regular movie set? Gaffers and catering and stuff?
It depends. Some companies are like that. The bigger companies like Penthouse have catering and thirty people on set. Then there's the other end of the spectrum, the smaller Internet companies, and that can be just you and two or three other people.
If it were me, I'd be more inclined to do the smaller Internet jobs because thirty people standing round watching me all naked and sweaty? I'd freak out. But I guess you get used to it, right? It's just work.
Yeah, you get used to it. And the more you work, the more people you meet, and they become your friends; you know them.
Still, I can't get an erection with my friends in the room. I've tried.
Yeah, well, I can see how it could be a problem for guys.
You've got lots of freckles.
Do you like them? Or are you one of those girls who wishes they didn't have any?
I'm ok with them. I don't know.
I think your freckles are great. You've done mainstream modeling with those freckles, right? Like the American Apparel ads?
Yeah, I've been shooting with them since 2007.
Who else have you done modeling for?
Um... Lip Service, Married to the Mob, Gypsy, Salvage...
So you've really got a foot in the mainstream. Do you think you'll ever give up porn and just do modeling? How long will you stay in the porn industry?
I have a really bad habit of not looking into the future. I've never been the kind of girl that made plans; I just sort of live day to day, so I can't say when I'll quit. I can tell you I don't see myself leaving any time super soon, but I also don't want to be one of these forty or fifty-year-old ladies doing it.
No... No you don't. One more question: what did you want to be when you grew up? Like a veterinarian or something?
No. Unfortunately I wasn't a very ambitious kid. The one thing I did want to do, though, was act.
But I kind of squashed that a little bit when I came into this business.
Really? You think the porn will affect your chances at a mainstream career?
Yeah. I mean, porn has become a lot less taboo in recent years, but... obviously I'll never do a Disney movie.
True. But you can do cooler stuff than Pirates of the Caribbean.
Actually, I've been doing a mainstream movie in San Francisco.
Like a regular movie?
Yeah, a non-porn movie.
It's an indie feature.
Awesome! What's it called? When does it come out?
It's called Messina High, I'm not sure when it's coming out.
What's it about?
It's an adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing; we're all high school kids, which is fun.
That's so cool!
Yeah, it's really fun!
Words: Jason Crombie
Photography: Darren Ankenman
Art Direction: Thomas Mastorakos