Innerview: Persia Pele

CHATSWORTH, Calif.—Persia Pele wants to be a part of change in the adult industry.

“I feel like I have a sense of responsibility,” she says. “It’s a business and it needs to be viewed that way, extremely so. It needs to be a lot more contained.”

The former mainstream actress and producer who made her adult debut in August 2008 has performed in about 40 sex scenes for companies such as Vivid, Wicked, Penthouse, Bluebird Films, Reality Kings, Bang Bros, Brazzers and Playgirl. She was born in Tehran, Iran, and grew up in San Francisco, living on her own as a teenager. Her adventures include being an underage stripper, attending cosmetology school while managing a massage parlor, doing makeup in Hollywood, acting and executive producing the new indie film 30 Days to Die.

“In a universal way, somehow, some way I was meant to do this,” Pele says. “I’m a very spiritual person regardless of what people may think.”

Pele’s still burgeoning career has led to a nomination for the 2010 AVN award for MILF Performer of the Year. She can be seen in Vivid’s upcoming feature Savanna Samson is The Masseuse. And while she still goes on an occasional mainstream audition, Pele tells AVN is she primarily focused on adult.

AVN: What’s your impression of all this?

PP: It’s been very educational. There’s some things that I would like to see changed for the better for the performers. ... My experience literally has been amazing as well as horrible and that was to be expected. I didn’t expect it to happen so soon. I was prepared along with what was to come, the repercussions. But I wasn’t really aware of how intense and/or how soon. Prior to this I was in the [mainstream entertainment] industry, part of SAG. … I do still go out on some SAG auditions. But it’s funny my notoriety got so much more noticed being in adult.

AVN: What are some of your mainstream movie credits?

PP: Color of the Cross. I played Mary Magdalene. Miss B’s Hair Salon, Ride Sweet, Die Slow... I have four movies at Blockbuster, two of them my face is on the box as well. I’ve worked for the History Channel as well.

AVN: How did you get started in adult?

PP: My intentions were never to get into porn. I wanted to be the first Persian to win an Oscar. I wanted to be viewed as a very successful actress. I take pride in doing dialogue. I take it very seriously. I’ve been trained theatrically all my life.

During the past year porn has cared more about the dialogue more so than before and I’m happy about that because I get to exercise that. I love acting, and to me doing this, it definitely embodies an actress because I’m able to put the real me aside. It’s important for me that I’m able to bring Persia to set. We all have two sides to us.

AVN: What led to your decision to do porn?

PP: This sounds like a cliché but I was at a point of my life where I was done with mainstream production because I did a lot of producing as well as acting. I never had a problem with nudity. Long story short I said you only live once, why don’t I capitalize right now especially with the recession. I was dating someone at the time and he led me to [A-list Talent Management owner September Dawn.]

AVN: How do you like having sex for the camera?

PP: It’s odd, because it’s work. It’s not intimate by any means. It’s technical, it’s very technical. I mean for me it is because it’s different for everybody. For me it’s technical and I’ve walked off of two sets because they were not professional. And me coming from the mainstream it might be a little… it might draw me back a little bit because I expect things.

AVN: What kind of sex do you like?

PP: I like to look into their eyes. It’s more sensual, more passionate with me, instead of just the insertion. In private I like missionary. On set I like sideways because we’re both working. … Porn’s taught me a lot about myself, my limitations sexually, what I’m ok with and what I’m not ok with.

AVN: What does your family think of your career move?

PP: Because of the internet most of them know… Half of them have disowned me. (She was born into a Muslim family, but never was a practicing Muslim.)

I’m conscious that every day I’m at risk. I’ve had death threats and hate mails. That’s why I say I was not prepared for such intense repercussions, but it’s half and half. … I get support and then I also get hate mail and it’s to be expected.

AVN: What are your short- and long-term plans?

PP: I love directing and styling and everything that goes with production. I’m all about stylized and dialogue, everything has a beginning, middle and end. … Short term, I’ll be collecting content for my website. Long term, [to be part of] groundbreaking laws, rules and limitations in the industry. There’s just certain things that are way overlooked and I’d like to bring it to light. I’d like to see some changes happen in my lifetime. Once again it’s a business and it needs to be conducted and looked at as a business, way more than it is now.

AVN: What are your hobbies?

PP: I love to read— reading and art. I do a lot of arts and crafts. I make things. For instance, I have a huge Buddha at home and I just added some crystals to it. ... Working out. It’s like brushing my teeth. It’s a staple in my life. And cooking. Oh gosh, that’s therapy, cooking and baking.

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