To watch 19-year-old Jessie Andrews in “Portrait of A Call Girl” or the porn adaptation of “Taxi Driver”—in both she plays clear-eyed prostitutes—is to see someone comfortable in her own skin. They are performances worth rewarding.
When someone—let’s say a porn star—is nude all the time, it’s easy to think they are sharing everything with the world. I got the feeling from Jessie Andrews that she shares only as much as she wants you to see: nude but not naked.
I contacted Andrews for an interview after seeing her in two movies and checking out her Twitter and Tumblr feeds, where she supplies a significant portion of the world’s nudity. She declined a phone interview and requested email questions instead.
Andrews’ performances are intelligent without being particularly verbal. I felt the same about her interview answers.
Gram: You were raised in Florida. Do you have any theme park-related sex stories?
Gram: At what point did you want to explore the adult industry as a performer? If so, what were they?
Andrews: I’m not really exploring, so there was no exact point. I’m just doing a job. And when the job requires certain things, I adjust, and do them to survive in this business.
Gram: What came first—your appreciation of porn or your feeling that you could do it?
Andrews: My 18th birthday came first (you have to be 18 to participate and watch porn).
Gram: OK… Were there performers you admired before you got in?
Andrews: There wasn’t anyone.
Gram: I noticed you tweeted the other day about working with a newer girl. It wasn’t so long ago that you were that newer girl. Can you talk about how long it took for you to feel like you knew the ropes?
Andrews: I’m a fast learner so it took me one time [at] each company to know what they’re about and how they work.
Gram: Describe an experience when you really learned something on the job in porn.
Andrews: [At] my first Boy/Girl/Girl [shoot], I learned how to douche.
Gram: [“Portrait of A Call Girl” director] Graham Travis says some wonderful things about you. Among them is how assured you are as an actor. Where do you find the confidence to just slow down and work in character?
Andrews: I don’t think I’d call it confidence, more like understanding. “Taxi Driver” was more of mimicking a character that has already been characterized (short hair, young, style, accent). But [to play] Elle in “Portrait of a Call Girl,” I had to kind of mold my personality with the story and we (Graham and I) created her! Because she wasn’t an actual physical character before we made her.
Gram: Sex work, at the higher level portrayed in “Portrait,” can be a lonely job. Do you have experience as an escort? Your character talks about “figuring things out.” Do you identify with that?
Andrews: I’ve never escorted, so I cannot identify.
Gram: You’re a porn star and you are an actress. In some movies you get to act more than others. But however much you’re acting, your directors, producers, and castmates expect that people (hopefully men and women) will be jerking off to your performance. How much is that in your head when you meet fans, and can you describe that feeling?
Andrews: I don’t really think about it too much. At the end of the day we’re all normal people and want to feel good. I’m helping [fans] do that.
Gram: You tweet about having non-porn friends. How important is that?
Andrews: To me having non-porn friends is very important. It keeps me grounded and down to earth and out of the porn lifestyle most people get sucked into.
Gram: You haven’t always been with [current porn talent agency] Spiegler Girls. How important is a good agent?
Andrews: Spiegler is the best ever. It’s very important to have a good agent (and Spiegler’s like my second father, seriously). But I feel like if you’re a good performer, smart, have a good attitude, and sell well, people will book you no matter who your agent is.
All these photos are taken from Andrews’ TumblR feed and her website, which she designed and maintains herself.
Gram: You are one of the most nude people on Twitter. But not naked. Because porn performers at least partially use social networking to sell their personalities, I’m wondering if you ever feel that you don’t have as much privacy as you’d like.
Andrews: Certainly there are rules for everyone as to giving out your address, phone number, etc. [But] I live alone, I have plenty of privacy, and I don’t have anything to hide, so I really have no fear of what I post, even if people don’t like it.
Gram: You don’t take criticism personally?
Andrews: I could care less because everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.
Gram: With more than a year under your belt (so to speak), you’re a porn star. What advice would you give to that person back in Florida or Ohio or Massachusetts who is thinking of getting into your line of work?
Andrews: Advice? Just be yourself. I don’t think I’m a pornstar; just a normal girl who happens to do porn.