On the Couch with James Deen: How “Crippling Shyness” might be the key to success [video]

On the couch with James Deen
On the couch with James Deen

What’s the Frequency, James Deen?

In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Ford Prefect describes the art of flying: “The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss,” he tells Arthur Dent.

Watching James Deen’s success lately—especially in his Let’s Not Be Idiots dismissal of anything unplanned about his involvement in “Teen Mom” Farrah Abraham’s sex tape—is a great counterpoint to Porn Valley Standard attention-seeking behavior.

Abraham wanted to make a sex tape, Deen told TMZ.com.

“[Abraham and the video producer] were going to pass it off as a sex tape,” Deen said, apparently morally obligated to not mention Vivid, outside of whose offices he and Abraham were photographed holding hands. “I have this problem where I can’t really lie… She wanted to make a sex tape.”

As you know, denying one has made a sex tape and protesting its release by Vivid is the only remaining American equivalent to the elegant dance of intriguing dandies in the French court.

But Deen’s combination of shyness and affability keep him from seeking attention even as he increasingly gets it.

His solution? His own couch.

I talked with Deen in Las Vegas about the non-aggressive way he landed the Paul Schrader-directed Bret Easton Ellis adaptation “The Canyons” and about  how he copes with his “crippling” shyness.

(I didn’t release this earlier because the audio is so bad. There is also a section at the end where I think Deen says Michael Stipe had sex with dogs. I can find no evidence of this and I think Deen may be mistaken.)

[hdplay id=41 ]

Among the highlights:

Gram: You’re in this movie with Lindsay Lohan, which will increase your career—

Deen: Probably. I don’t know how, but sure.

Deen on coping with shyness: “As a rule, if I have a place to sit down, I’m usually OK.”

Deen on why uncertainty is good: “Tim von Swine said it the best. He said, “If you’re not nervous, you don’t care. If I’m really nervous it means I should do it because it’s something that really matters to me.”

I met James Deen in the summer of 2005. He was an early favorite of altporn director Eon McKai, along with Joanna Angel (whom Deen was dating at the time) and Dana DeArmond. That year he told me got his porn name from Pamela Peaks, an older pornstress from a bygone era who was still active at the time.

Since then Deen has won numerous awards from all of adult’s award-granting institutions and has joined Ron Jeremy and Sasha Grey in non-porn recognition.

His attachment to independent movies like the steampunk western “Cowboys And Engines” (Deen on the difference between “Cowboys And Engines” and Will Smith’s “Wild Wild West”: “Well, it’s good”) and his position as the only person who emerged from “The Canyons” looking like a pro make his slow-burn  trip to the other side of the Hollywood sign seem encouraging.

Aside from his disturbing news about Stipe, Deen is someone you want to do well, and hope that his furniture suits his growing fame.

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Kill Girl Kill 3, Repo Man 2; On the set of “The Da Vinci Load”
See also: James Deen Blog, What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie (nytimes)

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Gram Ponante is America's Beloved Porn Journalist

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