Title: Kiwi gay sex DVD: The lead actor speaks Credit: Matt Akersten Movies Friday 22nd September 2006 - 12:00pm1158883200 Article: 1426 Rights
James West James West, New Zealand's first gay porn DVD star reveals all in this surprisingly frank interview… Auckland landscaper James West, 25, is the lead actor in “John', New Zealand's first-ever professionally-produced gay porn DVD. He now reveals what it was like behind the scenes, the family crisis behind his decision to have sex on camera, and his thoughts on whether he would repeat the experience with a sequel. Q: How did you get involved in 'John'? I saw it advertised in a newspaper, and I needed money for mum. My mum had cervical cancer, and she's had quite a few scares with breast cancer. My father passed away Christmas 2004, so it was sort of like 'oh God, it's happening again'. I thought I'd better step in and help her out. She needed help financially. I asked her whether she would approve if I did this, and she said 'yeah go for it'.  So I went for the audition for the role of 'Darius the stripper'. Four days later, they called me and offered me the full part – 'John', which I took. Q: Were you nervous? It was very nerve-wracking. Before the filming, I'd never played with sex toys before, and never watched a porn movie or read a porn magazine. At first I couldn't get it up! I was thinking, oh my god, you've got this cameraman, you've got this sound girl standing over you, you've got another guy I didn't even know... having sex in front of the camera was very difficult. But a job's a job and it has to be done. I sort of closed my eyes and thought of happy thoughts. And then once you start to kiss, and things start to happen, all the cameras and lighting and everything just goes away. Q: Was it a physical challenge? It was, as in I got tired easily. We filmed the whole thing over two weekends, and one or two nights here and there. At times I really had to try to sexually arouse myself. I took Viagra. Q: You'd never done any acting before this? Never. I did drama at school, but it was compulsory. I can't say that I ever took any interest directly in drama or acting. We had some quite intensive acting lessons before the production. It was quite a few evenings of classes - not many, so we had to learn a lot in a short period of time. Q: There was a party for the DVD release. What was that night like for you? That was the first porn I'd seen, and I was in it! My boyfriend Adam was there, and I was looking up at the ceiling half the time. I couldn't watch it. I just couldn't. I was prepared for everything... it was all pretty good, but the thing that struck me most was, and I'm not being egotistical or anything like that, but I think if I did a little bit more acting, I could take that further, as I felt I came across completely different on-screen. And in some cases I thought that I looked quite natural - quite a few people commented on that. My friends have been very supportive. My true friends really showed on premier night. My older brother was there, too. So many people there all saw me naked on the posters. They didn't care. Q: So your family is supportive too? When I first came out, my older brother was so homophobic. He didn't talk to me for half a year. So for him to come along to something like that, it's just incredible. They've been nothing but supportive. Mum's excellent now. She had another scare with breast cancer not too long ago; we couldn't believe it was happening again. But she went through chemo, and has recovered, so she's back teaching now. Q: How would you respond to people who criticise you for appearing in porn? I would say 'get over it'. It's just a DVD. It's acting. End of story. The only people who are going to watch it are people who are going to be turned on by it, anyway. So 'get over it' - they don't know me. Q: Would you do it all again? Only if my partner Adam and I decided to be in the next film together. I've been in a relationship with him for the last six months. In a partner, I look for someone who's genuine, trustworthy, outgoing, responsible, honest, independent, and most of all, fun and loving. They're all the qualities Adam has. I'm very very lucky. I'd rather have sex with Adam than any 'porn star'. The 'John' DVD is available from     Matt Akersten - 22nd September 2006
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