|Date of Birth
||March 14, 1988
|Place of Birth
||Sacramento, California, U.S.
Sasha Grey (born Marina Ann Hantzis on March 14, 1988, in North Highlands, California) is an American pornographic actress. She is also active outside of pornography through modeling, acting, and music. Growing up in Sacramento, California, Grey moved to Los Angeles and began appearing in pornographic films shortly after turning 18. Grey was featured in a 2006 issue of Los Angeles, which interested the director Steven Soderbergh. She won several AVN Awards in 2007 and 2008. During the same period, Grey began modeling and was cast in Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience. Grey also recorded an industrial music project, ATelecine.
Grey grew up in a working-class family in Sacramento, California and her mother worked for the state of California. Her parents divorced before she finished middle school, and her mother remarried in 2000 when Grey was 12. Grey states that she felt miserable at home around her step father, and as a result at 16, informed her mother she was going to move out. She describes her relationship with her mother as "somewhat estranged". Grey attended four high schools before graduating, unhappy in each one. In autumn 2005, she attended junior college and took classes in film, dance, and acting. Grey contemplated stripping during college so she wouldn't have to work as much, but eventually settled on porn. She waited tables at a steak house through March 2006 and saved $7,000 for a move to Los Angeles.
In May 2006 Grey moved to Los Angeles and started her career in adult films just after turning 18. Originally she toyed with the name Anna Karina (after the French New Wave actress) before deciding on her present name. The name "Sasha" was taken from Sascha Konietzko of the band KMFDM,and "Grey" represents Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and the Kinsey scale of sexuality. Her first scene was an orgy with Rocco Siffredi for The Fashionistas 2 by John Stagliano. When she was younger, prior to her video career, she dated a cook at the steak house where she worked, who introduced her to slapping and other kinds of consensual degradation during sex. Nearly six months after entering the adult industry, Grey was featured in the November 2006 edition of Los Angeles where she was flagged as a potential major star, perhaps the next Jenna Jameson.
Less than a year after entering the industry, in January 2007, Grey was the recipient of awards for "Best Three Way Sex Scene" and "Best Group Scene" at the AVN adult movie awards. She was also nominated as "Best New Starlet", but lost to Naomi. Grey was named Pet of The Month for July 2007 and was photographed by fashion photographer Terry Richardson. In 2008, she became the youngest person to win the AVN "Female Performer of the Year" award.
In December 2006, Grey was interviewed on the syndicated entertainment industry news show The Insider. In February 2007, she appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, discussing teenagers in the sex industry. Grey was profiled in the Rolling Stone "Hot Issue" for the December 2008 edition. And in April 2008 she made a highly publicized visit to Brandeis University for an interview with Los Angeles Times blogger Scott Feinberg followed by a Q&A with 300 students.
Grey represents herself in the adult industry through her own agency, L.A. Factory Girls. while The Spread Group manages her mainstream affairs. Since 2006, she has been developing an autobiographical documentary, illustrating her experiences from the age of 18 to 21. Grey has indicated particular appreciation for the work of Andrew Blake and Kimberly Kane.
A. O. Scott of The New York Times described her pornographic career as "distinguished both by the extremity of what she is willing to do and an unusual degree of intellectual seriousness about doing it.
Grey was featured in the artwork for The Smashing Pumpkins 2007 album Zeitgeist,and appears in their music video "Superchrist". Grey was also featured in the music video for the song "Birthday Girl"by The Roots.
She has modeled for American Apparel and Richard Kern as a part of Vice magazine's anti-fashion layout, and appeared in a three-part VBS program, "Shot by Kern". She also appeared in Taschen’s 25th anniversary reprint of Terry Richardson’s Terryworld. Among other collaborations with Richardson, she has also appeared in Wives, Wheels, Weapons, a companion book to James Frey's Bright Shiny Morning. She has also modeled for artists James Jean, David Choe and Frédéric Poincelet.
Grey appeared in an episode of James Gunn's PG Porn with James Gunn,as well as a cameo role in Dick Rude's independent film Quit, and stars in the upcoming Canadian low-budget black comedy/horror film Smash Cut from the Ottawa-based Odessa/Zed Filmworks. She plays a TV news personality who goes undercover as an actress in a horror film production, only to discover her older sister's murderer.
Most prominently, she plays the lead, "Chelsea," in Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh's film The Girlfriend Experience. Soderbergh cast her after reading an article profiling her in Los Angeles magazine, commenting that "She's kind of a new breed, I think. She doesn't really fit the typical mold of someone who goes into the adult film business. ... I'd never heard anybody talk about the business the way that she talked about it."Journalist Scott Macaulay indicates that her casting was probably also prompted by Grey's interest in a variety of independent and art film directors, particularly Jean-Luc Godard, but also Harmony Korine, David Gordon Green, Michelangelo Antonioni, Agnès Varda, and William Klein. In having Grey prepare for her role in The Girlfriend Experience, Soderbergh asked her to watch Godard's Vivre sa vie and Pierrot le fou. Vivre sa vie concerns prostitution, while the relationship portrayed in Pierrot le fou was suggested as a model for the dynamic between Chelsea and her boyfriend and clients. Grey and Soderbergh also interviewed two escorts, and borrowed character traits and behavior from them. Grey indicated that she played the character partly as embodying the assumptions projected onto her; while Grey describes herself as very self-conscious and introspective regarding her sexual choices, Chelsea is controlled mainly by her own vanity.
In 2008, Grey began an industrial music collaboration, called ATelecine, with Pablo St. Francis. Their first EP, AVigillant Carpark, was released by New York label Pendu Sound in 7 inch vinyl only. She also contributed vocals to the Current 93 album Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain.