SUNRISE ADAMS: An AVNInsider Interview
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AVN: You were a free agent for quite some time before becoming a Vivid Girl. Tell me some of the differences both good and bad.
SUNRISE: One of the differences in being a free agent is you always have to worry about who you're going to work for next, if you're going to have a job next. You don't have to do that when you're a contract girl. You pretty much have your year or years planned out for you and you know the money is going to come in. Some of the other differences: you're sometimes stuck working with companies you're not happy with as a free agent. I was pretty hard-headed so I never really did too many things that I'm not proud of or put in situations where I wasn't cool with. I was pretty lucky to avoid all that. And you're always trying to make money as a free agent. I was out there working seven days a week, 24 hours a day on sets, whereas now I'm working only a couple of times a year and the rest of the time I tour around the world being a spokesmodel and I have a lot of time now to focus on my life and where I'm going with my life and my dogs. It's nice. It's calm. Before I was running myself ragged. I always thought I could do it on my own and didn't have to depend on anybody.
As a free agent you don't have a sense of family in the industry. You still do but it's not like now where I can just go to the office and talk to Steven or Marci. I get Christmas gifts and birthday gifts from them. They're like my family. No matter what's going on in my life I can call them and just feel safe and happy or if I'm feeling depressed or I just want to bitch about something I can call Marci and have her talk to me and I can listen to her problems too.
But being freelance you're just out there on your own. Aside from a few friends you may have made, you really have no one to depend on because everyone's trying to climb over your back to get a little further up than you.
Now that I'm a contract girl they make me feel like I'm a princess and I get whatever I want when I want and it's just amazing.
AVN: What advice did Sunset [Thomas] have for you about entering the business?
SUNRISE: When I got in the business she told me how it was in the 80’s when she got started so I came into the business with this open mind/open eye sense of what it was going to be. But she did give me a little bit of advice but the little bit of advice she did give me was great. She taught me about STDs, what to look for and stuff like that. Looking at her and how far she had come in her life I got a sense of ‘I want to be like that. I want the big house and the nice car and the nice clothes. I want to travel all over the world.' So, seeing her made me want to strive in where I wanted to take this. I didn't want to be just some girl getting in the business for the quick money. I didn't have anybody pushing me to get into the business. I got into it because I always wanted to and I love the industry.
AVN: That nicely dovetails into what I wanted to ask you next. I came across an editorial by the Parents Television Council that was written last August. It was an op-ed 'Popularizing Pornography', wrapped around an appearance you made at a Canadian strip club. What they wrote was:
'It was bad enough when porn festered into a huge disease in the dark streets of downtown business districts. Then it spread into pay per view options on cable. Next it was carried into our homes on Betamax and VHS tapes. Over the last few years, the epidemic surfed into our lives on the crest of cyberwaves. Now it's breaking out in kids clothing and sports! What next? A new breakfast cereal called Porn Pops?'
Obviously they're opposed to the concept of the mainstreaming of porn and there's a reference there to the Pony ads. What do you have to say in response to that?
SUNRISE: To me porn is everywhere and it's not just porn, it's in the mainstream. People who don't have anything to do with the adult industry are branching out into it because sex is always going to sell no matter what. Sex is appealing to all ages, even though young children should not be watching it, you know, it's the parents fault any time something like that happens.
We do produce porn and, yes, some people do have their views on it, but you have to buy our product. We're not giving it to you. You actually have to purchase our product. For Pony to feature Jenna Jameson on a billboard they're not saying 'Jenna Jameson, Porn' or 'Jenna Jameson, Come Fuck Me', they're saying 'Look at this beautiful woman on a billboard who is fully clothed' and that's what's going to sell. She is fully clothed and she represents something that is beautiful and sexy. And to them that's bad ... there are a lot of closed-minded people who are undercover freaks and that's what it boils down to, they just want something to bitch about because something in their lives that makes them unhappy (so) they have to pick on people who are happy and are confident with what they're doing.
I don't go out there every day and say 'Oh I'm a porn star, look at me. Oh I'm cheap.' I'm nothing like that. I'm just an everyday person with an erotic job. When you see me on the street I'm usually wearing overalls and tennis shoes and only lip gloss. I've never had a one night stand. I don't have a promiscuous lifestyle. I have sex on film and that's my job and I love my job but I don't want people to look at me and think that I'm a whore or anything else like that.
You made a reference to children's clothes; you can turn on any cartoon these days and their women are shapely and they have huge breasts and perfect curves. Everything is sexually oriented. That's just the way it's going. And it's good for the adult industry because it's opening up many doors for us and it's opening up people's eyes that were never opened before. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and they're not going to hurt me with what they say because I know who I am and what I'm going for in life and the type of person I am deep down inside. They can have all the opinions they want. They're not perfect. Have they ever had pre-marital sex? Have they ever done anything dirty and nasty in their bedrooms? They're just like us, you know, except that they don't do it on - well, some of them do do it on film in their house but they just don't sell their films and that's the only difference to me.
AVN: How many times have you worked with PT?
SUNRISE: I worked for him the first year I was with Vivid. I did two Debbie Does. I did a little more than seven movies with him. He's a really good director as far as the material and stuff like that goes but I like directors who make it a little more comfortable and fun. My personal favorite is Chi Chi LaRue. He has my heart. But PT's awesome, he is.
AVN: You've put your business management degree on hold for the time being?
AVN: But you're still investing in real estate?
SUNRISE: I am. I am. We just bought our second home, my boyfriend and I, and hopefully soon I'll branch a little further out. The house that I just bought was pretty expensive to me so as soon as I get these payments under control I'll start on my third.
AVN: There's a conscious move by Vivid these days, more so than in the past, to take on girls like yourself who are very media friendly. Do you think that girls like you and Savanna are emblematic of the notion that adult entertainment has become a viable career path for young women today?
SUNRISE: That's what I'm hoping and what Vivid is hoping people will strive to see. But you still have these areas of porn where it's just straight porn, there's no glamour to it, there's nothing. It's just straight gonzo porn. Vivid is striving to - Steven is constantly pushing to get me into acting classes. He just wants to make us the best business people we can possibly be and to open up doors that were never open to adult industry girls before. I've been on Fox News so many times, Entertainment Tonight. I've done numerous things. Now we have a reality show following us around. It's just amazing and I want people to see that we are smart, that we do have our heads on straight and that we're really just normal people but just a little more kinkier than some people.
We have amazing girls right now. We have Mercedez, who blows my mind just being near her because she's just business. Every time someone talks to her it's straight business, down to the point. It's just amazing. Savanna, she's the one who kind of cultured me. I'm just a country girl. So being around her she had me try out all kinds of new foods and she always gripes at me because I'll pull out my Cover Girl powder. Brianna, she's the wild and crazy one who's just out there and loves to have a good time.
Of course, we have Jenna who's not really a Vivid Girl she's just JENNA. She's her own class. She's everything an adult actress should want to be. She's just incredible.
So when girls look at us I hope they say 'I want to be like the Vivid Girls. I want to be more into the mainstream. I want to travel all over the world and I want people to respect us when we walk into a building and not look down on us like we're whores.' Because the Vivid Girls, we do demand respect and we do demand class and people treat us like we do have class.