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Q&A: Kayden Kross of 'Aroused'

April 30, 2013|Matt Pais, @mattpais | RedEye movie critic

Pitbull, a Billboard Top 20 artist and a spokesperson for Bud Light, can include a song called “Everybody F***s” on an album without incident. Yet visual evidence of that asterisk-altered title often inspires giggles, judgment and scorn.

In an effort to present the people who work in porn as just that—people—Deborah Anderson's documentary, “Aroused,” features interviews with 16 female adult film stars. It begins Friday at Landmark Century Cinemas.

One of the film’s subjects, Kayden Kross, is one of the world's most successful adult film stars, and she has more on her mind than what someone might expect from a person who does what she does for a living.

Kross, 27, has written for Complex magazine, guest-starred in two episodes of FX's “The League” and appeared repeatedly on the G4 Network. She also reads Philip Roth novels, can't handle films like “The Evil Dead” remake, and is writing a non-fiction book about her work to reflect the human side of the business.

“I want it to be no big deal,” she says of her industry on the phone from L.A. “It’s just another facet of life. We’re all sexual creatures.”

Do you feel like you or anyone else involved in “Aroused” had any reservations about participating once it became a platform to go behind the scenes?
No, not at all. Behind the scenes of adult [films] I think almost always puts us in a more positive light than whatever was assumed. So any chance we get to show that world in a way that isn’t slanted or biased toward making it look like the stereotypical thing you expect from porn--any opportunity is good for us. And I don’t think there’s a single girl in the film who has had any reservations or any regrets about being a part of it. I think they’ve only been more surprised and seen more come from it than they expected.

Something you said in the movie was interesting, about how when you were younger you didn’t have the courage to give a book report but now you answer questions you called intimate, personal and almost offensive. Where do you draw the line as far as when something becomes offensive?
Leading questions are most offensive to me. The most annoying and also most common leading question people will ask, and they’re doing it for comedic effect—and maybe it is funny and we just take it personally—but they’ll say something like, “So, when did your uncle molest you?”

What?!
Seriously, that happens more than you can possibly imagine. That’s a very, very common thing people say. And of course that’s offensive. Or they’ll say, “So, when did your dad abandon you?” They just assume that there [are] some very serious issues and they want to make a joke of it [for] their audience. It’s petty and it’s mean, and there’s no reason to do that. A porn star, they’re not going out and [trying] to shove their stuff on people. [Laughs.] Our content is taken from us and put on the Internet and downloaded illegally. We’re not pushing it on people who don’t want to watch it; if anything we’re trying to control who watches it because we’re still trying to monetize it. So when people go out of their way to come and attack us where we are ... We’re ignoring you; you should ignore us. [Laughs.]

Maybe I’m naïve, but I find it shocking that someone would be so insincere when bringing up something so serious, whether they want the answer or not. I guess you’re kind of numb to it now.
Yeah, of course. You become numb to it quickly. Not numb; I don’t want to say numb. You learn to just not react because when you do react, you’ve given them exactly what they wanted. And I’ve reacted before. I’ve walked off radio shows where that happened, or they’ll twist it to make it seem like you just can’t handle it or whatever. It happens very, very often, but when you learn to expect it, you just also learn to quickly end that exchange and move on to the next thing. It usually happens where there’s like a barrage of interviews at some convention and there’s always that one or two little news sources or radio shows or podcasts or whatever they were who are just looking for a reaction.

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