Joey Stefano Movie
The other night I was talking with friends about someone I once knew, Joey Stefano. He was a very high profile gay porn star in the 1990’s who never expected to be as famous as he was. We were only two years apart in age and we both frequented a lot of the same clubs in the early 1990’s in the Philadelphia area. Because I was two years younger, he always seemed protective, which I thought was nice. Joey was from Chester, PA, which is a rough city only about twenty minutes south of Center City Philadelphia. At the time there seemed to be more clubs around, but I could be wrong about that.
And since then I’ve been following an upcoming film about him, written and produced by Chad Darnell. This is the most recent info I could find. It’s sort of an article/interview.
A veteran of nearly 50 gay porn films, the actor’s popularity was so widespread that even Madonna sought him out to participate in a photo shoot for her racy Sex book. Stefano (born Nicholas Iacona) was even rumored to have been involved in relationships with many entertainment executives, including (then-closeted) David Geffen.
I remember waiting in line in a New York book shop one cold day in January to buy that book. It was in the Village and there was a line around the corner because the book had just been released. I’d lost touch with him by then. He reached a point where he basically focused on films and stopped doing shows…at least in this area anyway.
What additional research did you do?
I reached out to everyone who knew him or met him. I didn’t care if they only met him at club, I wanted to meet everyone who would meet with me, because their perception, their stories of him are important to the story. I interviewed Larry, Sharon, Brian Maley in Vegas. Directors like Robert Prion and Jerry Douglas in New York. Anybody who was interested, I wanted to talk to them. I met with close to a hundred people.
He didn’t reach out to me. But then I knew Joey Stefano on a very different level and there wouldn’t be much I could add to a film that seems to be about his career and his fame. And, even if he had reached out, I wouldn’t have given out any information without knowing more about the film. I gave an interview not to long ago that I posted about here. But while I was in the middle of the interview I started to feel awkward about discussing someone who is gone. The journalist seemed nice enough, but I got a creepy feeling doing it and I held back. Frankly, I don’t think I’ll ever do anything like that again without thinking it through clearly. It’s an odd position in which to be.
In any event, the producer of the film received no cooperation from Stefano’s family, and I think I understand that better now more than I did before I did my interview. And I understand why his family wouldn’t want to discuss this. Joey Stefano wasn’t a huge Hollywood film star. He was a huge adult gay film star, often referred to as a “power bottom,” who happened to have the right mix of camera appeal and personality, and he came along at the right time. He had a discreet brand of fame, and he earned it on the fringes. Videos were huge for about four days in the 80’s and 90’s, and the kind of films Stefano and a few others did during that time opened up a new world for gay men who couldn’t come out of the closet…or who were terrified of AIDS. Watching porn is the safest sex there is, like it or not. And when millions of gay men discovered videos the entire concept took off. A lot of producers made a lot of money. Not so much for the actors.
I would hope that if I die tragically and a screenwriter approached my family, they would talk to him or her in order to share their story. But in the end, I have what I need to satisfy those questions.
To be honest, I would hope my family wouldn’t try to capitalize on my death. But then again, I’m on the fence about this completely and I can’t judge the film or the producer until it’s released. I’m hoping I like it, and I’m hoping it shows some of the good sides to Joey Stefano. So far many of the things I’ve seen and read are all highly sensationalized to the point of being ridiculous. One didn’t even get his place of birth right, which really galled me. The bottom line for me is that Joey Stefano was a combination of many emotions. He knew how not to take himself too seriously when he was with people he trusted, and he knew how to deal with those who only were interested in getting something from him. I’ve often thought about basing a short story on my experiences with him, but I’ve never done that because it felt as if I were crossing a line.
I’ll post more as things unfold.
Free Gay Story
An author/blogger friend of mine, Max Vox, put up a free story on his blog today, and I’ve already earmarked it for later tonight. I love these things late at night, especially because I only need about three hours sleep at night. So I spend a good deal of time reading or surfing blogs on the iPad. As a side note, I got to know Max on facebook a while ago, and I never even knew he wrote for ravenousromance.com, one my my publishers, until recently.