12 February 2007

THE JOHNNY HAZZARD INTERVIEW - PART ONE

PART ONE As the world of pornography encroaches upon the mainstream world of entertainment, we find ourselves seeing more and more adult film stars on our televisions and movie screens. Tracy Lords has parlayed a quite famous pornography career and scandal into a major motion picture and television career with guest spots on ROSEANNE and films like CRY BABY under her belt. Some have gone the other route as in John Wayne Bobbitt, and Tony from TEMPTATION ISLAND. Tony did a masturbation video and duo jerk off scene with another man with quite a bit of physical contact between them.

Jenna Jameson is possibly the most famous adult film star. She runs her own production company, decides who she works with and even owns the rights to her films. In a survey taken in the city of Austin, Texas, every single middle aged woman (aged 40 – 55) knew who Jenna Jameson was!!

There are very few gay porn names, however, that can be seen outside of gay porn. One example is Jeff Stryker attempting a recording career after gay porn. And might I say…..OY! And then there is Tommy Hansen who has had an incredible run at BEL AMI, but decided to go beyond that and venture into commercial acting and reality TV. Tommy’s commercial for a German dairy company was pulled when it was discovered he had a gay porn past. And it all came out (so to speak) on the television show “Czech Big Brother” where he was a contestant.

Johnny Hazzard has gotten past the stigma of the phrase ‘gay porn’ and become nothing less than an icon worldwide for his performance in gay adult films.
Certain people who have worked with him in his films have had nothing but kind words to say about Johnny. They say he is kind and considerate as well as professional and giving with other actors and directors. One director in particular said that they would “love to work with Johnny forever and ever” because he is “the model of professionalism and maturity.”

Fans of Johnny’s have said that they feel an instant connection with the star. “He isn’t the typical plastic, gorgeous, West Hollywood gym bunny model,” says one fan in New York City named Jason. “Instead what we get is a natural ruggedness, a handsome man who is comfortable in his skin – a real guy! He looks at the camera and you feel like you are there with him – he knows how to bring you into a scene and a story.”

I was lucky enough to talk with Johnny Hazzard and ask him about his career, his life and some interesting tidbits. And he was actually quite enthusiastic about doing the interview. I had limited time as did Johnny – well, we’re both really busy people!! I had assumed that some of my questions for him would be “old hat” for him. He never gave me that impression at all.

I wanted to know how he got his start in the industry – was it some twisted convoluted route or was he discovered? Actually quite the opposite - it happened quite quickly and out of the blue. “I was in Boston waiting tables and craving a change,” Johnny told me. “I woke up one day and put in a tape to ‘start my morning off’ and it came to me that I could do porn to have some fun and put some extra cash in my pocket.” Well, Johnny already had an inside contact in the industry so he called in a favour. He sent in a photo and within a couple of hours Johnny was on the phone with Chi Chi LaRue.
His unique look was a big selling point and his look is quite nice. His deep golden brown eyes look right into you. His smile always precedes a laugh and his demeanour just makes you want to hug him! “I take a pretty good picture,” Johnny says and obviously Chi Chi thought so as well. “That sells videos.”

And the relationship between Johnny and Chi Chi and Rascal Video is well known. “Chi Chi has been so supportive of me along the way. We work well together and it doesn’t hurt that I work hard and keep the drama to a minimum!”

Johnny told me that his favourite film that he has done to date was WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS. It really stands out for him as a milestone in his career.
“Not only did I receive three awards for that (Best Actor, Best Solo, and Best Duo Sex Scene with Tyler Riggz) but it was the first video I had done that showed me I might want to act in mainstream projects,” Hazzard told me. “After the huge success of WRONG SIDE, I began to think about acting not only in porn, but in other fields of entertainment.”

And now, those thoughts of Hazzard’s have come into reality. Johnny posted a video on YouTube where he dances to the songs SPELLBOUND and MOVING INTO LIGHT. That video became such a huge hit and was viewed thousands of times. “Part of the appeal is that it is unexpected,” Hazzard said of the SPELLBOUND YouTube video. “As a porn star people are used to watching me get naked to do very naughty things. On YouTube I am presented in my normal habitat, fully clothed and acting like a fool. It’s just fun for the sake of fun and not something you normally see from an adult entertainer. [They are] totally spontaneous."

SPELLBOUND




MOVING INTO LIGHT



Well, all that attention made the writer of SPELLBOUND take notice and decided to write a song for Hazzard to actually sing! And that was the birth of DEEPER INTO YOU, Johnny’s dance single which was just released. (You can actually get it on iTunes.)

But there was that stigma again……Remember Jeff Stryker’s and Frederick Ford’s recording careers – and I use that term loosely – and how they were unmitigated disasters? Would Johnny fall by the wayside and loose any clout he might have gained in the industry by dropping a single that should just be dropped in the rubbish?


Well, DEEPER INTO YOU has garnered rave reviews including one from David Byrne on 17 January who said, “When adult film stars announce a career change – in particular into the music industry – they usually hear grunts and moans, but not the ones they normally hear on the set…… Let’s hear it for Johnny Hazzard, who is taking his stab at being THE exception.” I was happy to read that review and even happier to hear the single. DEEPER is actually a good tune, easy to dance to and with a nice deep breathy voice singing the lyrics. That voice belongs to Johnny Hazzard and boy was I surprised! Johnny can actually sing well….. I told Johnny about how I felt and about that review. That was the first time he had heard it. I asked him if he felt validated by it to which he responded, “HELL YEAH IT DOES!!”

Johnny is game for doing more, possibly future singles or even a full album, but there are a lot of factors that go into that decision. It’s not one that he wants to take lightly or be glib about. “I’m enjoying my run as a ‘star’ on screen and in music,” Hazzard told me. “It’s a cliché for sure, but definitely true in my case. I have been very lucky. And I mean that in my life beyond porn as well. I have an incredible family that supports me without question. Fantastic friends both old and new and a very extraordinary studio to work for.” He paused here to make a point. “Ten years ago I was in a very different place and I couldn’t have imagined having the life I do now. For all of that I am very grateful.”

CONTINUED IN PART 2

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