Jenna Jameson, CEO: 2
XBiz recently had the opportunity to interview Jameson from the set of her next soon-to-be-released feature:
XBIZ: You have your hands in many baskets right now — moan tones, the Hot Trimmer personal groomer, your movies, a best-selling book. If Howard Stern is the King of All Media, you seem to be the Queen of Everything. When you came into the business, did you have all of this planned out?
JJ: Wow. Thank you! When I started my career, my intention was to become the best. I had big plans and a lot of determination, but sometimes even I think this is beyond what I could have ever dreamed.
XBIZ: Have you done it all pretty much on your own, or have there been "angels" in the industry who've helped you along the way?
JJ: No one ever becomes successful by themselves. There are always people supporting you and encouraging you — sometimes more than others. Of course, the most important support comes from my husband [ClubJenna President Jay Grdina], and we are very fortunate to have close family and friends in addition to the network of friends we work with in the industry.
XBIZ: Only a handful of stars, such as Madonna, have been able to make themselves into brands. How did you manage to pull it off?
JJ: We built a great team when we started Club Jenna, and under the direction of myself and Jay, I believe that has been the key to achieving the next level. We choose very carefully the directions we take, the products I endorse and the projects I involve myself with.
XBIZ: How involved are you with the different aspects of your business — from endorsement decisions to film production?
JJ: If my name or Club Jenna's name is on it, I am involved in it. We pride ourselves in continuing to put the best possible product out there, and that won't ever change. I love having my own company and being able to do the projects I want to do — every one of them gets the personal touch, each one is a part of me.
XBIZ: On some level, you've become the public face of porn and a representative for the whole industry. Is that something you enjoy?
JJ: I think people are finally being openly honest and admitting that sex is a big part of life and there is nothing wrong with that. I think having a role in that is awesome, and I am proud to help where I can.
XBIZ: Are fans usually respectful of your privacy?
JJ: I truly believe I have the greatest fans ever — and I love them. I receive a lot of emails, cards and letters and love when I get the chance to meet them at signings [and shows]. I have known a lot of them for years, and it really goes beyond them being "fans."
XBIZ: Do you think you've opened up more opportunities for other adult actresses?
JJ: I think I set a pace for others to follow and hopefully they surpass the things I have been able to achieve. Things are certainly more open than they have been in the past, and the opportunities are definitely out there if you'll work for them.
XBIZ: What do you look for in your own contract performers?
JJ: We recently signed two new contract girls, McKenzie Lee and Jesse Capelli. These girls are not only beautiful but love what they do. They each have their own sexy look and style, and capturing that on camera is going to be awesome. We're also currently in negotiations with a couple of other girls, so stay tuned. It's going to be a big year.
XBIZ: Do you see yourself as a role model for young women?
JJ: More than anything, I want young women to believe in themselves. I want them to dream and then go after those dreams. I think my life is one everyone can relate to at one point or another in their own lives; and hopefully my surviving so many of the things I did will help them believe they can overcome anything as well.
XBIZ: Do you think the fact that your father supported your career decision helped you go farther than most?
JJ: It is very important to have the love and support of family and friends and it helps alleviate the defensiveness we may sometimes feel when confronted with our choices. I always knew what I wanted and that was most important.
XBIZ: What was it like debating at the Oxford Union? [In 2001, London's legendary Oxford Union, the world's foremost debating society, invited Jameson to defend the industry against anti-porn activists. She won. By a vote of 204-27.]
JJ: There are very few times when I get really, really nervous but this was certainly one of them. After all, I was speaking at Oxford. However, from the minute I walked into the room I received nothing but respect and it really was an amazing experience. And I won the debate.
XBIZ: I have to ask: Would you do it all over again?