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FEATURE

Jenny Hendrix

Jenny Hendrix

February 4, 2008
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" If I'm on a set, girls [who are] always looking at their watches really piss me off. "

Jenny Hendrix knows she's hot.

This confidence makes an interview with her different from those of many porn performers. Sometimes they're not as confident; they overcompensate for low self-esteem by boasting or, on the other hand, might be unwilling to talk about something they're ashamed of.

But Hendrix knows she's good at what she does and doesn't spend a lot of time questioning it.

She has been an adult performer long enough to pinpoint her assets and to know exactly what mileage she can get from them. She talks about her breasts and ass like they are luxury features on a high-end vehicle.

"You need the ass out further?" she asks director Van Styles at a recent Video Team shoot. "I can really make it pop."

The movie is "Azzfest 6," so Hendrix and Styles are laser-focused on her backside.

"Just a little further," Styles said, and Hendrix contorts so that her butt resembles a plateau in the middle of a near-vertical incline.

"Perfect," Styles said.

"Yeah," Hendrix said, too gracious to say, "No kidding," even though she would've gotten away with it.

Hendrix is from Florida, where she got her start stripping.

"There are a lot of strippers in Florida," Hendrix said, describing a state whose adult performers form a kind of farm team for Porn Valley, but which also plays host to a number of big-time Internet companies and publishers like Score, Bang Bros., Reality Kings and Penthouse. "But not all strippers want to be in porn."

While many porn performers will capitalize on their movie stardom by seeking bookings as a feature dancer, Hendrix began as a house dancer in Florida clubs, where stripping is taken seriously and dancers are fit, competitive and mercenary.

Hendrix is matter-of-fact: "Why be in the business if you're not making money?"

One of Hendrix's first jobs in porn was with website PinkTV, where she worked for a year as the company's de facto contract girl alongside Lezley Zen. Though based in the Sunshine state, PinkTV created inroads in the California porn world by hosting parties in Hollywood. Hendrix traveled to California to attend one in 2005 and liked what she saw.

"I could see why so many people from Florida were coming," she said. "Same palm trees but the people are more focused."

Hendrix stays close with friends and family in Florida and visits frequently. One of her three phones has a 904 area code.

Three phones?

"Yeah, I'm a pretty connected person," she said. She holds up a pink Razr (her Florida phone), a pink-sheathed iPhone and another phone she uses for texting and scheduling. Since signing with a Valley-based porn talent agent this year, Hendrix said, she has rarely had a day off since the beginning of July.

"Do you sleep?" I asked.

"Oh, I make sure of that," she said.

Hendrix looks at her busy schedule pragmatically. "If I get tired," she said, "I'll stop. But now I'm busy saving money."

Hendrix is serious about her career and doesn't count adult industry parties and networking events as extracurricular activities. "For longevity in this business," she said, "It's important to keep your name out there. It's not that I don't have fun, but they are part of the job, too."

For this reason Hendrix doesn't have time for porn girls who aren't giving it their best shot.

"If I'm on a set, girls [who are] always looking at their watches really piss me off."

Indeed, Hendrix shuts off her phones during tasks on a porn shoot, but she is always on them in between, whether working her MySpace, where the current music is a fan's song about her (sample lyric: "Mami got the body that you can hit 24/7/Make you feel like a saint like a reverend"), or playing music on her iPhone's speaker to accompany still photography.

On the day of the "Azz Fest 6" shoot her makeup time was 9:30 a.m. She arrived at director Styles' house promptly and sat in his kitchen while makeup artist Lillian layered on several coats of foundation.

"I've got to get the foundation right before I start with the contours," Lillian said over Hendrix's head. "I don't watch a lot of porn, but I can always tell you when someone's done her own makeup or if she only has a couple of layers on."

Hendrix and Lillian chatted amiably while Lillian worked. Hendrix answered phone calls when she could, and soon Hendrix was transformed from a woman who looked like a Hollywood bartender into someone who was unmistakably a porn star. The transition was not dramatic.

Many directors who are only shooting one scene will attempt to minimize the time they spend in an expensive location by taking care of makeup and paperwork somewhere else. Styles had the procedure down to a science, so as soon as Hendrix's paperwork and makeup were completed, he packed her and his production assistant, Norbert, into his truck for the five-mile drive to an Encino house used for many porn shoots.

Once at the house (which smelled of baking bread as if the owner was preparing to sell it), Hendrix donned a pink plastic bra and panties ensemble and strapped on some black five-inch heels for a series of "pretty girl" shots. Her heels clacked and echoed on the wooden floors of the near-empty house.

Male talent Mr. Pete arrived, took one look at Hendrix, and declared today his lucky day.

Interactions between male and female talent on porn sets can be delicate, awkward, tense or amicable. Mr. Pete and Hendrix knew and liked each other, and because the job they were being paid for was one in which they had to, in Styles' words, "make sweet love," both performers prepared in their own way.

"I'm looking forward to getting in there," Mr. Pete said.

"Oh yeah?" Hendrix replied. Then they tried to remember if they'd ever done an anal scene together before.

Hendrix and Mr. Pete performed a standard anal scene. He seemed delighted to be working with her. But she did most of the talking.

"Be very vocal, Jenny," Styles said.

"You like fucking that ass?" she asked rhetorically. "Fuck my ass! Oh my God! Fuck! Fuck my ass! Fuck me! Fuck! I'm gonna come!"

Intimate sets like this one or large affairs like "Barely Legal 75" are similar for Hendrix. "I show up with all my stuff, I bring some entertainment, I do my job and I try to have a good time," she said.

She has also been known to mix drinks for the cast and crew. At a shoot this summer she put together several gallons of what she called Liquid Panty Remover. Since she served the cocktails naked, it couldn't be determined if the concoction worked.

After her scene with Mr. Pete, Hendrix went home to pack for a trip to New York. She had just returned from Pittsburgh, where she had attended a signing and a Christmas party for Adult DVD Empire.

Hendrix said that her porn career so shocked the residents of her gated community in Florida that she felt the need to leave. "It's a lot more accepted out here," she said, but noted that her friends from Florida were coming around to the concept of Jenny Hendrix: Porn Star.

"It helps when they see me on MySpace with famous people," she said.

"I like to be friendly with people and get along," she said. "I'm not into the porn star feuds. I don't think there's anyone out there who has a beef with me."

But Hendrix wants to do more than get along. She wants to be appreciated for her work, she wants to direct, she wants her own video line, and she wants to put together an affiliation of "hot girls" like Club Jenna.

"Jenna Haze is hot like me," she wondered aloud. "I wonder if she'd do it?"

I asked where she stood on getting awards.

"I'm up for Best Tease Performance at AVN this year," she said, "and a couple of others. I don't think I'll win some of the others because I'm not a contract girl. But if I look at something I do that I'm proud of, and see that it's better than what somebody else did who won an award for it, it bugs me."

She has seen women her own age or younger blow their money and squander the early success that is the hallmark of newcomers to the business.

"Me, I save my money," she said. "And I own my name."

As far as signing a contract with a big studio, Hendrix says, "What I don't want is to give up things I already own," she said, of seeking a contract. "Like my name."

But wouldn't she be working less and not making as much money? Would she be giving up the brand she created as a non-studio- aligned performer?

"It's a career move," she said, "and I wouldn't be giving up control. I'll make any contract good for me." She mentioned the names of friends for whose contracts weren't working for them.

More than anything, Hendrix wants her porn benefits to outlast her performing. That means she needs to work now.

"Why would I want to put myself out there for eight years, and then be 50 with people still buying my movies, and I'm not making a thing?" she said.

"I'm young and I'm hot," she said, "but I won't be forever."


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