XBIZ: Why did you decide to branch out into the whole DJ thing several years ago?
LARUE: I've been doing shows and performing in drag and entertaining people for 30 years, and I just grew tired of doing the club scene and sitting in a booth or at a table or walking around and just guzzling liquor. And I’ve been a music junkie since I was very young. So, after a while, when I’d come into clubs I started asking DJs if they’d let me play around with the music, and they did. And doing the DJ thing now for several years, I play music for everyone to dance to: ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, contemporary rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop … I run the gamut of Kiss to Britney Spears, and I love everything in-between.
I should add that C1R has graciously allowed me to do these DJ gigs because, you know, in the long run it does benefit the whole company for me to be out there promoting the company and talking about Chi Chi LaRue and Channel 1. And I’m DJing all over the world now — not just in America, but also in France, Spain, Germany and even Australia.
XBIZ: Good show! These days, Chi Chi, how many movies do you direct per year?
LARUE: About five. They’re all gay, but I did make one bisexual movie last year.
XBIZ: You also directed straight movies at Vivid for quite a number of years.
LARUE: And I loved working with the girls. And, hey, if Vivid ever calls me to do a “Where the Boys Aren’t” or a girl/girl movie (snaps fingers), I’d jump on it. I also did a lot of boy-girl movies when I was working for them.
XBIZ: Why did you stop?
LARUE: Because Vivid stopped letting me use condoms in my boy-girl movies. See, I’ve always wanted to promote safer sex. I mean, nothing is safe, short of being across the room from each other and jacking off. But the girls at Vivid always appreciated my use of condoms. And I made some dirty, fabulous stuff over there. I won Best Anal Scene at one of the AVN Awards for a scene with Audrey Hollander and Otto, which was sickeningly filthy — and they used a condom, too! And it was rad. It was for a movie called “Sentenced,” which is probably my favorite straight porn movie. We shot it on film, with Sunrise Adams as the star. Otto and Audrey were in it, of course; Nicole and Voodoo, two of my favorites, were also in it.
And I remember when Vivid told me that I needed to go condom-optional, that I asked them, ‘So, does that mean that it’s my option?’ and they said, ‘No, it’s the talent’s option.’ So I just couldn’t do it. And that’s okay. I miss it. But I’ve never done a movie without a condom. I couldn’t do it.
XBIZ: Why did you want to direct straight stuff to begin with?
LARUE: Because it’s fun, and I love working the girls. It also gave me a little break from gay porn. So I would go work for Vivid and have to work with these bitchy girls, and it would be fun, and then they would be so bitchy that I would be so over them, then I would appreciate the gay porn and I’d come back to it. But, listen, I love shopping for high heels and jewelry and lingerie and hairpieces and all of the stuff for the girls. I made the girls look fabulous. And, as I mentioned, I did plenty of boy-girl movies, too. There are some super-hot guys in the straight porn world, and I tried to make sure that I worked with the hottest ones, like Julian and Mick Blue and Manuel Ferrara; guys who would do whatever I wanted them to do and wouldn’t be afraid to let a girl lick their butt. Some guys wouldn’t do that for me.
XBIZ: If a girl’s willing to do it, why not?
LARUE: Hello! (knocks on wood) I agree.
XBIZ: And when did you officially stop shooting for Vivid?
LARUE: (thinking) Gosh … three years ago? Yeah. The last thing I did was “Where the Boys Aren’t 19.” It was with Tera Patrick playing the Genie. Over the years I shot a lot of Vivid movies, and I shot a lot of movies with Jenna [Jameson], and they were all fun to do. I mean, they’d let me just do these crazy, ridiculous concepts that reviewers never liked. The reviewers always would overly criticize me because I don’t think a lot of them liked the fact that I was directing these movies.
LARUE: I don’t know … Because I was queer? Because I was gay? Because I was the flamboyant drag queen? I don’t know. (laughs)
XBIZ: What’s going on with your search for the lead in the much-awaited third installment of your “Powertool” movies, which starred Jeff Stryker?
LARUE: Well, I’m looking for someone who hasn’t done anything. It would be great if they didn’t do any pictures [as models], too. But that’s almost impossible.
XBIZ: In that context, you’d almost have to find him at a bus station or something.
LARUE: Something. It’s hard. But I believe that one day I will find him. The word is out. And every once in a while, we hype up the word. But I’m not going to do the movie until I find the right person; it would be foolish to do otherwise. It has to be someone who has all-American good looks, someone who has a huge dick and a great body — and that’s really hard to find.
XBIZ: Let’s talk a bit about your retail outlet, Chi Chi LaRue’s in West Hollywood.
LARUE: Well, it’s been open since December of 2008, and it’s a great store. Absolutely beautiful, on Santa Monica at Robertson. A big, giant, pink store that looks like an oversized makeup case. Very inviting. Chrome and mirrors and orange and pink. Kind of French and oh-la-la, but girls wouldn’t be afraid to walk in there. We sell t-shirts, jockstraps, leather stuff, DVDs, room aroma, lube, condoms, toys. In fact, except for the toys, it’s almost all Channel 1 Releasing products.
Johnny Hazzard, one of my exclusives at C1R, actually designs a line of T-shirts that we sell there. And we sell Chi Chi LaRue T-shirts that we designed. We also sell stuff from 665 Leather and Nasty Pig, as well as lots of different brands of clothing.
I’d also like to add that the store has all of our C1R movies before they’re released. For instance, “Taken” is not available in any store right now, but it is available at Chi Chi LaRue’s.
XBIZ: How’s the store doing?
LARUE: It could be doing better. I don’t want to say, ‘Oh, it’s doing fabulous!’ because that would be a lie. I think it’s funny when these people at other companies say, ‘Oh, we’re doing fabulous: We sold 95,000 copies of that movie out the door.’ Liars! And I’ll say that again: (talks directly into tape recorder) Liars! (laughs) Because it’s just not true. Everybody is going through hard times right now. I’m really glad that it’s not harder on us than it is. But I do believe that people in this world will most definitely spend money on booze and sex.
XBIZ: Any new content trends on the gay-movie scene that you’d like discuss?
LARUE: Even though I do both gonzo and features, I have to say that feature movies are a bit hard to sell right now. I love doing dialogue movies. I love them. But right now people are looking to get off — and they want a lot of getting-off. They want to be able to get off, turn off the movie, put it back in the next day, and get off again. They don’t want to put it on … fast-forward through dialogue … fast-forward through dialogue … fast-forward through dialogue. They’d just rather (slaps hands together) get right into it. That’s why I think compilations are a really good thing nowadays, because you can put a bunch of red-hot scenes together, as well as refurbish movies that might not have done too well for you when they were first released.
I’m about to do a gangbang movie, which do really well for us. This one’s going to be a Gridiron gangbang, spotlighting our twink star Vance Winter, young kid, getting gangbanged by football players. He’s the tall boy, and we’ll have the janitor and the coach and all of the football players. Gangbangs are very popular because they’re dirty. I love a gangbang.
I mean, I love that European series where the girl is on a bus with about 50 guys, and the bus eventually stops, the guys get off the bus, this drop-dead beautiful blonde — obviously Czech — steps off and does all 50 guys. To me, being a gay guy, all of those cocks around that girl is hot.
XBIZ: And if you’re a straight guy, you get off on the fact that the girl is so dirty that she’d actually do 50 guys.
LARUE: That’s what I mean. I like that, too. It’s uninhibited, crazy.
XBIZ: Where are we headed as an industry, Chi Chi?
LARUE: I see the business slowly, slowly going away and shifting completely to the Internet.
XBIZ: So you’re saying that tangibles like DVDs are going by the wayside?
LARUE: I think so. People don’t want that stuff on their shelves anymore. They don’t want … things. I don’t believe, however, that it’s going to get to that point until we can actually lay in our beds, turn on our television sets and, using our remote controls, go, ‘Alright … let me see … adult movies … I want … this movie…” Click! And you can watch that movie on your TV. Sitting in front of a computer is not a very comfortable way to watch a movie. So, until you can get everything that you want on your television set at the drop of a hat or the push of a button, I don’t see DVDs going away.