On Wednesday, some 1,000 boisterous students filled the Ackerman Ballroom at the center of UCLA campus for a free screening of Digital Playground’s “Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge,” an adult film much lauded for its multimillion-dollar budget, scripted scenes and, of course, hardcore action.
Almost as prelude to the panel discussion that was to ensue afterward, students who’ve had enough of the 2-hour 18-minute production walked out wearing dazed expressions and smirks. Some even had guilty-pleasure smiles.
When the film’s lead male star Evan Stone walked to the front of the ballroom to take his seat on the panel, the audience erupted in unison applause and cheering. Director Joone, Digital Playground’s Samantha Lewis and finally, one of the female performers, Sasha Grey, followed him.
It took no time for Stone’s charisma and punchlines to pull the male students and the co-eds into the discussion.
“When I said, ‘suck my cannonballs,’ I really meant it,” Stone told the audience, members of which then proceeded to ask him about his penis size (“I haven’t measured it,” he replied), the best girl he’s ever slept with (“I won’t answer that”) and his thoughts about making the crossover into the mainstream (“I myself could care less if I make it to mainstream”).
Sasha Grey, the other performer on the panel, who plays the lead in Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming mainstream film “The Girlfriend Experience,” fielded questions about the biggest penis she’s had and whether there’s a connection between pornography and prostitution.
“I’m tired of that question,” Grey said. “I find it repulsive that people point the finger at us.”
The other two panelists spoke about the creative and marketing side of the blockbuster release.
Digital Playground’s Lewis told the crowd that the company approached some 125 college campuses nationwide to screen the film and host discussions. Director Joone described that the concept for “Pirates” and the sequel came up while he was shooting “Island Fever 3” in Bora Bora.
Overall, although the event went on without a hitch, outside in the lobby right before the panel discussion an English major named Easter didn’t know what to make of the night. “A lot of my friends thought it was a joke,” she said of the UCLA Campus Events Commission to host the screening.