LOS ANGELES -- Director Brad Armstrong's said Wicked Pictures hit "the bull's eye" with its epic feature "Underworld." (photo galleries)
"This was a movie that had been sitting on the shelf for a number of years," Armstrong said backstage after accepting the Feature Movie of the Year award with his cast and crew at the 2014 XBIZ Awards Friday night at the Century Plaza Hotel. "We were not sure how to really make it all come together. Finally, we decided to pull the trigger and hit a bull's eye.
"It was indeed a labor of love. I was sewing like a motherfucker. I handmade and stitched most of the costumes myself, with the exception of a few. Like I mentioned, it was all a labor of love that really paid off."
The movie received several XBIZ honors, including Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Special Effects, and Best Editing as well as a Director of the Year-Feature Release award for Armstrong.
The star of "Underworld," Wicked Girl Jessica Drake, said, "This was the hardest movie I have ever shot. Everybody worked really hard to accomplish the vision."
Will Ryder was equally thrilled. He also secured a number of trophies for his work in "Grease XXX: A Parody," the 2014 XBIZ Parody Release of the Year- Comedy winner. Ryder's lead actors Riley Reid, who played Sandy and Seth Gamble who was Danny, both went on to receive Best Actor and Best Actress-Parody for their spirited performances, while "Grease" also earned the Best Music award.
"'Grease' is the word," Ryder said. "We are so honored to hold this award. We worked hard and had an incredible cast, including this adorable cutie right here, Trinity St. Clair. Everything came together and we had so much fun. In fact, I hope that the real John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John watch this movie and enjoy it just as much as we enjoyed making it."
It was a big night for Riley Reid, who later went on to win the coveted Female Performer of the Year honor and Best Supporting Actress for her work in New Sensations' "The Submission of Emma Marx."
After thanking her mother and playfully lifting her lace dress onstage, Reid told XBIZ the moment she got off stage, "I still feel really nervous and am shaking with excitement. After being in the industry for quite a while, this honor was something I was hoping for and worked really hard towards. Since choosing to be in this industry, I want to be the best of the best. I made a commitment to myself and to my fans to go all the way. This all feels amazing."
Regarding her win for Best Actress- Parody, Reid said, "I came into porn for the sex, but am so glad that people find value in my acting abilities too."
As the evening pushed forward, James Deen was named both Male Performer of the Year 2014 and Crossover Star of the Year, for the second year in a row. And it was third overall Male Performer of the Year honor for XBIZ. He also took center stage when accepting an award for Best Actor-Feature Movie for his standout work alongside Brooklyn Lee in "The New Behind the Green Door."
After now having collected several awards for his many contributions to the adult industry, XBIZ asked if he had finally overcome his stage fright. With a bright smile he said, "I thought I did really well until someone came up to me and said I looked more nervous than they had ever seen. I do feel like it's getting much easier for me every time I go up there though."
Deen continued, "Winning an award is always exciting. When I first got into the adult industry, I was very adamant about not caring for awards and felt it should be all about the craft. Then I won one. And you know what? Winning feels good. I told myself, 'I want one of these every year.' It is an incredible honor to be acknowledged by your peers and by the adult community. Everyone deserves a pat on the back, at one point or another. Tonight, I got mine."
Best New Starlet winner Christy Mack was also proud of her win considering there were so many other rising starlets in her category.
"I won! I won! I am so excited that I've won something that wasn't a fan vote," Mack said backstage. "I work to please my fans and myself. At the end of the day, if an award is given out for that effort, it's a fantastic honor."
“The Temptation of Eve,” a couples themed offering, dealing with the physical and psychological obligations of monogamy, written and directed by Jacky St. James, was another production that scored an award for Best Screenplay. In addition to that honor, "Eve" also secured a win for Best Actress-Feature Movie for Remy LaCroix, who also won the XBIZ Best Actress award last year.
LaCroix said, "'The Temptation of Eve' was an incredible movie that happened to have sex scenes in it. From the start, I knew it was going to be a great project. It was directed by the talented, Jacky St. James, who happens to be my date tonight. This award means so much because acting takes a different type of skill. I was really able to relate to the main character that Jacky St. James created for me. The results are something we can all be proud of. I suppose I have now become Jacky St. James' muse."
The evening concluded with Axel Braun scoring major accolades for his work in the parody genre. His movie "Superman vs. Spider-Man XXX" for Vivid was honored with the Parody Release of the Year-Drama award. Later Braun took won the Director of Year- Body of Work award, a title he first won back in 2010.
"Man of Steel XXX: An Axel Braun Parody," another one of Braun's contributions in 2013, earned Ryan Driller and Kendall Karson an award for Best Scene-Parody Release.
When asked about her onscreen chemistry with Driller, Karson said, "Before the scene, I asked Ryan if he was going to fuck me as if he were Clark Kent or Superman. Judging from the award I'm holding in my hand, I think we all know that answer to that question."
For a complete list of winners, click here.
Backstage Winner's Circle photo of "Underworld" cast and crew by Rick Brenes.