LOS ANGELES — Director Brad Armstrong told XBIZ that he targeted rising star Tyler Nixon to be the lead of his next feature “Aftermath” almost “from the start.”
“The characters are fairly specific in nature and age,” Armstrong said Thursday. “Because he has the youngest look of the available male talent, I had him come in for a read.
“He hasn’t done much in the way of dramatic stuff and during the read I asked him to do a few different things here and there and he took the direction well. So I decided to take the chance and go with it.”
Nixon in January won the 2014 XBIZ Award for Best Male Newcomer less than two years and 50-something movies into his adult film career.
“I shot him once a ways back when he first got in and he was super, super green and I haven’t used him since. But I knew he was starting to work his way up in the ranks,” Armstrong continued. “He didn’t have any real lines in the other thing I shot which was a little MILF movie [‘Soccer Moms’].”
Nixon will share a lot of screen time in “Aftermath” with Wicked Girl jessica drake, who will be the lead actress in the character-driven drama that begins shooting this Sunday in Los Angeles and will continue on location in New York City later this month.
Drake, one of adult’s most decorated actresses, said she recently did a short scene with Nixon for an Axel Braun-directed project.
“And I thought he was really great,” drake told XBIZ. “I knew Brad was thinking about using him for this. He has a lot of potential. I think he’s very naturally good and I think he takes direction really well. I expect great things from him.”
The pair read their lines together about a week ago to get a better feel for Armstrong’s script. The story follows Nixon’s character, Danny, who gets the keys to an old hot rod for his 18th birthday.
“The father bought it years ago for them to restore, but he is now deceased,” Armstrong explained. “So the car’s been under a cover in the garage for X number of years and Danny starts to restore it.”
It’s what Danny unexpectedly finds in the car, a cache of photos and what appear to be love letters written to his dad from a mysterious woman named Nina (drake) that drives the story from there.
“I can say there is a surprise ending and there are a lot of ‘aha’ moments at the end of it all,” Armstrong revealed.
The principal cast also features Wicked Girls Kaylani Lei and Asa Akira, Remy LaCroix, Bonnie Rotten and Brandi Love. Xander Corvus and Ryan Driller will take on key supporting roles.
Performer Brandi Love will be on Armstrong’s set for the first time. “She’s never really done too much of the acting and she’s been calling me once a week with really specific questions about the character,” the director said. “She’s getting so into the part.”
It will also mark the first time Armstrong is using LaCroix, who won the XBIZ Award for Best Actress two straight years, and Rotten — another 2014 XBIZ Award-winner.
In addition, Armstrong and drake will be breaking new ground in their careers when they begin shooting in Manhattan.
“Like the characters, we have very specific locations that require the New York City trip," Armstrong said. "I’ve never shot there so again this is a new, exciting thing. New talent and new locations.”
Drake also said she was looking forward to the two N.Y. days after doing the first six in L.A. “I’ve been up there quite a bit and I’ve danced in New York but never shot, so I’m I really, really stoked,” she said. “I think it adds so much to movies when you’re somewhere else shooting.”
“Aftermath” marks Armstrong’s first big project since last year’s XBIZ Award-winning Feature Movie of the Year “Underworld,” a fantasy-driven epic that also received awards for Best Cinematography, Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Special Effects. Not to mention a Director of the Year award for Armstrong.
“This one is definitely more gritty and an indie film kind of thing,” Armstrong said. “It’s very script heavy and acting heavy with a lot of sex. There are eight sex scenes in all.”
That includes a 12-person orgy on the final day. Armstrong said he'll take one for the team and perform in it. Meanwhile, he’s still filling the last few performer slots.
“I’m just throwing myself in the big orgy to save a couple bucks,” he said only half jokingly. “That and testing out the new talent with my other brethren.”
“And I’ll be involved in the orgy,” drake added. “Which means I’ll be working with everybody — all my favorites.”
Photo by Jeff Koga from the 2014 XBIZ Awards.