Exclusive Interview: Georgina Spelvin
The book will have a launch event this Wednesday at the Book Soup bookstore in West Hollywood, Calif. Spelvin will be on hand to read from her autobiography, as well as sign copies and greet fans.
In a previous interview, Spelvin told XBIZ that she was self-publishing the memoir because, “I just could not get the kind of deal that made sense to me, from anyone that offered to publish it.”
Spelvin was transformed into a legendary performer in her role as Miss Jones, in director Gerard Damiano’s most famous XXX-rated title after “Deep Throat.” The memoir will recount her start in the adult industry, the making of “The Devil in Miss Jones,” and the ensuing publicity that helped to establish the era of “porno chic” in the ‘70s.
Having begun her career as a dancer on Broadway, Spelvin worked on New York City film productions, as well as onstage. She described living in a film commune called The Pickle Factory, where resident radical filmmakers were dedicated to protesting the government and the Vietnam War through their films.
At that time, the adult industry was based out of New York at the beginning of what would become the Golden Age of triple-X movies.
“I worked production for what we called a tits-and-ass film, not a hardcore, and someone working the production approached me to play a role in ‘The High Priestess of Sexual Witchcraft,’ which I didn’t know was a hardcore film,” Spelvin explained. “In the midst of filming it, I discovered that it was hardcore but it was a little late to say, ‘Well, I don’t do this sort of thing,’ and then stomp off the set, so I did it.
“And in that film I met Marc Stevens, who was playing the high priest of Sexual Witchcraft to my high priestess. And he was a hoot; we just bonded right there on the set. We had a great time.”
Stevens referred Spelvin to performer Harry Reems, who had starred in “Deep Throat” and it was Reems that introduced her to Damiano who initially hired her as a cook for the production of “The Devil in Miss Jones.”
She recalled the day at Damiano’s office when she was planning out the food budget for the shoot.
“A guy came in to read for the role of Abaca in the film, so Gerry asked me if I would read the scene with him,” Spelvin said. “He didn’t know that I had any kind of theatrical background at the time. So I read the scene with the guy who was a very good actor, John Clemens, and the two of us just really got into it. Gerry just sort of sat there with his jaw in his chest and afterwards said, ‘How would you like to play Miss Jones?’”
Enticed by the opportunity to play a lead role, Spelvin agreed to act in the movie, as well as do the cooking.
In the book, she talks about the mainstream attention generated by the film and the chaos that followed, touching on Harry Reems’ battle on obscenity charges and subsequent trial in Memphis. She also writes candidly about her struggle with alcoholism and the journey to become sober.
After 10 years in the adult business, Spelvin quit performing and became a graphic designer working in desktop publishing for 18 years.
In 2005, she did a cameo appearance in Vivid's version of “The Devil in Miss Jones," directed by Paul Thomas and starring Savanna Samson and Jenna Jameson. Seeing the interest sparked by the remake got Spelvin thinking about putting her story in print.
At 70, Spelvin is breathing new life into her former career with the support of her husband, actor John Welsh. Having retired from publishing just five years ago, she may be leaving the quiet life behind for a little while, in order to do book signings and make appearances at fan shows.
“I guess my restful years of obscurity are coming to an end,” she said. “But I do love meeting people; there’s no question about that. I truly enjoy every connection that I make. When somebody comes up and says, ‘I love you’ that’s wonderful. I get embarrassed and I don’t know what to say. What a wonderful opportunity to meet so many wonderful people in the world. It absolutely astounds me.”
For more information on Spelvin, visit her fan website at GeorginasWorld.com.