“It depends on how you want to look at it,” O’Connell told XBIZ. “The way I look at it, I never left the industry. I just went to a different medium — the Internet. I also produced VHS movies for Brittany O’Connell Productions, did small runs and sold directly to the stores.”
O’Connell moved to Phoenix in 2001 and shot for her own production company and website, keeping busy with production, local featuring and cam shows until 2006.
“In the last couple years I took a bit of a step back. I got a new boob job, went to Italy — I call it a sabbatical — and took some time away to see if I was going to come back into the industry. Last year was the start of my comeback.
“Every place I’ve ever traveled was for work, this was a vacation. Tuscany. Wine country. It’s beautiful.”
The return to active performing in L.A., and working for somebody else after years of independence, required some adjustment.
“I worked for other people from 1992 to 1998, so I got used to working with a lot of companies and directors, and having a great time. I did features, with a plot, and acting. I really wasn’t sure who I was going to work with. The companies I had done a lot of work with — VCA was gone.
“Being on my own for so long and then coming back in and working for other people — it’s been good with the people I can still collaborate with, like when I used to do features. It’s not so good when I just want to take the reins and run the production myself. ‘Do it my way.’ I’ve been tempted to do that myself a few times.
“But I don’t. I’m just going to take my paycheck and go home now.’ [laughter] I’m not going to say anything. Nobody wants somebody else telling them how to do run their own business.”
Her first comeback performance was for “Dirty Rotten Motherfuckers 2” for Chris Streams in July 2008.
“I was a MILF Scout. Like a Girl Scout, but older. I did a scene with Michael Stefano. Great guy to work with, great scene, got great reviews from the fans. It was a great comeback.”
She’s noticed significant changes in the time she’s been gone.
“The features aren’t being made. There now seems to be a run on parodies, but I did nothing but features in the ’90s. Spending two or three days on sets. Scripts, wardrobe, everything. How the scenes are shot is also being changed, because most of the stuff is being shown on the Internet. Scenes are a lot shorter; it’s a lot more gonzo oriented.
“The upside is it’s a lot quicker. I’m not spending hours and hours on set. I get in there by eight, I’ll be out by two. But it’s not making a movie, and I like playing a role. That is what I was known for. I’m not doing ‘Gone With the Wind,’ but I do like getting into my roles and being something that I am not. I’ll wear crazy wigs, crazy makeup. Totally having fun with a character, putting on a crazy accent. When I came back from Italy I had a bit of an Italian accent.”
O’Connell says her best work since her comeback has been in “Dirty Rotten Motherfuckers 2,” “Cougar Club 2” for 3rd Degree, and “When MILFs Attack” (“You know how crazy MILFs can be.”) for Exquisite Pleasures. She also plays Peg in the upcoming “Married... With Children” parody.
“I was Peg Bundy, and I really enjoyed it. I was all in pink, and I really got into her mannerisms. I really loved playing the part. Will Ryder does an incredible job of nailing the characters, and the look of the show. I thought I was on the set of ‘Married... With Children’ Eric Swiss played Al, and everybody had a blast on the set. Everybody fit the roles perfectly.
“I also got a bit part on ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ a show on FX. Katey Sagal [who played Peg on “Married... With Children”] is the star. [laughter] We haven’t had a chance to meet yet, but it’s ironic. I should give her a copy of the video. ‘Check this out. See if I nailed you.’ [laughter]”
Since returning, she has worked with Michael Stefano, Chris Streams, Joey Brass and Eric Swiss.
“Other than Chris Johnson, I have not worked with the same man twice.”
After this chapter of working for other people in L.A. ends with four movies for New Sensations, O’Connell plans to move again.
“I’m moving to New York. I love the porn industry and I’m not leaving the porn industry, but I have a chance to pursue my passion, which is BDSM. I’ve done a lot of bondage and some videos where I’m the submissive, and now I’m taking the reins where I’m going to be the dominant. Since I have the opportunities and it’s such a passion of mine and it has been for so long, I really want to pursue it.
“I really want to make this a combination of my own fetishes, my likes — my loves — and my vision of what I would like to produce. I’m not going to be focused on mixing bondage and hardcore, but if that’s what occurs naturally then yes, I’m going to have it in there. But that’s not going to be my main focus. I’m going to pursue the people who actually pursue it in the lifestyle who haven’t done it on camera before.
“I’m also still going to be involved in BrittanyOConnell.com. I want to do both.” She plans to shoot video for her websites, including blogs ILoveFetishSex.com and PornStarLive.com, in the tri-state area and also in Florida.
“I really do love this industry. I’ve been in it since I was 19 years old. Some people were born to be porn stars. I was one of them. I used to feature across the country. I love to entertain.”