Each month, XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
Lea Lexis was an elite gymnast for 10 years in her home country of Romania. Her parents encouraged her to pursue the sport at an early age, perhaps sensing that it would help channel her restless nature, which to this day drives her to seek outlets for her high level of energy. It helped that she was already a highly determined individual — or as her mother affectionately characterizes her, very stubborn.
We try to pair people that have interest in each other and create the type of environment in which they can have a fun day. Energy on set is important to me, in terms of how talent feels and how my team works.
Lexis is also a thrill seeker, so when a Romanian adult video production company approached her on a social media platform, commenting on her gymnastics pictures and offering to make her a star, she became quite intrigued.
Given the paucity of production companies at the time in Romania, where only two major adult stars lived a public life, she was at first hesitant to jump into the industry. However, she decided to meet the couple who had approached her and observe in person how an adult movie is produced. Even though this was over 17 years ago, that day left a huge impression on Lexis and the memories remain very sharp in her mind.
It was not at all what she expected. The environment felt freeing to her, given the lack of judgment about kinky lifestyles and the encouragement to explore desires, which she says was rare considering the socially conservative cultural climate of Romania. It was very hard to stay away from it after that realization, and the adult biz soon became a place for her to try intense sexual acts while enjoying travel and the autonomy of financial freedom.
As a performer, she shot more than 700 scenes, encompassing a very large variety of genres, and this background has given her valuable insights into how a performer feels while on set. Today this helps her care for and cater to talent, having spent more than a decade in their shoes. Working as a makeup artist and stylist for many years also taught Lexis a lot about the behind-the-scenes process, as well as the value of putting together strong visuals for viewers.
As a producer for Brazzers, Lexis works to cultivate a good production environment that makes talent feel positive. Those good vibes carry over onto the screen, creating compelling and palpable chemistry that drives sales.
Now Lexis shares her approach to filmmaking and explains how she is teaming up with Brazzers to create next-level productions for a performer-empowering future, in this WIA Woman of the Month interview.
XBIZ: How did you get involved with Brazzers and become one of their leading producers?
LEXIS: I worked for Brazzers as talent, but behind-the-camera involvement started with Toni Ribas Productions in LA. At that time, he had recently started to produce for Brazzers and was looking to build his team and make some changes. I previously worked with him on other brands and we had a good working relationship. I took the role of makeup artist, stylist and production manager and things grew from there. We worked very well together, both being fast-paced people and past performers; we managed to do big projects very well. I was grateful that Brazzers saw value in me and gave me the chance to have my own production a few years later. Brazzers has trusted me with some incredible projects and I am very honored to now be considered one of the top people on the team.
XBIZ: Talk about your approach to casting talent and making sure the shoot goes smoothly for them.
LEXIS: This is a process that we work closely with the Brazzers team on. We have amazing names as contract stars and a lot of them are industry veterans that I have known for many years. I do my best to create a smooth day that plays to their strengths. I believe chemistry is important and no matter how good someone’s acting is, genuine attraction makes a difference. We try to pair people that have interest in each other and create the type of environment in which they can have a fun day. Energy on set is important to me, in terms of how talent feels and how my team works. I believe anyone that has ever been on my set can attest to that.
XBIZ: Tell us about your production team and how you manage everyone.
LEXIS: To quote my favorite saying, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” Through the years, I have worked with dozens of production teams and observed so many dynamics. At this moment, I have an amazing team that complements each other very well.
Chris Alessandra is a very talented cam guy and I’ve known JT, the photographer, for over 14 years. Even though we have worked with other companies, this dynamic brings out the best of our work together. Carlo is my main PA and office manager, while Lexi is the MUA who is on her way to becoming an awesome producer as well. Phoenix is the talent assistant and Liz is production assistant.
We are not a large team at all and that comes as a shock to people seeing the types of projects we pull together. As a producer, it is my job to give everyone the right environment and resources so they can execute their roles to the fullest. I am a bit of a perfectionist and I strive to always be the hardest-working person in the room, and I believe that is motivating in an organic way.
XBIZ: What is your production style, in terms of visuals and execution of Brazzers’ vision?
LEXIS: Because we shoot such a large variety of content and such different personalities and looks, I would say we curate a production style that is appropriate for the project and talent. I personally think it would not be flattering for everyone to apply the same production style to every shoot and talent. I love the fact that we can create different looks and products, from glam gonzo to poppy storylines to extraordinary showcases or large features, and still display talent at their best in a way that’s unique to them.
XBIZ: Discuss a few recent shoots or releases you’re especially proud of.
LEXIS: There are a few Brazzers scenes we worked on recently that I am so pleased with, from the planning process to execution to talent performance.
An Angela White showcase is in the works now that has one of the best gangbangs I have ever shot, and a boy/girl scene that I think has an intense psychological aspect we haven’t explored on our ZZ brand before. Angela herself has said that out of 1,000 scenes, she has never shot something like this before. It’s very exciting and we’ll share this soon.
“Wasteland Ultra” is a recent release that I am especially proud of. It’s a movie that has fantastic visuals, amazing acting and really exciting sex. It’s one of those projects that, in order to come out right, required an extraordinary amount of effort, but it was so worth it. This movie came at a special time in my personal life as well; I was five months pregnant and we carried out the most intense production of my career.
Since this is the Woman of the Month interview, I wanted to bring light to the fact that women in this industry are capable of doing so much regardless of the stage of life they are in. I hope some women will find this inspiring and opportunities will not be lost as they enter a different stage of their life.
XBIZ: What other revenue streams do you pursue beyond producing movies for Brazzers?
LEXIS: For years, I have designed custom gowns and styled clients for red carpet events in LA. This is a business I never advertised; it happened naturally, word of mouth took momentum and today I have people I have styled continuously for over eight years. It is a real passion of mine, but I do focus all my efforts on my productions and my work with Brazzers. I do not think you can do two things 100% and with a few exceptions for clients whom I will never leave stranded, I am very much focused on my production company, elevating my team and making a bigger impact overall.
XBIZ: Talk about long-term goals for growing the Brazzers brand and also your own business ambitions.
LEXIS: I have this conversation quite often with the Brazzers team as we always do our best to handle health concerns or industry issues. The entire team believes in catering to the talent first and it is refreshing to not have to fight against the corporate team and struggle to have to explain profit versus people. They understand we do not have a product if we do not care for our performers. We have made huge efforts, introducing a code of conduct, an overall change in the culture of the industry, as well as a more focused approach for casting and sex experiences that include a dedicated talent assistant to ensure performers have an advocate for them on set.
As far as my own ambitions, it might sound corny but I want to know things are different because I was around. I think the experiences you leave people with matter. The motivation comes from having the experiences I had while I was a performer and knowing I can do better for my talent. This is a pivotal time in the industry and I am so happy to be part of it.