PARIS — Former porn star Sasha Grey swapped the silver screen for graphite scrawls in her latest career twist: an erotic novel called “The Juliette Society,” which debuts Thursday.
Despite the 25-year-old's limited time in the limelight, crossover has become Grey’s modus operandi — she shifted from porn to Hollywood acting to screenwriting, and is now following E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” alt-erotica success with her own brand of fem-sub BDSM literature. While the” Fifty Shades” trilogy partially galvanized Grey to take up the pen, she presents a less romanticized alternative to the fairy-tale-like saga of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
“A lot of those novels exist in a hyper-fantasy world, much like romantic comedies,” Grey told the Herald Sun of Melbourne. “But I wanted to create something where people really felt like this was something that could happen to them. My character isn’t out there looking for Mr. Right.”
The novel narrates a young woman’s induction into a clandestine sex club and, of course, her ensuing erotic adventures. According to the Herald Sun, “The Juliette Society” far supersedes “Fifty Shades” in violence, delving beyond light play cushioned by hetero-normative romance to explore the darker realms of BDSM.
“It’s a community and a sexual interest that has long been criticized, which is why ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is so important, because it’s addressing a facet of people’s sexuality and allowing people to talk about it openly,” Grey told the Herald Sun.
"The Juliette Society" will be published in 20 territories internationally.
Grey left the adult world three years ago after drawing mainstream attention for her hardcore roles and conscious decision to add an element of method acting to her films. "I wanted to explore my interests in a safe way, but I also wanted to bring something new to porn, to change what I saw on screen," she said.
If Grey changed the way people conceived of porn, she also changed the way people conceived of porn stars. In 2009, Rolling Stone published a piece about her, in which the profiler lauds her as "the smartest person I've ever met in that industry."
While Grey enjoyed marked success in Hollywood, scoring roles in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience” and “Entourage,” Grey never breached mild acclaim and seemed to be mired in an infinite typecast, often playing herself or a sex worker. After several failed attempts at screenwriting Grey, at the suggestion of her publisher, decided to try her hand at prose.
According to Grey, publishing has already proven to be a more lucrative avenue than acting and a Hollywood film deal is in the works, she said.
"I don't want to say it has boosted my ego, but it has confirmed to me several things," she said. "And it's a good feeling."