LOS ANGELES — Even though Rocco Siffredi confirmed his retirement from performing last week, he’s not even close to being done with the porn industry.
Not only does the Italian superstar have about a year’s worth of movies that have yet to be released through his longtime distributor Evil Angel, he also plans to continue producing and directing new content for the foreseeable future.
“I will make a completely new structure,” Siffredi told XBIZ in an exclusive interview. “I will be producing a new line starting from this June at my studio in Budapest. I have a studio which is huge, and now I’m finishing a huge, unbelievable building that will give me the possibility of great movies with high-level production.”
Siffredi revealed he is developing a 15-episode series inspired by the American TV show “House,” a medical drama about fictional Dr. Gregory House that ran for eight seasons from 2004-12 on the Fox network. There will be several recurring characters on the porn version as well as guest stars.
“And I’m going to play the main character for this movie just in soft part for the first time. I will be the actor to interconnect everything,” Siffredi said.
His sprawling production studio, which is named after his wife Rosa, is located just five minutes from his home.
“My location is very big with a nice exterior. If we start in the summer I can make a lot of shots in the exterior,” he said. “We have a lot of different places — from a huge swimming pool to a huge lake and a lot of intersections. Then I need to rebuild a few sets.”
He chose “House,” whose title character was played by English actor Hugh Laurie, because “when I don’t shave, we have a lot of similarities with the face.”
“When I was in the States in March, I didn’t shave and a mother and daughter asked me for an autograph,” Siffredi joked. “I was with [Evil Angel director] Joey [Silvera]. She said the name of the guy and Joey said, ‘No, it’s not him. But he is more famous.’ She couldn’t believe it. She was laughing.”
Indeed, after 30 years in front of the camera the 2015 XBIZ Foreign Performer of the Year has achieved worldwide fame for his passionate and nasty performances. That notoriety made him an ideal candidate to join the cast of Italy’s version of “Celebrity Survivor,” a reality show called “L’Isola dei Famosi,” or “The Island of Famous People.” Siffredi was one of 15 contestants on the 10th season of the show that has attracted millions of viewers in Italy.
He left home on Jan. 21 and spent the next two months on Cayos Cochinos, a group of two small islands on the northern shores of Honduras, where, left to contemplate his life, he finalized his decision to retire from performing and devote more time to his wife and family.
“It was so incredible, two months by myself to do this reality show,” Siffredi said.
“There was no phone, no emails, no work, just two months by myself. That’s how I start to work out my brain. At the end of the period they send me in an island alone for one week. I was so much alone I really could focus on my problems.”
He concluded that even though porn performing will always be a part of him that it was time to stop.
“I look inside myself thanks to the reality show,” Siffredi continued. “I see myself completely more clearly. It gave some opportunity from the pain of the reality show. You don’t eat, you are cold and you are suffering in this period.
“Everything became more clear, more visible. It doesn’t mean that porn kills me or gives me anything bad. Everything I have is through porn.”
Something else he realized is that he can adjust his mindset when he directs other porn talent.
“My biggest mistake when I was directing other people is I was always searching for me. I wanted to see me in other people. Like, ‘why doesn’t he do this? Why doesn’t he do that? It’s so easy… there are two girls there. They don’t even know how to kiss.’
“But when you work like this it’s very tough. You search for that, but always it never happens. My wife told me, ‘you are the last samurai. Nobody will be like you anymore. You give so much to this work. Nobody will be there giving the same.’
“I always work really 110 percent. I never did a scene or a movie where I thought, ‘I have a big name. I’ll sell it anyway.’ I’m never thinking, ‘I'm 50; I need to only perform for 20 minutes.’ My scenes last three or four hours. I still run. I am still training for it. But my mind changed. That’s basically what’s happening. When I make the decision, I was completely sure.”
Siffredi said he is sitting on approximately 20 movies from his namesake production company between feature and POV titles — enough new releases to last through next summer.
“I always produce one year in advance,” he said.
There is much more in the works for Siffredi, who indicated he would likely continue shooting a couple of his well-known gonzo lines such as “Initiations” or “Psycho Teens.”
“I’m not sure if I’ll keep my line ‘Perfect Slaves’,” he added. “To do that you need a guy who knows what he's doing. It’s always difficult to find guys like James Deen.”
Siffredi said Deen, the reigning XBIZ Male Performer of the Year who has won the award a record four times, is his heir apparent.
“When I was shooting him, anything he was doing, it was exactly what I had done and that was killing me, it was unbelievable,” Siffredi said. “All of a sudden I understood why he is the biggest performer in America today.”
Quite simply, Siffredi said “he is special.”
“He has something which either you have or you don’t and that’s what makes you special. That’s what probably makes me special and Manuel Ferrara special,” Siffredi suggested.
“James Deen, he is my performer of choice. Nacho Vidal here in Europe is my preferred guy in Europe. But James has an attitude, a way of looking at a woman that nobody else has. He reminds me a little bit of John Leslie from the old time, but he’s much more performing the style of what I like.”
Siffredi continued, “I could tell you I could shoot James Deen only for all my scenes. In that case I could keep all my movies. I could keep ‘Animal Trainer’. My wife said nobody could be anymore like you. Well James Deen is like me. He is my perfect way of seeing an actor. He represents exactly what I like.
“Unfortunately, there is not so many James Deen’s in this business."
Siffredi pointed to European stud Mike Angelo, a regular in his movies, as another exceptional performer in Europe.
"When it comes to looking a girl in the eye and let’s say charm the girl — to say, 'come with me, I’ll show you another trip' — this is James Deen. To say, ‘Come with me. Trust me. And I will show you another way to look inside yourself.’ This is another level.
“You need to be born with this, you cannot take it. You can practice and pull it out, but if you don’t have it, it never will come.”
Due in part to his high regard for Deen, Siffredi revealed he would do one final sex scene with yet-to-be-determined female co-stars and Deen this summer in L.A. The scene will be part of a documentary that’s being shot on Siffredi’s life that will debut at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
That documentary had originally been scheduled to debut this year at Cannes, but due to Siffredi’s decision to appear on the reality show the production had to be extended.
“It’s a French production, a big film,” Siffredi said. “They plan to film me five times during this year. They were disappointed I couldn’t come to the States in January, so they will come to the States now in July and film [Evil Angel founder John Stagliano], [agent] Mark Spiegler and Joey, and a few girls. And my last scene ever with me and James Deen together.
“They were very nervous when I came back from the [reality] show. They didn’t know if I would do this last scene or not.”
But Siffredi said he made a commitment to them and would fulfill it. “This is not me being in porn, this is me in a documentary,” he reasoned.
“They want to shoot me and James Deen. For them he is the new generation. I’m the old one. It’s like the connection between the old and the new. For some reason they really like that and for me it was an honor to do a scene together with James. We made a movie for John, the vampire movie ‘Voracious,’ but we never really worked all in one scene together."
Siffredi, who will turn 51 in May, said he asked the producers of the doc if Stagliano could shoot the scene.
“John has been my closest friend in the business from Day One, when I arrived to the States. I told them please let John shoot the scene. For me it is a tribute to him. I have learned the business from him and anything I did as a filmmaker came from John. He always would give me advice and always was really like a big brother for me," Siffredi said.
“He’s the most honest person I’ve ever met in my life. Not in America, in my life. He’s always really sincere and somebody who doesn’t say things just to say them. If he says something he means it. When he talks there is always a reason.”
Stagliano told XBIZ, “I've just been trying to keep up with Rocco all these years, whether it is while shooting him, or selling the movies he creates at Evil Angel.
"I have benefited greatly from being associated with Rocco. I will be honored to shoot his last scene.”