Kenna James: Girl/Girl Performer of the Year Rises Ever Higher With Eight-Year Career

Kenna James: Girl/Girl Performer of the Year Rises Ever Higher With Eight-Year Career

With eight years of performing and over 600 scenes under her belt, Kenna James is a veteran through and through. Yet her onscreen presence, on-the-set effervescence and off-camera cheerfulness demonstrate an optimistic spirit with a plucky can-do attitude. She is the very antithesis of jaded, so it is no surprise she is very good friends with another girl/girl all-star and sunshine-filled industry soul, Charlotte Stokely.

In fact, the list of notable directors and stars who adore James is extensive, including such greats as reigning XBIZ Director of the Year Kayden Kross, Wicked powerhouse Axel Braun, beloved Mile High Media maven Jacky St. James and even Mike Quasar, famed for his quick-shooting skills.

And while she indeed delivers chemistry-laden scenes with male co-stars, she has a particular penchant for the feminine form, with half of her scenes each year centering on the Sapphic genre. It takes no fakery or excess flamboyance for James to brim with allure during a girl/girl performance, which is why she remains one of the most prolific stars in the genre.

James is also known as a multidimensional actress who can pivot from tremulous sorrow to palpable fear — or in no small degree, nymph-like wickedness. When it comes to acting, as most theatrical types will explain, it is more about channeling inner reality than putting on a charade. James therefore brings many aspects of herself to life, whether performing for Girlsway, Sweetheart Video, AllHerLuv, Bang, Missa X, Evil Angel, Bellesa, Dorcel or Wicked.

After another year of top-tier performances, James landed the coveted XBIZ Girl/Girl Performer of the Year crown, joining a lineage of the finest labia-loving ladies. In this exclusive interview, she shares her greatest accomplishments, inner thoughts and upcoming goals with openness and humility.

XBIZ: After eight years in the biz and around 600 scenes, what are a few of the most significant ways you've grown as a performer and as a person?

JAMES: I’d say that one way I’ve grown is the understanding of just how important dependability is to a performer’s career. Directors can set their watch by me; if I’m running even five minutes late, I’m calling and letting them know. I never flake on shoots, ever. If someone books me, they know that I'll be there and ready to give my all. Another is just how large a role acting plays ... I've really grown as an actress within the industry and I seek out roles with large, complex scripts. I really try to challenge myself and to step outside of my comfort zone.

XBIZ: You've often starred in major features that required serious acting chops. How do you get in character and elevate your acting game?

JAMES: To be honest, it just comes very natural for me; it’s something that took me by surprise when I first entered the industry. I can remember complex scripts with a single read and deliver them back. I can automatically step into a character and just feel that emotion. I just become that person in those moments. Acting is probably my most favorite part of the industry, as I relish the roles that are broad and complex.

XBIZ: Name a few of your favorite directors to work for and the unique ways they bring out your best.

JAMES: Let’s start with one of my absolute favorite people to work with in the industry, Kayden Kross. Kayden is unique because she was a performer before she was a legendary director in the industry. She gets it, she really just gets it. There’s nothing that Kayden asks a performer to do that she’s not done herself. Her perspective from the performer side allows her to create some real magic. It gives her so much insight and allows her a connection with performers that is sometimes harder for a director that’s never been on that side of the camera. That, coupled with her amazingly creative brain, makes her a force to be reckoned with.

Another favorite director would be Axel Braun. If you want a challenge, I mean a real acting challenge, Axel is that guy. He doesn’t even know what a small production is! When you shoot on one of his projects you had better bring your “A” game and be ready for some of the most challenging but rewarding work that you’ll find in the industry. Axel has helped me grow so much in my ability to act and perform by the challenges he’s presented me.

Jacky St. James is another, due to her realism. Jacky goes out of her way to book performers who have chemistry. Chemistry shines right through the screen, and when it’s good and real you end up with gold. Jacky will communicate multiple times with a performer trying to find that perfect fit. For her it’s not about who has the biggest dick or who looks the best but rather whose personality best matches another performer. She consistently gets amazing performances and has some of the most relaxed and fun sets simply because she goes so far out of her way to find that magical connection between performers.

Last, but far from least, is Mike Quasar. He’s done this for so long he can do it in his sleep, so when you get on a Quasar set, you know it’s going to be a quick day. Everything just flows on a Quasar day, things just happen, nothing ever goes wrong and at the end you find he’s made another amazing and high-quality scene in literally half the time that most others require. It’s pretty incredible what he does, and if you’re not careful, he will beat you out the door when it’s done!

XBIZ: How do you juggle studio shoots with creating and selling your own content?

JAMES: Honestly, I don’t. I devote so much time to the industry that I really have a small presence outside of it. I only have OnlyFans and I struggle to keep it going. I’m just not ready to have the industry take a back seat to other platforms and it’s a real challenge for me to juggle it; I’m making the biggest effort that I ever have, though. I’ve made a commitment this year to be more engaging with subscribers so they’re hearing from me more than they ever have and I just have to keep up that momentum.

XBIZ: Which female stars do you have strong chemistry with and why?

JAMES: I hate to just single anyone out because the industry is so full of amazing performers, but a few who I feel I have excellent chemistry with are Charlotte Stokely, Anna Claire Clouds, Kenzie Anne, Kenzie Taylor and Ana Foxxx. There are some girls who come to sets that are so open and just ready to be friends and who have such a zest for life that from the moment they get there, it's a laugh riot all day long. Performers like that make the industry such a good, positive place.

XBIZ: How do you collaborate with talent to make each other feel amazing, respect boundaries and deliver a captivating scene?

JAMES: Honesty is key. I work with pretty much the same talent over and over, as my career has now reached a level that I pretty much end up working with performers that I have worked with many times before. Everything is so professional and everyone is so familiar with one another that it’s mostly unsaid and understood. We just know how to play off one another so well that it’s almost like a well-oiled machine.

Plus, when I show up on a set I’m always very professional, to the point that even someone who’s new to the industry sees that and knows that this isn’t some game or some cheesy ’80s film set where anything goes. The industry by and large is an extremely professional place; I honestly have no horror stories to tell in nearly eight years and hundreds of scenes. It just never seems to be an issue and that’s due to the environment that the companies bring to a set and how everyone on set behaves.

XBIZ: What led you to sign with Motley Models and how has it been, working with them recently?

JAMES: That was a hard decision to make initially, because I’ve successfully represented myself in the industry most of my career so I had some real reservations handing over those reins. But I knew that I was chasing some very big goals within the industry and I was feeling that I had taken my career as far as I could all by myself. I pretty much know just about everyone in the industry and so many performers had nothing but good things to say about Motley and Dave Rock, so when I actually made the move to speak with Dave on the phone he instantly put every fear that I had to rest. He said everything exactly right, he knew exactly why I called and knew exactly what I was chasing. I knew from that moment that Motley was exactly where I needed to be. It’s been nothing but good!

XBIZ: Discuss a few of the girl/girl scenes you performed in this past year that really stood out for you.

JAMES: This year I’ve done a lot of girl/girl work for OnlyFans with Charlotte Stokely. Charlotte and I have become close friends since the pandemic and working with her is just indescribable, as there’s nothing better than working with one of your best friends. The lines between work and fun just blur. As far as scenes for companies within the industry, there’s one that comes to mind that Avery Cristy and I did for Slayed. Avery and I had an instant connection and strong chemistry, which made for a very hot scene and really amazing sex. Derek Dozer directed the scene and he had us in these amazing outfits with a strong script and we just knocked it out of the park that day.

XBIZ: What was it like winning 2022 XBIZ Girl/Girl Performer of the Year in January?

JAMES: It took me completely by surprise, actually. I just honestly didn’t expect to win. Our industry is so full of talented people that you just expect the awards to go to anyone except you. I remember hearing my name being announced and thinking to myself, “Wait, did they just say my name? That can’t be right.” Then Charlotte Stokely who was with me goes, “That’s you! Go!” Suddenly everything was in slow motion and I was walking on stage. It was an amazing honor and something I will never forget.

XBIZ: Give us a glimpse of what's on the horizon for you in the coming months and long-term.

JAMES: A lot more hard work, I hope! Motley has been busy with booking after booking and I also plan on bringing my OnlyFans crowd some new, never-before-seen content this year as well. As for the future, I’m thinking I may like to try my hand at directing at some point. I really love the industry — it’s given me so much, and I’d really love the opportunity to continue to grow within it.

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