Syren is a well-known XXX star who has also crossed over into softcore productions. We had the chance to talk with her about her career and plans for the future.
Give us some background. Who are you, where are you from, and how did you get into the movie business?
My name is Syren. I’ve been working in the adult industry for 6 years now. I got into the softcore movie scene in the year 2002, the year I met Robert Lombard.
I met him at the LA Erotica, I was on a signing engagement, and was very tired at the end of the day. I was on my way out, walking past the busy crowd when I was stopped by a photographer friend of mine and introduced to Mr. Lombard. He came across to me as a real classy, gentleman. I looked at him curiously, pretty sure that I had heard of him before. Then I remembered one of the actors from a recent shoot had mentioned his name. He said that if I liked acting that I should call Mr. Lombard. I said to myself, well what a coincidence! We arranged to meet the following week.
I arrived at his office in West Hollywood, and threw out some pretty tough questions: what was this about? what does he do? How long has he been doing this? Could he play me one of the movies he’s produced? The softcore scene was new territory for me, and I’m very conscientious about what I do—if the project caters to my own fantasies and values, the positive image that I project out there, and I wanted to be sure that this was an endeavor that I could put my heart into. It all needed to make sense in my head!
Little did I know at the time how intimidating all these questions were to Mr. Lombard! Though I must say that he hid it well, he was patient and accommodating, he never shut me down and in fact, answered my questions with respect, benevolence, and with a hint of amusement. I knew very little of him then, and in the following years of knowing him, I’ve realized – a man who persists in knowing you with love and respect, deserves a special place in your heart!
You have appeared in both hardcore and softcore movies. Which type do you prefer, and why?
I prefer shooting hardcore movies. The experience is more intense. I have total control of who I work with, what scenes I want to do at the moment, what fantasies I want to live out. In softcore movies, you are essentially there as an actress playing a role based on a script, which has its own brand of fun and challenge.
But in the hardcore industry, I especially like it when I can pick out a girl or a guy that I like sexually, and create that unpredictable, intense chemistry onscreen. It’s instinct. That in itself feeds me. when I go home at the end of the day, and I know I achieved that, I’ve chosen the right person, the right movie, the right chemistry, and the camera caught it! That’s a moment that will last a lifetime! And you, as the audience get to see it!
Like for instance, in two of my latest movies from digital G, Club Fantasy and Secret Sins, pairing up with my favorite girl, Ava Vincent! She just simply exudes sexuality! She doesn’t even have to try! And to be with her in both movies, play with her, tease her, be dominant and submissive, let her take me wherever she wants me to go, and when I needed to take it elsewhere, she sways with it–that’s instinct, that is real!
My experience of shooting hardcore movies carries a strong mental, emotional, sexual charge, that is why I prefer shooting them.
In your opinion, what would the perfect softcore movie be like?
I think that the softcore movie genre has the strong potential of exploring relationship and sexuality issues from both male and female perspectives– in a sexy and titillating manner! This is a kind of middle ground that neither the straight mainstream movie industry, nor the hardcore movies are allowed to do!
To have a good balance—of a story that takes us into the interior of man and woman, built upon real characters, so that you start to care for them and their human experiences, and to have these complications build up to sex! If you have actors and actresses possess good emotional range on acting, be real, tender and gentle in lovemaking, as well as give off the genuine sexual heat when the scene requires it—a good balance of all these elements makes a perfect softcore movie!
What are some of the softcore movie projects you’ve worked on in the past?
I have appeared in: TABOO DESIRES, PRIVATE EYES, TOUCH ME, LOVE LESSONS, NOT ON THE MENU and was in two episodes in the series CONFESSIONS OF A PORNSTAR I also appeared in 14 episodes in the late night series SEX HOUSE. I played the role of ‘McKenzie’ an ardently liberal, budding novelist who prides herself on being an intellectual, but who has a rather nasty sexual streak!
I enjoyed working on Sex House. I like improvising. and this was the nature of the series. I liked its unpredictability, the role-playing, the challenge to one’s creativity, and the sexual play. I felt like I was constantly playing. Yet I knew that I had to work and deliver the best work. I guess the more freedom I get on a set, the happier and the more effective I am. I like to express myself in a playful and sexual way, and Sex House provided me with that fun and supportive environment.
What are some upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Right now, I am busy touring my erotic dance shows around the US. You can check out my schedule at my website. I am booked on feature dancing till September! So if I’m in a club near you, come see me! I am flying to New Zealand in July (2004) for a signing engagement at the Erotica convention, and I will be promoting digitalG and my movies Club Fantasy and Secret Sins .
What type of adult entertainment do you enjoy watching, if any?
I don’t watch adult entertainment. Maybe because I am too close to it. When I am at home, I enjoy doing other things that are not related to the adult industry.
What is the typical day like on the set of a softcore movie?
I find it very laidback. Everyone is very focused on their own thing. The production crew is efficient. And if you have a good director, it could be really fun! Sometimes, you have to wait. It’s typical “hurry up and wait.” But that’s the nature of it. There is some good, clean flirting going around, you sense that, but nothing serious, it really is just generally a sexy environment (to me anyway!)
As the sex scenes in softcore become more realistic, it gives fans more and more reason to wonder “is any of this real?” What are some of the techniques/methods used by both the male/female actors to give a scene genuine heat, while keeping it a softcore movie rather than hardcore?
It really is just about chemistry. That’s why I’m very selective. I know when a scene is going to work for me. It’s about giving and receiving. One of the things that I do in a scene, I hang on to my partner’s eyes. I am giving off heat, and if the other person looks at me the same way, I feed off of that. Then it becomes a give and take. What keeps it softcore, is that there is really no insertion going on.
But sex in real life is really more than just a physical thing. In softcore, when I do a sex scene, I just play off of the other levels–more mental, more emotional. I can feel my body want him/her even more just by simulating sex. And I anchor onto my partner’s eyes. I get genuinely excited! So that when I go home after a shoot, I’m always so horny!!! The downside about my method is that if I am paired off with someone who is not a sexual person, then it’s a frustrating experience for me.
The softcore movie genre has been evolving in the past few years, with both directors and actors creating more ‘realistic’ softcore movies, sometimes at the expense of much of a storyline to support the sex scenes. What separates an adult XXX movie from softcore these days, and do you think the line will eventually go away completely?
An adult XXX movie graphically shows the insertion. The softcore movie does not. That will always separate them. An adult XXX movie can be plot-motivated, with a good storyline, shot on film, with great acting—but with the insertion factor, that makes it rated X. Whereas, the softcore movie can be as “realistic” as a gonzo movie—but without the insertion, it will always be rated R. That is how I differentiate the two.
And I don’t think that line will ever go away. Sex will never go away, not in human evolution. And where sex is involved, boundaries are involved. That line exists because of the audiences’ boundaries. It is what they choose to see, it is a preference, a taste. So that is why, I believe, that line will always be there to stay.
There is a lack of “ethnic diversity” in the softcore movie industry. Have you found this to be a good or bad thing for you when auditioning for a role, since you are not the stereotyped bleached blonde model?
The softcore movie industry has been good to me. Mainly because of Robert Lombard! He understands where I come from when it comes to my work ethics, and he respects that. My ethnicity is not a hindrance. It has been a good thing for me. I get cast for my exotic looks and my acting abilities. My roles are limited, I understand that, but I don’t think I would want to play any of the other roles that stereotyped beached blonde models play anyway. It would be hard for me to pull it off.
I seldom find my ethnicity a problem in this field, in fact, if the written role doesn’t fit me, we just change it around until it does! Essentially, if the script is written well, if it excites me, and if there is something fresh that I can bring to the table, I accept the project. If not, If it doesn’t land inside me, I don’t do it.