Sasha Grey

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Sasha Grey
Sasha Grey 2010.jpg
Grey at the AVN Awards Show in 2010
BornMarina Ann Hantzis[1]
(1988-03-14) March 14, 1988 (age 26)
North Highlands, California, U.S
Other namesAnna Karina, Sascha Grey, Sasha Gray
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[2]
Weight110 lb (50 kg)[2]
No. of adult films276 and 2 as director (per IAFD)[3]
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Sasha Grey
Sasha Grey 2010.jpg
Grey at the AVN Awards Show in 2010
BornMarina Ann Hantzis[1]
(1988-03-14) March 14, 1988 (age 26)
North Highlands, California, U.S
Other namesAnna Karina, Sascha Grey, Sasha Gray
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[2]
Weight110 lb (50 kg)[2]
No. of adult films276 and 2 as director (per IAFD)[3]

Sasha Grey (born Marina Ann Hantzis;[1] March 14, 1988) is an American former pornographic actress[4][5] who has since crossed over as a mainstream actress, model, author and musician.[6][7] She first made her name in mainstream media after appearing on several popular television programs and in pop culture magazines examining her willingness to enter the world of hardcore porn at such a young age.[8][9] She has also been featured in music videos and advertising campaigns.[10][11] She won numerous awards between 2007 and 2010, including the AVN Female Performer of the Year Award in 2008.

After her feature film debut as the lead in Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience, she shifted her focus to mainstream acting.[5] She starred in the black comedy/horror film Smash Cut, and played a semi-fictionalized version of herself in the seventh season of the HBO television series Entourage. She has also appeared in independent films, such as I Melt With You. She is a former member of aTelecine, an industrial music band.[7][12][13]


In May 2006, Grey moved to Los Angeles and began appearing in adult films just after turning 18.[8] Originally she toyed with the name Anna Karina,[8] taken after the French New Wave actress, before deciding on her present name. The name "Sasha" was taken from Sascha Konietzko of the band KMFDM,[14] and "Grey" represents Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.[15] Her first scene was an orgy with Rocco Siffredi for The Fashionistas 2 by John Stagliano. Grey quickly made a name for herself in the business after she asked Siffredi to punch her in the stomach; however, she later stated that she was improvising and it was taken out of context.[16]

In January 2007, Grey was the recipient of awards for "Best Three Way Sex Scene" and "Best Group Scene" at the AVN Adult Movie Awards.[17] She was also nominated as "Best New Starlet", but lost to Naomi.[17] Grey was named Penthouse magazine Pet of The Month for July 2007[18] and was photographed by fashion photographer Terry Richardson.[19]

In 2008, she became the youngest person to win the AVN "Female Performer of the Year" award[20] and "Best Oral Sex Scene".[21] Grey formerly represented herself in the adult industry through her own agency, L.A. Factory Girls.[22] Grey has indicated particular appreciation for the work of Andrew Blake and Kimberly Kane.[23] A. O. Scott of The New York Times described her pornographic career as "distinguished both by the extremity of what she is willing to do and an unusual degree of intellectual seriousness about doing it."[24] In 2009, she was voted number 1 on Genesis magazine's 11th annual edition of its "Porn's Hot 100" issue[25][26]


Less than six months after entering the adult industry, Grey was featured in the November 2006 edition of Los Angeles where she was flagged as a potential major star, perhaps the next Jenna Jameson.[8] In December 2006, Grey was interviewed on the syndicated entertainment industry news show The Insider.

In February 2007, she appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, discussing teenagers in the sex industry. There was speculation that the show was heavily manipulated through editing, and did not include her defense of pornography as a career choice. The show was also criticized for twisting Grey's depiction to increase its dramatic value.[27][28]

Grey was profiled in the Rolling Stone "Hot Issue" for the December 2008 edition.[29]

In 2011, she was named by CNBC as one of the 12 most popular stars in porn.[30] CNBC noted that, while she is no longer acting in porn films, her current mainstream roles have kept interest in her earlier porn work high, and several companies continue to release compilations of it. Grey filmed her last pornographic movie at age 21, although she did not announce her retirement for some time after, realizing that many of her fans still believed her to be an active performer in the industry.[31] On April 8, 2011, she officially announced her retirement from adult films on Facebook.[32]


Grey has been an advocate for the adult industry and defended her choice to be a porn actress. In a March 2014 interview, she spoke in defense of the industry and on behalf of outed Duke University student turned porn star, Belle Knox.[33]


A modeling photo of Grey

She has modeled for French fashion designer Max Azria's ready to wear line Manoukian,[34][35] Italian footwear brand Forfex for an international campaign,[11] and American Apparel. She's modeled for Richard Kern as a part of Vice magazine's anti-fashion layout, and appeared in a three-part VBS program, "Shot by Kern".[36] She also appeared in Taschen’s 25th anniversary reprint of Terry Richardson’s Terryworld.[37] Among other collaborations with Richardson, she has also appeared in Wives, Wheels, Weapons, a companion book to James Frey's Bright Shiny Morning. She has also modeled for artists James Jean, Frédéric Poincelet,[38] Zak Smith,[39] and David Choe.[40]

Grey has appeared in Playboy Magazine twice, first in a December 2009 pictorial, and then for the cover feature in October 2010.[5][41][42] In January 2010, Grey appeared nude in an ad campaign for PETA advocating animal birth control.[43] In February 2010, Grey stated in a PETA interview, "I think spaying and neutering is incredibly important. … [I]t keeps the animals out of the shelters, and there's too many unwanted animals out there already".[44]


Grey appeared in an episode of James Gunn's PG Porn with James Gunn,[45] as well as a cameo role[46] in Dick Rude's independent film Quit, and stars in[47] the 2009 Canadian low-budget black comedy/horror film Smash Cut from the Ottawa-based Odessa/Zed Filmworks. She plays a TV news personality who goes undercover as an actress in a horror film production, only to discover her older sister's murderer. In March 2010, Grey was cast as an anti-sex Christian in the horror film Hallows, directed by Richard O'Sullivan.[48]

Grey played the lead role, "Chelsea", an escort girl who is paid to act as the clients' girlfriend, in Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh's film The Girlfriend Experience.[49][50] Soderbergh cast her after reading the article[8] profiling her in Los Angeles magazine, commenting that, "She's kind of a new breed, I think. She doesn't really fit the typical mold of someone who goes into the adult film business...I'd never heard anybody talk about the business the way that she talked about it."[51] In having Grey prepare for her role in The Girlfriend Experience, Soderbergh asked her to watch Godard's Vivre sa vie and Pierrot le fou.[52] Vivre sa vie concerns prostitution, while the relationship portrayed in Pierrot le fou was suggested as a model for the dynamic between Chelsea and her boyfriend and clients.[23] Grey and Soderbergh also interviewed two escorts, and borrowed character traits and behavior from them.[23] Critics had mixed assessments of Grey's performance.[53][54][55][56]

Grey was cast for the seventh season of the HBO show Entourage, where she played a fictionalized version of herself. Her character was Vincent Chase's new girlfriend in a multi-episode arc.[57] Grey co-starred alongside Thomas Jane, Carla Gugino, Jeremy Piven, and Rob Lowe in the thriller I Melt With You which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011.[58] She then starred in the Indonesian film Shrouded Corpse Bathing While Hip-Shaking. The film premiered in Indonesia on April 28, 2011.[59] She subsequently starred in the French film Life, which was released on DVD in France on August 10, 2011, and voiced the character Viola DeWynter in the 2011 video game Saints Row: The Third, which was released in November 2011. Also she was 2013 together with Mary Ocher as herself in one Episode of the German documentary film television series Durch die Nacht mit … which appeared on German and French television on the 7th December 2013.[60]

In February of that same year, she appeared in the music video for Eminem's song "Space Bound".[61] Grey plays the role of Eminem's girlfriend, whom Eminem strangles only to realize she is just a figment of his imagination.[62] The video was premiered on Vevo on June 27, 2011.[63] Previously, she appeared in the music video for the 2008 song "Birthday Girl" by The Roots.[64] She also is featured in the artwork for The Smashing Pumpkins 2007 album Zeitgeist[10] and appears in the music video for their song "Superchrist".[65]


In 2008, Grey began an industrial music collaboration, called aTelecine, with Pablo St. Francis.[7] They later added members Anthony D' Juan and Ian Cinnamon.[12] Their first EP, aVigillant Carpark, was released in 2009 by New York label Pendu Sound on 7-inch vinyl only.[12] Grey also contributed vocals to the Current 93 album Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain.[66] She also regularly performs as a DJ in the US and Canada.[67] In 2010, aTelecine released their first LP, ...And Six Dark Hours Pass, and in November of the same year followed it up with the LP A Cassette Tape Culture.[68] In August 9, 2011, aTelecine's first full length album, The Falcon and the Pod, was released; this album is the first of a planned trilogy.[69][70] Along with her work with Eminem, Sasha Grey is also listed by Narnack Records website as a guest artist on Repentance,[71] the 54th studio album by Grammy-winning[71][72] reggae and dub icon[71][73] Lee "Scratch" Perry, though Perry himself denied her involvement in a 2009 interview.[73]

aTelecine's world first live concert took place on October 20, 2012 in Kraków in Museum of Urban Engineering during Unsound Festival.[74]

In July 2013, it was announced that Sasha Grey was no longer a member of the group and that Ian Cinnamon and new vocalist, Sveio, were the only remaining full-time members.[13]


Grey's first photo book, Neü Sex, was released on March 29, 2011.[75][76][77] Her second book, The Juliette Society, an erotic novel, was released on May 9, 2013.[78]



2007Homo ErectusCavegirl
20089to5 – Days in PornHerself
2009Girlfriend Experience, TheThe Girlfriend ExperienceChelsea / Christine Brown
Smash CutApril Carson
2010QuitMini-mart clerk
2011I Melt With YouRaven
Skinny DipHolly Haven
2012The Girl from the Naked EyeLena
Would You RatherAmy
2013Open Windows
2014Inferno: A Linda Lovelace StoryPaula
The Scribbler


2009Porn: Business of PleasureHerselfCNBC TV Documentary
2010EntourageHerself6 episodes
2013Durch die Nacht mit …Herself1 episode

Music Videos[edit]

2008Birthday GirlBirthday GirlThe Roots video
SuperchristDancerThe Smashing Pumpkins video
2011Space BoundGirlEminem video


2009James Gunn's PG PornTricia ScroteyEpisode: "Roadside Ass-istance"

Video games[edit]

2011Saints Row: The ThirdViola DeWynterVoice

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of accolades received by Sasha Grey
Total number of wins and nominations

AVN Awards[edit]

Grey accepting the AVN Awards for the Best Oral Sex Scene in 2010
2007NominatedBest New StarletN/AN/A
NominatedBest Oral Sex Scene – VideoOral SpremecyN/A
WonBest Three-Way Sex SceneFuck SlavesSandra Romain & Manuel Ferrara
WonBest Group Sex Scene - VideoFashionistas SafadoFlower Tucci, Christian XXX, Erik Everhard, Belladonna, Jewell Marceau, Chris Charming, Gianna, Jean Val Jean, Melissa Lauren, Voodoo, Marie Luv, Adrianna Nicole, Caroline Pierce, Jenna Haze, Nicole Sheridan, Mr. Pete, Sandra Romain
2008NominatedBest All-Girl Sex Scene, VideoBoundariesBree Olson
NominatedBest Group Sex Scene, VideoSwallow My Squirt 4Jenna Presley, Sierra Sinn & Mark Ashley
WonBest Oral Sex Scene, VideoBabysittersN/A
NominatedBest Oral Sex Scene, VideoBlow Me Sandwich 11Maya Hills
NominatedBest Oral Sex Scene, VideoFeeding Frenzy 9N/A
NominatedBest Threeway Sex SceneRazördollsJames Deen & Alec Knight
WonFemale Performer of the YearN/AN/A
2009NominatedBest ActressThe Last RoseN/A
NominatedBest All-Girl Group Sex SceneFlower's Squirt Shower 5Flower Tucci, Britney Stevens & Angela Stone
NominatedBest Oral Sex SceneFilth Comes First 3N/A
NominatedBest POV Sex ScenePOV Centerfolds 7Mick Blue
NominatedBest Threeway Sex ScenePirates II: Stagnetti's RevengeBelladonna & Evan Stone
NominatedFemale Performer of the YearN/AN/A
NominatedThe Jenna Jameson Crossover Star Of The YearN/AN/A
2010NominatedBest ActressThroat: A Cautionary TaleN/A
NominatedBest All-Girl Couples Sex SceneBree & SashaBree Olson
NominatedBest All-Girl Group Sex SceneSun Goddess: MalibuTeagan Presley, Bree Olson & Gianna Lynn
WonBest Anal Sex SceneAnal Cavity Search 6Erik Everhard
NominatedBest Couples Sex SceneThroat: A Cautionary TaleEvan Stone
NominatedBest New Web StarletN/AN/A
WonBest Oral Sex SceneThroat: A Cautionary TaleN/A
NominatedBest Solo Sex SceneSun Goddess: MalibuN/A
NominatedMost Outrageous Sex SceneLive in My SecretsKimberley Kane
WonCrossover Star of the YearN/AN/A
2011NominatedBest All-Girl Three-Way Sex SceneMalice in LalalandKristina Rose & Alyssa Reece
NominatedBest Couples Sex SceneMalice in LalalandKeni Styles
NominatedBest Double Penetration Sex SceneFuck Sasha GreyRico Strong & Brian Pumper
NominatedBest Supporting ActressReal Wife Stories 6N/A
NominatedBest Three-Way Sex Scene (G/G/B)Fly GirlsRaven Alexis & Manuel Ferrara
NominatedCrossover Star of the YearN/AN/A
NominatedMost Outrageous Sex SceneFuck Sasha GreyTony T.
NominatedMost Outrageous Sex SceneFuck Sasha GreyClaire Adams

FAME Awards[edit]

2007NominatedFavorite Female Starlet
NominatedFavorite Oral Starlet
NominatedFavorite Female Rookie
NominatedDirtiest Girl in Porn
2008NominatedFavorite Female Starlet
NominatedFavorite Oral Starlet
NominatedFavorite Anal Starlet
NominatedFavorite Ass
NominatedHottest Body
2009NominatedFavorite Female Starlet
NominatedFavorite Oral Starlet
NominatedFavorite Anal Starlet
NominatedFavorite Ass
NominatedHottest Body
NominatedDirtiest Girl in Porn
2010NominatedFavorite Female Starlet
WonFavorite Oral Starlet
NominatedFavorite Anal Starlet
NominatedFavorite Ass
NominatedHottest Body
NominatedDirtiest Girl in Porn

XBIZ Awards[edit]

2009NominatedFemale Performer of the YearN/A
NominatedCrossover Star of the YearN/A
2010NominatedFemale Performer of the YearN/A
WonCrossover Star of the YearN/A
NominatedActing Performance of the Year — FemaleThroat: A Cautionary Tale
2011NominatedCrossover Star of the YearN/A
NominatedActing Performance of the Year - FemaleMalice in Lalaland

XRCO Awards[edit]

Sasha Grey at the XRCO Awards on April 5, 2007
2007WonNew StarletN/A
NominatedCream DreamN/A
2008WonFemale Performer of the YearN/A
NominatedCream DreamN/A
NominatedOrgasmic OralistN/A
2009NominatedFemale Performer of the YearN/A
NominatedOrgasmic OralistN/A
WonMainstream Adult Media FavoriteN/A
2010NominatedSingle Performance – ActressDeep Throat: A Cautionary Tale
NominatedOrgasmic OralistN/A
WonMainstream Adult Media FavoriteN/A
2011NominatedMainstream Adult Media FavoriteN/A

Other awards[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Grey was born and raised in North Highlands, California, to a working-class family. Her mother worked for the state of California, and her father was a mechanic.[8] She is of English, Greek, Irish, and Polish descent.[104] Her parents divorced when she was five years old, and she was subsequently raised by her mother, who remarried in 2000.

Grey attended four high schools, among them Highlands High, having been unhappy in each one,[8] though she graduated a year early at 17.[105] In late 2005, she attended Sacramento City College[106] and took classes in film, dance, and acting.[8] She waited tables at a steakhouse through March 2006 and saved $7,000 for a move to Los Angeles.[8]

Grey states that her parents were not happy with her involvement in the adult industry, but that they are on good terms nonetheless.[107] Since 2006, she has been developing an autobiographical documentary, illustrating her experiences from the age of 18 to 21.[108] She was reported in a 2009 Rolling Stone interview as being engaged to filmmaker Ian Cinnamon.[109] She identifies herself as bisexual.[110]


In November 2011, Grey participated in the Guest Reading Program at Emerson Elementary School in Long Beach, California. Reportedly, her involvement in such activity was first denied to the media by school officials. Parents were upset that a former pornographic actress would read to their children as part of an education program. Grey responded to the controversy by stating, "I believe education is a universal right. I committed to this program with the understanding that people would have their own opinions about what I have done, who I am, and what I represent."[111][112][113] Grey also appeared on the American talk show The View, where she explained that she thought the parents should have been given prior notice of the identity of anyone who did guest reading, and that if parents had objected to her, she would not have done it.[114]

See also[edit]


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