MARK ADNUM: One of the things I love about your films is how you feature actors who act like real gay guys, such as the fashion assistant played by Owen Hank in Dangerous Liaisons who talks campily about launching the “new Spring line” before getting manrammed (by you). Not everyone’s a flamer, but I love how you’ve found a way to integrate gay-acting men into really sexy porn scenes.
MICHAEL LUCAS: Thank you so much. See, I am not personally into role playing. Fake fire fighters and policemen don’t quite do it for me. I like gay guys as they really are, whether they are fashion designers, hair dressers, students, or trading stocks.
I personally do not know any gay man who is a construction worker. I’m not sure what I would talk to him about. That’s not me and that’s not my world.
MA: Your company slogan is “New York’s Best Defense Against Bad Porn”. What is about New York, specifically, that would generate superior porn to that produced elsewhere, and how do you define “bad porn”?
ML: In New York City, you have such a great variety of talented people who work in any number of fields. I have the fashion and media worlds at my fingertips. Also, I like the great mixture of New York types. Guys here are from all over the world. I like that, and I also like them to be uninhibited, nasty and dirty. I want all of their nasty secrets and desires to be exposed for my cameras.
I like them not only to fuck each other, I like them pissing on each other and eating each other’s asses like there is no tomorrow. I am not interested in clean cut vanilla sex. I also don’t like cheesy scenarios, sets, and situations- unless it’s a comedy. The neon lights and fog, ugh! And to answer your second question, Falcon is bad porn
MA: What do you think of amateur porn?
ML: I think there is a market for everything. I just don’t like the word “amateur”. I am completely professional.
MA: I loved the conversation you had you had with Harvey Fierstein years ago, where you spoke about self-responsiblity for safe-sex and HIV-infection. It was so refreshing to hear gay men speak about taking responsibility for their actions, rather than blaming pharmaceutical companies and/or Ronald Reagan et al. Do you still feel the same? How did you react to Larry Kramer’s article in “The Advocate” after Reagan’s death in which Kramer labelled Reagan the “murderer” of every gay man who had died of AIDS since the ex-President had allegedly delayed HIV/AIDS research (which in fact he hadn’t)?
ML: I thought Kramer was right on. Back in the 80s, the President HAD TO speak about AIDS and HAD TO speak about using condoms, because at that time there was no information at all. So yes he was responsible for many deaths. He did not do what he had to do. I do not care about his Christian beliefs or him being “uncomfortable” talking about condoms.
Today, however, we are all aware of AIDS and how HIV transmits, and we should all be responsible for our own actions.
MA: I’ve read that the porn industry makes five dollars to every one dollar that the non-porn film industry makes.
ML: There are much more gay porn companies than Hollywood studios, but not that many gay adult studios are making millions of dollars. Remember, you don’t make as big of an investment to make a porn film, so everybody does it. In Hollywood, to make a big scale production, you need millions.
MA: Do you consider yourself attractive?
MA: Do you ever still think of yourself as a Russian?
ML: Never. I never thought of myself as a Russian even when I lived in Russia. As all Jews did, I had a paragraph in my passport which read “Jewish”. People called it “5th paragraph”. In documents I was listed as Jewish and not a Russian, so Russians never gave me the opportunity to be one of them. Russia is a very anti-semetic and homophobic society.
I would gladly forget their language, too, but it is the only language that my parents and grandparents use to communicate with me. I hate it when people come to me in the streets and try to mumble some Russian greeting.
MA: What’s your opinion on the soft-porn marketing of many films that play the gay and lesbian film festival circuit, the shirtless hotties on the poster art, the promises of glimpses of the actors cocks, etc.?
ML: You know, I am not a great expert on independent or small films. You should ask Matthew Rush about that, I think he had 10-second roles like you speak of in a couple of them- which proves your point, I guess. I just saw Another Gay Movie since I know some members of the cast. I really liked it.
I agree about your sentiments as they translate to television and mainstream media. We are never depicted as sexy or powerful. It’s more likely that you will see clownish fruits rather than real gay men. Some things out there are akin to minstrel shows. But I’d wait to judge gay produced independent films. I think they are coming around.
As far as the use of skin to sell, well - I don’t have a problem with that. I will say that if people are looking for skin in particular, I recommend a Lucas Entertainment film over anything else.
About Michael Lucas: Lucas Entertainment founder and president Michael Lucas was born in Moscow, Russia, on March 10, 1972. He was raised in Moscow and attended college there, graduating with a degree in law. In 1995, Lucas moved to Germany, then to France, where he began modeling and appearing on several European television programs and covers of many European magazines. In 1998, Lucas opened his own production company, Lucas Entertainment, in New York City. Later that year, he made his directorial debut with the well-received Back in the Saddle. This first production sparked the Michael Lucas vision that is indelibly New York. Additionally, basing his company in New York City, as opposed to the more traditional Los Angeles, enabled Lucas to showcase the diversity of types and ethnicities found nowhere else.
Lucas started Lucas Distribution, Inc. in 2004 and LucasBlog.com in 2005. Both are pioneering ventures in the competitive realms of adult video distribution and online media, respectively. In the summer of 2005 he released a high-budget adult film remake of Dangerous Liaisons, featuring celebrity cameos from RuPaul, Boy George, Graham Norton, Bruce Vilanch, and Michael Musto.
note: this interview took place in 2006.