Adult film stars very rarely make the crossover to mainstream entertainment, but occasionally it does happen.
It isn't always a simple transition and often requires their special brand of comfort around sex and nudity, but sometimes they get an opportunity to let their acting talents shine. The crossover isn't often for money reasons either, as many from the genre can make a lot more money shooting adult films than they can shooting mainstream movies or TV shows.
The adult film trade is a multi-billion dollar industry, raking in more than an estimated $13 billion every year. You might think that most of that comes from internet revenue, but in reality, the largest portion of its income is in video sales and rentals. That makes up for over three-and-a-half billion dollars of what the industry brings in each year.
Still though, even with numbers that inflated, several adult film stars have taken the risk and made a leap over to mainstream Hollywood.
Below, you'll find a list of adult film stars who transitioned over to star in Hollywood produced films, as initially shared by Decider.
Mainstream Film Roles: Private Parts, Zombie Strippers
Jenna Jameson is often considered to be "the most famous adult entertainer in the world."
In the mid-1990s, she soared to stardom in the adult film industry, taking home numerous adult film industry awards and headlining in dozens of movies. But she made her mainstream film debut in the Howard Stern biographical film Private Parts in 1997. She played a woman named Mandy who Stern brought into the studio to strip down and give him a massage on the air.
A little over 10 years later, she co-starred with Freddy Krueger himself, actor Robert Englund, in the film Zombie Strippers, about "a zombie epidemic" spreading "throughout a strip club in Nebraska."
Jameson also shot an episode of Sons of Anarchy once and recently finished shooting a film titled Limelight, co-starring Jonathan Lipnicki of Jerry Maguire, which is scheduled to be released sometime this year.
Mainstream Film Roles: The Boondock Saints, Crank: High Voltage, The Rules of Attraction
While Jenna Jameson may have at one point been considered "the most famous adult entertainer in the world," Ron Jeremy is certainly up there as he is probably the most well-known adult film star ever.
He got his start in the adult entertainment industry back in the late-1970s and according to IMDb's records, has nearly 1,500 film credits to his name, including upcoming projects.
Jeremy made the transition to the mainstream film industry much easier than other adult film stars, having starred in the films listed above, as well as Ronin, opposite Robert De Niro, and Reindeer Games, opposite Ben Affleck. In addition to all of that, he was also a consultant on the film Boogie Nights, which earned Burt Reynolds the Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture award at the 55th Golden Globe Awards.
Mainstream Film Roles: The Girlfriend Experience, Entourage, I Melt With You
At just 29 years old, Sasha Grey is maybe the youngest adult film star to succeed at dominating the industry she started in and then achieve acknowledged success in the mainstream industry as well.
Officially, Grey retired from the adult film industry in 2011, after making more than 200 films, and as she transitioned to mainstream, she received a positive response. Her first major mainstream project was the film The Girlfriend Experience, which was directed by Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh.
Renowned film critic Roger Ebert even gave the film "four out of four stars" and said, "[it was] true about human nature. It clearly sees needs and desires. It is not universal, but within its particular focus, it is unrelenting."
Mainstream Film Roles: Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Serial Mom, Cry-Baby
While Jenna Jameson and Ron Jeremy are the most recognizable names in the adult film industry, and Sasha Grey has had a fairly positive critical response to her talent, adult film star Traci Lords has had the most continued success and career in mainstream Hollywood.
Back in the 1980s, Lords was involved in a major scandal, when the FBI was notified that she had been shooting adult films while underage. All but one of her films turned out to have been shot before she was of legal age.
She quit the adult film industry and enrolled in acting classes, which ultimately paid off as she's starred in TV shows like Roseanne and Profiler, as well as films like I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and Blade. Her most recent project is titled, Swedish Dicks, a TV series about "Two unlicensed Swedish private investigators" in Los Angeles, starring the everyman actor himself, Peter Stormare.
Mainstream Film Roles: The Canyons, Happyish
In 2009, Deen was awarded the Male Performer of the Year award at the AVN's. He also has over 1,400 film credits to his name, according to IMDb.
Deen co-starred with Lindsay Lohan in the film The Canyons in 2013. This was his first ever non-adult film. Interestingly, the film's writer, Bret Easton Ellis, reportedly mentioned that he had Deen in mind for the role from the very beginning. However, the film was quite controversial as it was widely reported Lohan constantly feuded with Deen, as well as the film's director Paul Schrader.
A couple of years later, Deen turned up in an episode of Showtime's Happyish as himself, offering advice on how to succeed in the adult film industry.
Ultimately, he hasn't really stuck with mainstream film, but did bring a reality show subject into his world. In 2013 and 2014, Deen and Teen Mom's Farrah Abraham starred together in a pair of adult films.
Photo credit: IFC Films