Q&A: XBIZ Chats With Lexington Steele

Performer and director, Lexington Steele is one of the most recognizable names in the adult industry. Lex is the first actor to win the AVN Male Performer of the Year Award three times and also founded his own production company, Mercenary Motion Pictures in 2003. XBIZ who named Steele the ‘Wolf of Porn Valley’ talked directly to him about his experiences in the industry, professional goals, partnerships with other studios and much more.

XBIZ: Tell us about your early days in adult. How did your mainstream experiences as a stockbroker influence your approach to adult?

When I started working in New York, the people I spoke with on a regular basis were primarily entrepreneurs, people that ran their own businesses. And I really had no idea that I was going to leave finance to chase an adult media career. But once I made the transition, very quickly I had aspirations of owning my own studio and doing my own thing. And, it was remembering the mindsets and a lot of the mantras that had been passed on to me by my clients, that led me to have what it took to be an entrepreneur. To put, you know, your name out front of a building and launch into a competitive marketplace. That was the main influence I carried over from finance — an entrepreneurial spirit from having clients for six years that were all business owners in their own right.

XBIZ: How have you evolved professionally and personally, since your first adult films in 1996?

When I started, as an amateur, I was into what’s called “lifestyling,” which is basically being a swinger. And, I was with a group of guys in New Jersey — we called ourselves the Gentle Giants — and we hosted interracial BBC parties, which would be either orgies or gangbangs. So, I had a completely recreational aspect to this. But what happened is a few of the people we met over the years developed into clientele, because they wanted to tape or film what was happening. Then, we began getting compensated for it. So, I was introduced to getting compensated for being videotaped having sex, prior to coming to L.A. So, by the time I got to L.A., I already had plenty of experience being a paid performer in front of the camera, and I was able to hit the ground running. My career developed pretty fast because I had a head start from what I did in New Jersey, in New York, plus I fell in line with some very powerful companies at the time that really elevated my name. Because I did good work for them, they had the power to elevate my name to a certain degree that I’ve been able to maintain. And from there on, I started my own company and continued as a performer, director and so forth.

XBIZ: How did your relationship with Evil Angel develop, to the point where you joined their illustrious roster of directors?

I always worked for Evil, whether it was Joey Silvera, John Stagliano or the late John Leslie. You know, Randy West, I worked for Rocco, I worked for all the Evil directors throughout my early career. What happened is Kevin Moore was an assistant to John Leslie, so I developed a relationship with Kevin and then he had a project for Mile High, for which he and I did a movie together. A small teenie movie and it did really, really well. And he had the idea, why don’t we start something together? So Kevin and I launched Lexington Steele Productions and we co-direct all the titles. It really was a tremendous upgrade to the quality of my media, because you know, if you’re successful with your own stuff that’s fine, but then when you have to coordinate with the standards of another, and those standards are possibly higher than your own, then if you can step up to that level, you continue to grow. So, I think that in the transition, the consumers were happy — and also, there is a big difference between if you are… say… a boutique production house vs. a major distributorship — like a Walmart versus a small mom-and-pop store, a bodega versus Walmart. Being a small distributorship with four titles releasing a month, versus a mega warehouse like Evil Angel with 35 titles releasing a month.

XBIZ: With awards season slowly approaching on the horizon, what are some projects this year that you’re especially proud of?

Well, I think first and foremost, we have a title called “Lex’d.” And that is one title that is special for a number of reasons. There are a number of girls where not only is it the first time that I’ve worked with them, there are also some first time anals, first time IRs. You know, “Lex’d” is a very good title. I’ve always enjoyed Luna Star, so to work with her was great. Also, and this is something I want to point out, that Kevin and I do with Lexington Steele Productions — rarely will you see the same girl shot more than once. What we try to do is always introduce new girls. So, you’ll see girls that may not be doing interracial otherwise, but we’ve been lucky enough that they’ve chosen to work on our productions. So, I’d like to showcase “Lex’d” as one of my most powerful options. .

Read the full interview here.