The Tommy is from Tommy Hilfiger; Hansen because it sounds like handsome. When Filip Trojovsky, 25, better known by his nom de porn, Tommy Hansen, arrives for our interview at a Prague caf, everything about him is up: The frosted tips of his faux-hawk are tufted into a high coxcomb, and the collars of his pink polo shirt and the striped oxford he wears beneath it are both turned up too. On his wrist is a glittering David Beckhamedition watch the size of a sand dollar. A year and a half after Trojovsky became gay porn company Bel Amis most famous defector, his skin still glows bronze.
With the same rascally smile that won him legions of admirers in Lukas in Love and Out in Africa, Trojovsky explains how he came to out himself to the entire country as a former gay porn actor. As he tells it, a producer forced his hand after he had auditioned and had already been accepted for the 2005 Czech edition of the global reality TV franchise Big Brother.
I wrote on the application that I am doing modeling, he says. The producer told me, You were in porn. Trojovsky denied the charge, but he told me, Its very interesting because I have three movies with you at home. Hoping to control the publicity storm he knew would soon ensue, Trojovsky told his new housemates about his career in the very first episode. The news was, of course, a bonanza for the boulevard press (Filip Lost His Virginity at 15!). Trojovsky was voted out of the house early, but made a return for the last round (he didnt win).
Over the course of an hour, about a dozen young people interrupt our conversation seeking autographs from Trojovsky, and he obliges them. But while his star clearly hasnt faded, his career hasnt taken off either. He is enrolled in acting school and says he lives modestly with a roommate. Last Christmas he directed a childrens play. And Czech society, socially liberal but painfully repressed, has pretty much decided to forget the incident.
Prague is a double capital city: It is simultaneously the much-visited Gothic and baroque metropolis that is the seat of government of a formerly communist country in central Europe and also an epicenter of the multibillion-dollar worldwide gay porn industry. Industry sources estimate that a new gay porn film is made in the Czech Republic every two to three days.
In the heady postcommunist euphoria of the 1990s, while the grime was being scraped from Pragues architectural treasures, the gay porn industry took root here, largely unnoticed and only lightly regulated. Local conditions (low wages, willing workers, a climate of moral and legal indifference) were favorable to the industrys growth, but it was the products peculiar flavor that made it a hit with consumers. Eschewing beefcake for the natural look, Bel Amis George Duroy offered consumers something totally new: fresh-faced ingenues who spoke English badly or not at all. The young men in these videos accomplished the startling illusion of making gay sex seem innocent and unaffected. U.S. gays, in particular, ate it up.
Today, dozens of gay porn producers operate in the Czech Republic, following the delicate dance whose steps were laid out by the early pioneers, the directors William Higgins and Duroy: dispatch scouts to scrub the countrys discos and bars for new talent, keep quiet about how and where you do business, and protect your models privacy. William Higginss Web site is blocked in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and Bel Amis videos arent distributed in eastern Europe at all. In exchange for their sweat and semen, models get a generous infusion of cash and the possibility of spending it quietly over many years. Lukas Ridgeston could walk into any gay bar in Prague and would sooner be noticed for the blue of his eyes than as the star of Boytropolis.
To read more about making porn in the Czech Republic, pick up a copy of the April issue of Out.