There was a time when working in porn was the kiss of death to any actor who wanted a "serious" career. However, today there are a lot more adult film stars -- Frankie Valenti and Francois Sagat come to mind -- popping up in independent projects that skirt the mainstream edges of Hollywood.
Take for example Sean Paul Lockhart, who, under the moniker Brent Corrigan, has been seen in over 30 adult titles since he made his porn debut in 2004, as well as several non-adult, gay-themed indie films. His credits include appearances in the teen sex romp Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!, Gus Van Sant's Milk and starring roles in films like Judas Kiss in 2011 and both Truth and Triple Crossed in 2013.
In his latest film, a gay-mystery thriller called The Dark Place, a young gay man named Keegan Dark (Blaise Embry) breaks his estrangement with his mother and returns home with his new boyfriend. Upon arrival, he discovers that she is remarried to a new man with a son of his own. Lockhart plays Jake, Keegan's unpredictable (and frequently nude) new stepbrother who may or may not be a psychopathic killer trying to steal his life.
With film now available on Vimeo on Demand, Lockhart took some time to answer our 10 most burning questions to reveal the secret to his crossover appeal, his most difficult role to date, and what exactly convinced him to lighten up and just put on a pair of women's heels already.
Out: The mainstream entertainment business has always been reluctant to get into bed with actors who have worked in adult films, however you've been able to crossover into non-adult projects fairly well. Has something changed in the industry to make the transition easier?
Sean Paul Lockhart: It's the times, not the industry. Change is here, but it's only in certain niches of "mainstream media". I never attempted to step outside of the LGBT umbrella - in part because it was where I was most comfortable, but largely out of maintaining a practical approach to my non-adult media work. As time passes, all the old, craggy farts that are stuck on stupid - and in the past - will die off and we'll be left with viewers that just want the best films to watch. Who their actors are or where they come from won't be so important to them.
I hate to make assumptions, but I assume that working in adult films would make you pretty fearless when considering new opportunities?
Yes, especially when it comes to what I will do on camera. The only thing that scares me these days is getting involved with a movie that can't attest to a certain level of production value upon delivery of the project. We have a hard enough time getting consumers to buy our media due to years and years of largely less-than-appreciative production values. I want to know the end result is something we all can be proud of.
A look at your credits shows a pretty wide range of genres. Is there one you still have on your list to try?
Comedy. As a kid, I used to spend hours in the mirror making faces at myself. I used to share the characters I created with my housekeeper and my sister; they were my best friends. I'd love to prove that a decently good-looking dude has more to offer than just his face - or body. I want to do something ridiculous.
Well, your role as Stan the Merman in Another Gay Sequel was pretty ridiculous. Or at least your most memorable role, as far as I'm concerned...
I guess I stole the show in that one; people still talk about it and I feel as though it was merely a blip on the radar. I am very thankful Todd Stephens and Jonah Blechman took a chance on me, it was a very rewarding experience but I was so green I was overwhelmed.
I was really surprised to see that you tackled a musical in Chillerama since singing is something that generally makes people feel very vulnerable.
Being vulnerable on camera has never been a problem for me. I wish I could do it more in real life! Chillerama was the most difficult [role I've done] so far. Upon taking the film, I was assured I'd be given proper singing lessons [but] it wasn't until production [began] that I came to learn the resources were considerably less than what was communicated to me. I suffered through two failed recording sessions and I was told that if I didn't get it right the third time, production had already put another singer on retainer to dub me. So, scared [that] I'd embarrass myself with a bad performance, I paid my own money and got a real coach.
While working with Andrew Christian, you were featured in a mini-challenge on the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. What was the most surprising thing you learned from that experience?
Witnessing RuPaul take directions from an ear piece, trying several lines and responses over and over and over again to the things that were being said to him was interesting to see. He's a riddle to me. I think what he's done for the gender bending community is riveting. [He's] made alternative gender identities and blurring the lines a little easier to swallow, even for queers that have been so anti-queen all this time.
He's managed to change hearts and minds about his craft in only a few seasons. I admit what finally got me in a pair of heels, after years of pretending like I didn't want to, was his show.
What is your spirit animal?
Horse. Weirdly, I feel most connected to the world and most at-home in my own skin when I'm out with my horses.
So, your new film, The Dark Place is a thriller. From Alfred Hitchcock, to the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream movies, horror and suspense has always been depicted in a very sexual way. What do you think is the connection between fear and sex?
If you look at the history of suspense, and certainly horror, for decades it was considered a very cheap place to reside in when it came to someone's choice of work. Horror actresses were practically blacklisted and relegated to the genre after taking it on, which birthed the concept of a "scream queen." To maintain a place in our theatres, horror films started bearing breasts, adding sex scenes, and killing the characters off during THE ACT of sex. So sex and fear became ever more symbiotic in the minds of Americans. But just look at sex and fear in their simplicity; they both elevate the heart rate, they put us in a state in our bodies and our brains that no other emotions can.
Do you have a favorite horror movie or franchise?
Yikes. I don't know. I tend to move away from gore and graphic imagery. Seven and Silence of the Lambs are my style; well-formed characters with an intricate and complex background. I just close my eyes a lot when watching Seven.
Let's play "Marry, Fuck, Kill" with Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, or Michael Myers.
Marry Mike Myers because he looks pretty well built under that jumper and he's probably got a monster-size cock. Kill Krueger because you could never marry a man that couldn't finger you -- and you certainly couldn't fuck a face like that. Fuck Jason Voorhees since I know the least about him. A little bit of anonymous sex can be exciting from time to time -- in fantasy, anyway.
The DVD releases on Dec. 2. Watch the trailer below: