Brent Corrigan interview with ChicagoPride.com
Tue. May 20, 2008 by Bill Pritchard
With an upcoming visit to Chicago over Memorial Day weekend, ChicagoPride.com’s Bill Pritchard had an opportunity to sit down with the adult film icon for an exclusive interview.
BP: (Bill Pritchard) Brent, it’s wonderful to be able to have this opportunity to hear your side of a much publicized story. You shocked the industry with revelations you were only underage when you made your first movie. Let’s start from the beginning of your career.
BC: (Brent Corrigan) I started in the adult industry when I was 17. That’s a fact I am not proud of. I was 17; that’s a reason and not an excuse. Being young and inexperienced in the ways of the world, and being all but alone, led me down a wrong path. Why and how I got started at Cobra is a long and winding, intricate story involving a willing producer and a greedy and jealous ex boyfriend. Although it makes for an interesting and colorful past, the real story is why I stuck with the adult industry and how I’ve used it to leverage a more mainstream persona in the last few months. Now, I am 21. I’m developing my second adult company, taken part in 2 major mainstream queer films and I’ve begun to write and direct my own projects.
BP: At one point you publicly alleged Cobra Video owner Bryan Kocis with knowingly using you – while underage - in a video. Your claims resulted in law suits and months of trying to prove your side of the story. What was it like to go through?
BC: I certainly haven’t had much time to be bored these last few years! Sued at age 19, involved in a murder investigation (for a case I now find myself as one of the star witnesses in), and mainstream actor and accomplished director by 21.
Cobra Video sued me in an effort to prevent the truth about my real age from spilling out and ruining him. His personal feelings of jealousy and obsession led him to legal action, which was meant to prevent me from moving forward in this world.
[My Partner] Grant and I waged civil war for a year before finally coming together with Cobra Video and developing a settlement that turned out to be mutually beneficial to all parties involved.
Sadly, there were forces unseen to all of us at work that converged and someone lost their life.
Grant and I spent another year clearing our names and working with the authorities to do the right thing and help put those responsible behind bars.
BP: What was it like to go through all this?
BC: Being 19 and 20 and having to experience these things – it was as if the weight of the whole, raw and real world was compressed and grinding down upon my shoulders. Though my family wasn’t there; I always had Grant. Grant is the one who has liberated me and he’s been here ever since. In some ways, these trying times have humbled me and taught me how to better regard the world and all it has to offer; good or bad.
BP: What have you learned as a result of that experience?
BC: Well! I certainly don’t have all the answers like I thought I once did! I imagine that was merely a product of my age at the time. I’ve learned that, even when you feel like the world is coming at you at all angles – hold on dearly to the ones you love and stick to your principles and try your best not to lose all faith. Most of the time it will work out. Even if it seems hopeless.
There is always a future, even if yours appears to be changing and shifting on you – every time getting further and further away from where you originally wanted to be. There is always a purpose for you even if you can’t see right away. Plans change. Life is about adapting. Resilience is a trait people seem to admire most.
BP: In the early part of January 2007 you and Kocis’ lawyers reached a settlement regarding the various lawsuits against each other. It was rumored that you were perhaps going to rejoin Cobra. Was that the case?
BC: Yes, a settlement was reached! Documents had been finalized and signed by all parties when the unthinkable happened. At that time, all of us were tired of playing the legal games. We very well could have pushed the suit to the point of trial and we would have won. However, after a year of legal maneuvering and business delays we all just wanted to put it behind us. Those strong feelings of hate and hurt that coursed from both sides had begun to dull and lose their fervor. The settlement wasn’t set that I would have to rejoin Cobra. It was set up so that there would be a series of collaborative projects involving my company and Cobra Video. It would have boost my production into overdrive, allowing me to get producer and director credit much sooner than if I were to have done it alone. For those projects, everything was to be split evenly, 50/50. What’s more, I was going to be able to continue to go on shooting my work using condoms – the safe way.
With this arrangement, I would have had little contact with Bryan from Cobra Video. Nothing could have happened that would put Bryan back in my life the way he once was, but there was no reason to feel that we could never develop a new, more professional relationship governed by legal laws and clear-cut boundaries. It’s hard for people who are well versed in our public feud to believe this because there was never a time before Bryan’s death that we were able to change the public tide about each other. We were in settlement mode from October clear through January. That’s something few people really know – if you go back and look at my old blog and scour those entries that were written between those few months, there is nothing negative about Cobra or Bryan included in them.
BP: Later that January Bryan Kocis was found murdered in his burning home. What was your reaction?
BC: Because Bryan’s case has not yet gone to trial (they are looking at September 2008 now), I can’t discuss the details openly. I don’t want to impact the case or the verdict by doing so. I can say that I never imagined that such a thing would happen! Until you go through something like that it’s difficult to understand just how confused and desperate people can be. My reaction? What anyone would do when they find themselves facing a legal nightmare: secure legal counsel so we could do the right thing and work closely, helping the authorities.
BP: You assisted the law enforcement agencies involved in the Kocis’ case with the apprehension of suspects Harlow Cuadra and Joe Kerekes; even going as far as being bugged before meeting them on the beach. God, were you scared? What was going through your head?
BC: There is nothing in this world like participating in a sting operation. I held back and let Grant do most of the talking throughout the process. I felt sick to my stomach through the duration of the meeting. I have never been able to compare that feeling to anything else. I wanted to retreat from the world and put it all behind me.
I had to be there to make it work and I’m proud that I had the courage to see it through. Now the authorities have evidence in the case that they otherwise would not have had.
BP: Now that all the legal stuff is behind you, you’ve begun a new chapter in your life; including a new website, www.BrentCorriganInc.com. Tell us all about that.
BC: Well hold on now! Though Grant and I can breathe more easily, we haven’t stopped looking over our shoulder. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through all this it’s that you can never be sure what’s waiting for you around the corner.
I have more trust and assurance in the government regarding Bryan’s case so that is a relief to some degree. I’ve spent some time with those working this case. They are competent. Anyway!
www.BrentCorriganInc.com is the face of my second company. We’re in the process of a redesign as we get ready to incorporate video blog entries, up and coming appearance calendars and a whole new streaming Member’s Site (which will be Mac compatible). Our webmasters are moving at a snail’s pace which is starting to delay things annoyingly. Now that I am working with Dink Flamingo from Active Duty and Dirty Bird Pictures, we are moving forward and there’s nothing standing in our way. I want to thank Dink for taking a chance on Grant and me.
BP: You have also recently had a role as Stan the Merman in Another Gay Sequel scheduled to hit film festivals this summer. (June 28th at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.) How did you get that opportunity and what was it like?
BC: I’m a huge fan of Another Gay Movie! Somehow I caught wind of it when it hit theaters a few years ago now, and I was there at our little gay indie theater on opening night to watch it with a packed house. Until then, I had never seen anything like it! I remember watching it hoping it was just one of a whole new line and genre for queer media.
I’ve watched my copy so many times it doesn’t even play right anymore. I whole heartedly encourage anyone out there reading to pick up a copy of their own at www.TLAreleasing.com, even if they have seen it. Todd Stephens, the director and all the boys over there that worked on this film really deserve the credit and support from our community. The only way queer media directors are ever going to keep on doing what they are doing is if they catch a break from people like us; who watch and enjoy their work.
Where is the love?! Our little pond, queer media, has so much potential to educate, warn and entertain a community that really needs some direction.
I am so sorry I am off on a tangent! I got the part of Stan the Merman when I was asked to come in and read for a few parts. Stan the Merman was the one I sorely wanted because he gets some unbelievably funny lines in the two scenes he appears in (especially when they are delivered by someone like me!). I got a call back within an hour of leaving the audition. Somehow, somewhere Todd, Derek the producer and Jonah Blechman (also a producer, he plays Nico) decided I was right for it! I spent a week out in Fort Lauderdale in December filming the project. It was one of the best experiences in my life to get to know Will Wikle and Aaron Davies, both leading cast member’s in the new film. Jonah Blechman lives in San Diego and he and I have become great friends. He’s one of the best actors I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
BP: You mentioned that you’ve got a short film headed to Outfest. Can you tell us about that one?
BC: The short film I appear in is called “In the Closet”, written and directed by Jody Wheeler. I play the antagonist in that project. It’s about a confused and somewhat lost young man who brings home an unsuspecting trick after a night out at the bar. I don’t want to give it away, but it is a gay sci fi short! There are some mature scenes in it where I get naked. With my work in the mainstream world I do hope to maintain a fairly mature edge. I must say that this short film is one that really allowed me to breakthrough as a real actor. This project stands as one of my best performances, ever. Even if you can’t make it to Outfest in Los Angeles to see it, it will eventually appear on Jody Wheeler’s Sci Fi website www.DoorQ.com.
BP: You’ve taken a stab (As it were) at directing your new featured video, Summit; on sale now at www.BrentCorriganInc.com. How do you feel you did?
BC: The studio’s name is Prodigy Pictures, don’t forget it because this is only the first of many from Prodigy! Directing is something I’ve always known I wanted to do. I moved to southern California when I was 16 to get residency and be closer to the best film schools. Directing Summit was a challenge because it was my first feature.
I had previously directed internet scenes and projects for my first company, so I wasn’t entirely new to being in charge. However, I completely discounted the difference in nature between filming internet work and DVD features.
Although, I am entirely satisfied with Summit being my first. Grant and Steve Jerome of CustomBoys.com did the editing. We had 10 boys (3 straight ones!) and 7 crewman on this project and we filmed it in 9 days in South Lake Tahoe. Dink Flamingo from Dirty Bird Pictures footed the bill and made it all possible! I even appear in two of the scenes on the DVD. I know I have a lot to learn but I’m getting there. I already know exactly what I need to do different on the next one.
BP: How many more films would you like to do this year?
BC: I don’t know! Numbers are not my friend. I will say that I have a 3 DVD option with Dirty Bird Pictures, so there will be at least 2 more full fledged productions from that. I’m trying to keep my work genuine and real, which was the focus of Summit. Now that I’m developing the Member’s Site, I can focus on making that the reality based content that I am so fixated on. I’ve got a comedy spoof on a well known TV host in development. After that I’m hoping Dink is willing to drop a sizable investment into a ‘period porno’. I want to incorporate a dear friend of mine in a non sex acting role. Her name is Katya Ludmilla-Smirnoff Skyy. She’s a Russian drag queen from the former USSR who sings her own opera! Anyway, I’m going bigger and better each time and I hope Dink Flamingo will be there to accommodate the way it has been so far.
BP: One notices the use of condoms in Summit. In the past you’ve been known for not using them. Tell us, do you have some new thoughts on that?
BC: A long, long time ago when I was a 17, 18 year old boy first starting in the adult industry, I was introduced to Cobra Video. I did not know much about porn, who Cobra was, or much about gay life and culture in general. I consented to doing bareback at the time because I was falsely led to believe I was being ‘protected’ by the producer and the boys he was pairing me with. Fortunately, I got out of that alive and HIV negative! I am still negative today. I chose against doing bareback and chose to save myself from a fate so many young people are falling victim to even today. Even though I’m just a porn star and I do direct porn, I think I am the likeliest candidate to teach young gay men about these social need-to-knows. There are no guarantees that even with testing, barebacking isn’t risky and the message it sends is not one I want to be a part of anymore!
I also want to set a good example because I know there are many young, inexperienced gay boys out there that watch me and the things I do. Bareback sex is meant to be with someone you love, when you’ve been in a committed relationship for a long time and you have taken tests together. Boys, save and protect yourself for the one you really want to be with, however long it may take for them to knock on your door!
BP: You and your partner Grant have been together quite a while. Tell us about your relationship and how you’ve been able to make it work through all the challenges you’ve been through?
BC: Grant and I have been together for about 3 years now. He’s 20 years older than me and honestly, often times when we are trying to relate, I can’t help but be reminded of that. We have weathered a number of storms together. I simply would not be where I am now without his support and guidance. He made me into a man and I can only be eternally grateful for that. Although, we have begun to grate heavily on each other because of the amount of time we are always around one another. It’s time for some space and some independence. I will always love Grant and he’ll always be a part of my life. He has to be! Who else will keep all the skeevies from pestering me, or taking advantage of me? We have a long and beautiful future together, whatever our relationship status may be.
BP: What’s next for you Brent? What would you like to be doing in the next five years?
BC: Wow, five years . . . I have no clue. I have some ideas, but I know more than anyone that plans can easily change. Where would I like to be?
Directing cutting edge gay films that mesh the adult world into mainstream indie cinema! John Cameron Mitchell and Shortbus are right around where I want to be. I was disappointed someone had beat me to the punch, but hey, there’s a market for it and I think queer media is and will be big enough for the both of us. I’m glad he did it, because in a way he makes it easier for me to do it ;-)
I want to be acting and writing. I would like to stand up for young men who are/were put in similar, compromising positions as I was at Cobra Video. I want to take a stand for HIV awareness. I want to protect my generation and encourage them to be more than American Idol and MySpace.
But, on a more superficial note: June 28th is the Film Festival premier of Another Gay Sequel. It plays at The Castro Theatre in San Francisco. Hopefully I can shoe in an event there somewhere, although time is kind of working against me now. Also, I picked up a role in Judas Kiss by JT Tepnapa and Carlos Pedraza for Blue Seraph Productions. That goes to set next fall or winter in Seattle I think. I’m really excited about that one because it is extremely profound, momentous and controversial. It’s right up my alley and I am thrilled and honored to be a part of it.
BP: Finally, I was debating about asking you a personal question; like if you thought I was cute or not. I think I would rather ask you four simple words. How long is it?
BC: HAHA! Well, it looks much bigger than it really is. Seven and a half inches can look mighty intimidating hanging off of someone like me who’s only 5’7’’. Although hey! Keep an eye out for it because I’ll be using it a lot more than I’m known for in my coming projects! As always, direct from my fingertips, you can read what I’m doing, where I’m going and how I see the world at www.BrentCorriganInc.com!
Meet Brent Corrigan and a few of his boys Thursday, May 22nd at Hydrate Nightclub, 3458 N. Halsted. (Event Details)
Friday, May 23rd, Brent and his models will be at @mosphere, 5355 N. Clark, dancing and conducting a model search. Do you have what it takes to be a Brent Boy? (Event Details)
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