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Louis visits the home of the American porn industry, the San Fernando Valley. His hopes of getting a part in a porn film begin with some nude shots in Jim South's modeling agency. A walk on... See full summary »


Geoffrey O'Connor


Louis Theroux


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Episode credited cast:
Louis Theroux ... Himself - Presenter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kaitlyn Ashley ... Herself
Johnnie Black Johnnie Black ... Herself
Robert Black Robert Black ... Himself
Jon Dough ... Himself
Troy Halston ... Himself
Will Jarvis Will Jarvis ... Himself
J.J. Michaels J.J. Michaels ... Himself
Sharon Mitchell ... Herself
Dick Nasty Dick Nasty ... Himself
Henri Pachard ... Himself
Jim South Jr. Jim South Jr. ... Himself
Jim South Jim South ... Himself
Paul Thomas ... Himself
Valentino Valentino ... Himself


Louis visits the home of the American porn industry, the San Fernando Valley. His hopes of getting a part in a porn film begin with some nude shots in Jim South's modeling agency. A walk on part in a gay film called SNOWBOUND, and an offer of work from Rob Black follow. Written by Anonymous

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

29 January 1998 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


Actor Jon Dough later committed suicide. His funeral was paid for by a fund set up by fellow star Randy Spears who now become a vocal critic of the industry. See more »


Sharon Mitchell: The one thing that I've noticed about guys is that they come in very sweet, very open, very tentative and almost tender at times, and then as you see them film after film after film you kind of see that glazed look go over, and it's the look, it's the change, and you suddenly realise that you too could be a piece of meat, a hole in the wall or whatever fantasy is inside their head. It's a degree of the utmost impersonal.
Louis Theroux: So, does that screw a person up, do you think?
Sharon Mitchell: Yeah. Yeah, sure, it's ...
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Features Take a Peak (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Something for the weekend, Sir?
29 May 2011 | by uroskinSee all my reviews

BBC Knowledge is re-running a 1998 series by Louis Theroux in which he goes Gonzo-style into 'weird' subcultures. It makes a worthwhile change from the standard fly on the wall stuff. He's filming openly, to the point of even participating in the main activity reported on. There is no subterfuge or undercover try-to-catch-them-out but he leaves it, thankfully, up to the viewer to ponder the lifestyles of the strange and unknown The episode that caught my attention was about the Los Angeles porn industry, then (1998) in the midst of an HIV scare (several performers had been recently diagnosed and caused shock waves through the industry with many reconsidering their careers) but not yet fully affected by the online free-for-all (performing and downloading) which has made the current business model basically untenable. But what we learn from the film is that it's an excellent short term money spinner for performers despite the risks to your physical and mental health. The glaring difference with the real world - speaking in terms of male and female pay rates in doing the same job - is that men earn far less than women and actually have a much harder (to excuse a pun) job than their female co-stars: keeping wood and delivering the money shot after a long day filming on a set with many staff around and when many of your co-performers may not be of your sexual taste is admirable. The attrition rate mentioned by the producers and casting agents, who, of course, make the most money out of your talent, is not surprising. A few vignettes stuck in my mind: the English girl who preferred to work in American porn instead of Europe because "she doesn't get bruised or injured here"; the male former Airforce performer who looked genuinely puzzled when asked what he was going to do if porn didn't work out in the future (there is never a plan B in America, it seems); the sheer stress on all the males to perform - and you got to feel sorry for those gay-for-pay straight dudes who have their minds and genitals messed with.

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