Interview with Chris Ward
We sat down today with Raging Stallion president Chris Ward, who just returned from Chicago where he and his studio swept the Grabby Awards for the third year in a row.
Q. What was it like going up on stage three years in a row at the Grabby's?
Chris: It was pretty amazing. We won two years ago for GRUNTS and last year for Tony Dimarco's great film The Drifter. This year it was Focus/ ReFocus. I have to say that I was very proud of our team at Raging Stallion. We are at the top of our game and, I think, one of the top studios in the industry.
Q. For many years you did not win many awards at all--why now does RSS dominate the awards shows?
Chris: I remember sitting at the Grabbys and the GayVNs for year after year and getting only one or two minor awards. I was really disappointed some years ago when Arabesque did not win anything significant. After loosing that year I said to JD Slater (co-founder of the studio) that as soon as we had money we would be unstoppable. Arabesque made us lots of money, so we put that cash into bigger and better productions, which created a snowball effect--now with good profits we can afford to make some of the best films possible. In retrospect, I think we did not deserve to win awards early on--awards should be hard to win, a real measure of a studio stretching to its limits to make erotica that will really stand the test of time.
Q. What do you say to other studios who sit thru "Raging Stallion Awards Shows" year after year?
Chris: Well, I sat thru awards shows for years without winning anything. My goal is to make the best movies possible, and this is something we are pretty good at. Our production team is second to none and we have some of the best models in the industry. This combines to win us awards on a regular basis.
Q. Who are you top actors today?
Chris: We have so many great guys that its hard to single anyone out individually, but I will anyway! Austin Wilde is spectacular, as is Angelo Marconi. Both of these men shine in Tales of the Arabian Nights. For acting ability, David Taylor, Cole Streets, Logan McCree, and Ricky Sinz are about as good as they come. Steve Cruz, of course, is right up there, not only as one of my main actors, but also as my camera man and a full-time Raging Stallion director. We also have lots of guys we work with who are not exclusives--Damien Crosse, Francesco Dimacho, Wilfried Knight, and we just signed D.O. to a major contract for next year.
Q. Tell us about D.O.
Chris: D.O. is about as good as they get. He is not only beautiful, but he is very professional and friendly at the same time. He comes to the set with a strong desire to make a great scene. He not only knows how to have sex, but he knows how to have sex for the camera. This is very important in making good porn. D.O. ranks with Damien Crosse as one of the best actors I have ever worked with.
Q. One of the key players at Raging Stallion is Kent Taylor--he does not get that much attention, but he is key to running the studio.
Chris: Kent is definitely a major force at Raging Stallion. I think it is fair to say that the studio would be in a difficult situation without him. He is one of the top photographers in the industry, and is therefore responsible for the "look and feel" of Raging Stallion. But he also is completely involved with running the studio on every level--he is the IT man, he is the marketing man, he keeps the schedules, and maintains the building. He is essential.
Q. Raging Stallion is now ten years old. What impact has it had on Porn?
Chris: I think we have built a legacy of great films and we have helped shape what modern porn is all about. I do think that we were critical in bringing back "natural guys," i.e., men with chest hair and facial hair. We also were partly responsible for promoting tattoos in porn. When I first started in the industry, we all were required to put makeup on tattoos to cover them--something I stopped as soon as I was in a position to call the shots. I think Raging Stallion will be remembered as the top studio of our times, something that makes me very proud.