In what is possibly her most revealing interview to date (and she’s done a lot of ‘em!), the world’s foremost gay pornographer, Chi Chi LaRue, talks truth on her climb to the top, industry backstabbing, sex in bathroom stalls, drug abuse and the ever-changing face of porn.
This is going to sound strange but first of all, congratulations on the twins!
[Laughs] Well, thank you! They were a hard delivery, but we finally got them out.
You are now the proud owner of two twin boys—Liam and Luca Russo—working exclusively for you in porn. Tell me about them.
Well, they are ultra-sweet and ultra-cute and so naïve and small-town, which makes them perfect to mold into dirty little boys.
And perpetually horny, from what I understand?
Very. Just ready to go! You know what’s funny is one considers himself straight and one considers himself gay—and I won’t tell you which is which—but the straight twin was the one rock-hard the second the cameras started rolling. I think the gay one was a little nervous, a little intimidated by me and Brent Everett.
That makes sense. The straight guy isn’t overthinking it.
Overthinking it will kill any hard-on for a gay porn star. I think that’s the biggest problem—so many of these guys just overanalyze before their scenes. Hell, I do it to myself getting into drag before a Wednesday night DJing at Here Lounge!
Brent Everett has been a huge ‘get’ for you. He really is probably the closest thing this industry has seen to a Ryan Idol or a Jeff Stryker in a long, long time.
I think he’s the number one porn star right now, and if there was a list of the five most important of the last 30 years, he would be on that list.
I agree with that completely. What is it about him?
It’s hard to answer! I know he’s got a fabulous hard cock ready at any time, but it’s more than that. He has something really special. Of course, he still looks like he did the first time I shot him years ago—that face never changes. I have to say, he was very odd in the beginning. He would leave and come back to the biz, and leave and come back, but the one thing he did was he always came back to me. In fact, the only time he ever worked for anyone else after meeting me was the one time I cast him in a Falcon movie with Roman Heart.
So there’s loyalty there.
Yes, and you know he could barely speak to me when I first met him. He was a very silent and shy boy who would walk outside and sit alone until he was ready to go. His real persona is still very different than what he is when he’s on-screen or onstage. And if you become friends with him, he’s just kind of kooky and fun to be around.
I know Johnny Hazzard recently left C1R to work for other studios. His face was as synonymous with Channel 1 Releasing as yours. Was this a mutual decision?
I will always consider him the face of Channel 1 Releasing. It was a mutual agreement between him and I that he would leave. He really only wanted to work for Randy Blue, though. He said to me on the phone that if he leaves he doesn’t want to be like every porn star who goes and works for any studio that would hire him. He was only interested in doing work with Randy Blue and maybe Titan.
But why did he have to leave at all?
He was under contract for seven years, and he was making a lot of money and we loved him, but we couldn’t offer him enough scenes at the amount of money we were paying him to justify keeping him. And if you’re going to go, what better place to go than Randy Blue? He will still work for us. He’ll always be a part of our family, just not as an exclusive.
We’re coming up on The Grabby Awards, the biggest event of the year in gay porn, and once again, C1R is the most-nominated studio. Now how much of that do you think has to do with the fact that you’re the host?
Very little this year, that’s for sure, considering it’s our director Doug Jeffries who got up for most of the nominations. I’ve had big years of winning at the Grabbys and then some not so much. That’s really a very fan-driven show. The Grabbys have lots of reviewers and judges, in fact one for sure I can think of right now who I know hates everything I do and loves everything Raging Stallion puts out. So you never know.
What are the best and the worst things that have happened to C1R in the past few years?
Opening Chi Chi LaRue’s retail store in West Hollywood and having it be a huge success was one of the best, for sure. Brent Everett, of course, and getting to use all his boys from BrentEverett.com. As for the worst, having to let Johnny Hazzard go as a contract player was sad, and the horrific problem of piracy and what it has done to hemorrhage every studio’s income is awful. That and AEBN/Raging Stallion/Falcon/Studio 2000 signing everyone and their brother to a contract so we can’t use them. Bitter? Yes. [Laughs]
It’s funny to me that you’d be bitter about anyone, because I think there are a lot of people out there who feel like you’re the queen and what would you ever have to be bitter about? There are certainly a few directors, studios and porn stars who have animosity towards you. Where does that stem from do you think—jealousy?
That would be so easy to say yes to. Yes, they’re all jealous of me!
Do you really believe that though?
I don’t know! What do you think? Believe it or not, I feel the same way about other studios. I’m jealous of them too, so we should all just shut the f*ck up and kiss and make up.
It’s hard to make up with someone when a fight hasn’t even been acknowledged though. All of the animosity and jealousy and bitterness tends to go on behind each others’ backs it seems.
That’s how this industry has always been! Kiss you, then stab you. There’s no one in this industry I couldn’t walk up to and give a hug and a kiss to.
It’s always been that way? From the very beginning?
I used to work behind the scenes at Catalina Video with Chuck Holmes, William Higgins and Matt Sterling, so I learned from the masters. There ain’t no one out there who can hold a candle to stabbing in the back. You better go get an expensive knife and learn how to stab if you’re gonna keep up with those people. I learned from the best, and I learned early that I needed to take punches, take the criticism, love the haters and always be sweet and let the other people be nasty. There were so many people who hated me as I was climbing the ladder, trying to kick me down, but I always stayed the same. I always stayed nice.
Oh hell, that’s not true. You’re way nicer now than you used to be.
Not really! Well, I may have done more booze and cocaine and I may have been more aggressive in getting boys to work for me, but that’s why I am where I am today. [Pause] Maybe I am more sweet now. And different. Yeah, I guess I am. Anti-depressant drugs will do that to you.
[Laughs] What are your best and worst qualities?
If I’m your friend, I’m loyal to the end. I give really good blowjobs. What you see is what you get. I am completely insecure. I have an ego unmatched to anyone else’s. And I spend way too much money.
You had gastric bypass surgery two years ago, and I know, because I was with you when you made the decision, that it really wasn’t a vanity thing. You did it for your health and to rid yourself of diabetes.
I was ready for another heart attack. I had type 2 diabetes with such high blood sugar that at any moment I could’ve fallen into a coma. I was the cliché fat person. So I did it because I couldn’t lose weight any other way. I had no will power. I couldn’t diet. I was an emotional eater, a stress eater, an everything eater. Still am! Just in a different body now, so I can’t eat to the point I did before or I would explode.
And was the surgery successful? What’s the latest bill of health?
I just went in for a physical a month ago and my doctor said to me that my bad cholesterol is so low I’m the best of any of his patients, and he has hundreds. My kidneys are great, blood is fantastic, blood sugar is normal, HIV-negative and I’ve been maintaining the weight for two years now.
As a major side note, though, I’m sure it hasn’t hurt your self-esteem, right?
Well, yeah, let’s not kid ourselves—it’s become a huge vanity thing for me. I can finally walk into a store and pull something off the Armani or Valentino rack and it fits me like a glove and I buy it. Also, Chi Chi LaRue can go into a store and buy a dress off the rack, which is really bizarre in itself. It’s fed into my spending addiction and my drag hoarding. I think there should be a show called Drag Hoarders by the way, and I’d be on the first episode.
But just because it has become a vanity thing doesn’t have anything to do with your self-esteem.
No, if anything I’m more insecure now than ever. When I was big fat Chi Chi, I knew I was big fat Chi Chi and if we had sex you knew that under my clothes I was going to be big, fat Chi Chi. Now I’m scared you’re going to find out that under my clothes I look like a big, fat melted candle. So I haven’t been that wild. I used to be wild, wild, wild. Although recently, I did go to Florida to shoot some movies and the weekend I DJ’d at The Boardwalk, for some reason I looked stunningly fierce that night and the old Chi Chi came scratching out of the depths of me and she took over Ft. Lauderdale. For two nights, she was in every toilet working it out, kissing and blowing boy after boy! And thank God it happened, because she needed to come out for a minute. God, I was getting boring for a while.
It’s strange to me you’ve never had a boyfriend. Do you ever fantasize about having a partner with some rugrats running around? Little mini Chi Chis? [Laughs]
Ya know what, I don’t. But every once in a while I’ll look at somebody and say, God, I’d like a big black boyfriend. Or God, I’d like a big, fat hairy bear boyfriend. You know, my tastes go across the board.
If someone were to come along right now to finally make you say, “Okay, fine. This is the guy for me and I can’t deny it,” what qualities would he need to have to get you into a real relationship with him?
Someone who doesn’t care what I do for a living, who wouldn’t worry about me while I’m on the road, and who I could trust while I was on the road. Someone that was nice. Fun. Open minded. Nice. Kinky and freaky—and sweet. Laid back.
Do you ever fantasize about leaving the porn industry?
All. The. Time.
Why have you stayed?
Because I love it. It’s me. It’s in my blood. It’s engrained in me. Music and porn. What the hell would I do at 51 years old anyway? I guess if I could get a job being an A&R person at a successful record company, that would be my ultimate dream job. That’d be fabulous.
I remember in a past issue of Frontiers4Men—I think it was for “10 Things You Don’t Know About Me”—you said that though you were aware of your reputation and you don’t deny it, you’re actually very anti-drug. I think that strikes a lot of people as odd and I think even a bit insincere. Is this a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ thing?
Yes. Totally. You hit the nail on the head. Everyone’s made fun of my substance abuse for years, and I don’t deny any of it. But I try to deter others from it. I even try to deter others from becoming porn stars because I know so many who have been fired afterwards as teachers or even shoe salesmen! ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ is exactly it. You know, they’re about to make a Hollywood movie about Joey Stefano and the guy playing me asked me if all these stories are true about how crazy I was and how many drugs I did, and I said, yes, it’s all true and more. And today it’s not as bad as it used to be, but I’m no angel, and I don’t protest to be anyone’s savior or guide to do what I do.
You know, you’re my friend. Larry is my friend, and I love Larry like a brother, father, sister, mother f*cker! But I am still very much in awe of Chi Chi LaRue.
Are you kidding me?! I can’t believe that!
Because of what Chi Chi LaRue stands for, for me, personally.
What does it stand for, for you?
There is a great paradox about everything Chi Chi LaRue has accomplished. Chi Chi has made defying reality her personal art. You’re afraid to take your shirt off by the pool, yet you can make anyone feel comfortable getting completely naked in front of a camera. You don’t have a clue how to mix music, but you’re a world famous DJ. You don’t have sex on camera, but you’re the most famous porn star in the world. For me, you embody, as Chi Chi LaRue, the truth—not just a nice concept that we talk about, but an absolute truth that nothing is impossible. So I guess I have to ask—How? How have you done it?
Oh wow, I don’t know. [Pause] I really don’t have any idea.
Was it just destiny? I mean, forgive me, but I know you and you’re not even the hardest working person in the world. You’re incredibly insecure, I wouldn’t even say you believe in yourself more than most people. How in the hell has all of this happened?
I knew ever since I was a kid that I wanted to be a person who ended up being Chi Chi LaRue—and whatever I’ve wanted, I’ve always gotten.
I think that’s it. I think there’s a kind of magic around you, a force field where you always get what you want.
And there are people who try to tear down that force field every day.
But now that we’ve acknowledged that it’s there, that you have always gotten everything you’ve ever wanted—what is it you want now?
[Pause] I am pretty good right now. I have everything I want right now, but tomorrow? Tomorrow, I may want some more socks from American Apparel, you know? And if I do, God damn it, I’m gonna get those socks.