Final: Jonathan Morgan On the Rebecca Bardoux Show; Some Great Memory Lane Stories

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The nice thing about having Rebecca Bardoux hosting an Internet radio show is that she has a wonderful appreciation for the history of porn and reflects that in her interviews.

Bardoux scored another coup Friday night by having Jonathan Morgan as her guest. The discussion ranged from changes in the industry, porn companies that have come and gone, “dick pills,” to Morgan’s reflections on using condoms in porn shoots. He was asked whether he intended to go to Vegas in January.

“Enough, we’ve been to the same award show over 20 years,” sighed Morgan reflecting the ennui that many industry veterans have about doing one more trade show.

“Not that I have anything against XBiz or AVN.”

Morgan got into the industry in 1990. Some girls in the business weren’t even born then.

“I did a movie for Paul Norman called Bigger,” he recalls.

“It was basically a satire on the Tom Hanks movie [Big]. In this movie I wish I was more well-endowed. So I went from a normal size penis to this prosthetic 3ft.-long penis. I did that movie and went to the AVN convention as a guest of Max Hardcore. I went with him and enjoyed the experience at AVN. It was shortly after that I said I’m going to quit my job and go full time being in the adult industry.”

Morgan said it was much different back then when considerably fewer movies per month were being shot.

“I probably had to wait 60 days for the next phone call after Bigger,” he remembers.

“Things didn’t start kicking for me until 1992.”

Bardoux noted that because features were the mainstay of the business you had to commit to acting and that Morgan was good at delivering lines.

“You’re a very good actor.”

“In high school I was always the class clown,” Morgan adds.

“It [porn] was lot of fun; you get to be a different character and have sex with beautiful women. It was a dream come true.”

Bardoux said Morgan’s hilarious and she could understand why he was the class clown.

“We used to be on sets for 16 to 18 hours and you were just hilarious. You were always cracking jokes and it made everything so much more fun being on the set with you. I always thought you were going to become a comedian.”

Before he got into the adult business, Morgan, when he was going to college, subsidized his income by doing stand-up at small venues in San Francisco.

“I always wanted to do that.”

Morgan said one of the big reasons for his moving from San Francisco to LA was to land something in a TV sitcom. He also did dinner-theater gigs.

“Instead of being a small fish in a big pond called Hollywood, let’s see if I can be a big fish in a small pond called porn.”

As a performer, Morgan figures he’s won close to two dozen awards.

“I always remember seeing you winning awards and I never got up on stage and got anything,” Bardoux laughs.

“That’s a crying shame because you were absolutely a joy on the set,” Morgan told her.

“You were fun to be around. You had an upbeat, positive attitude. You’re sexy. Some girls do a sex scene because they’re being paid to do it. But you were one of the rare girls who really enjoyed what she did and made sure it showed on camera.

“As a performer it was really great working with someone who did.”

“We cared about the product that was coming out,” added. Bardoux.

“We wanted to bring out the best product we could bring out.”

Morgan complimented Bardoux on doing great anal scenes.

“I was the anal queen back then,” she laughed. “Now everybody’s an anal queen. I think that had to do with why I got so much work.”

Morgan said his mentor in the business and a person who always gave him great advice was director Jim Enright.

“He was the one who told me very early on that when it comes to this business, you can have fun fucking, but it won’t last forever; unless you start learning other things that you can do you’re going to eventually hit that wall, then what are you going to do?

“I started writing screenplays; then I learned how to be a production manager and a producer. Then I moved on to directing. I have the great income that I have now because of the great advice that he gave me. I owe a lot to him. He didn’t have to do that but I absorbed everything like a sponge.”

Bardoux hopes Enright might speak on her behalf when she’s inducted into The Legends of Erotica in January.

“He was wonderful to me. He’s a great guy.”

Morgan said he was also very blessed when it came to writing screenplays.

“I didn’t realize that I received five best screenplay awards from AVN over the course of my years in the business,” said Morgan; it was only when a friend pointed that out to him.

“I’m, like, holy shit, five!!” Morgan’s nominated in that category again this year including Best Comedy a category he’s very fond of.

“I’ve also won that five times. It’s something I’m extremely proud of.”

“You were like the comedy guy,” Bardoux pointed out.

“You brought comedy into the industry. With Wicked you had a lot of funny, funny films. When you started with Wicked you really brought comedy to life.”

Morgan also extended nods to Jace Rocker as a coolaborator.

“I always called him fringe because he used to wear that leather jacket with the fringe,” Bardoux laughed.

“How in the hell did you get that [Wicked] contract?” Bardoux then asked.

“There’s so many guys out there that would love to be in your shoes.”

Morgan said he really had to fight hard to get that.

“Luck had nothing to do with it. I had to constantly prove myself.”

Morgan recalled that at that time there was no such thing as contract directors.

“Granted, Paul Thomas was the contract director at Vivid. Besides him, there was nobody else. Back then Brad Armstrong got a contract and I’m going, great, Wicked’s offering contracts so I went to Steve Orenstein. ‘I’d really like to show you my work, some of the things that I’ve done.’

“Steve Orenstein was at the time, ‘I know you can act because I have you in a ton of my movies. I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. You can shoot a movie for me and we’ll see how it goes then we’ll talk contract after that. Let’s see how you direct.’”

Morgan suspect that Orenstein was humoring him just to get him off his back.

“I did a movie for him, Craze, starring Serenity. It was about this girl who was being attacked by this Freddie Krueger character who was only in her mind. It was one of these weird types of movies.”

Because his budget was small, Morgan wound up putting a couple of thousand dollars of his own money into the picture.

“The movie ended up getting great reviews from AVN; editors’ choice, and it ended up being nominated for multiple awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress.”

When Morgan went proudly to Orenstein showing him what the picture had accomplished and did he get the job, Orenstein told Morgan, ‘Let’s see if you can do it again.’ Orenstein suspected that Morgan might be a one-hit wonder.

Morgan followed up with Indigo Delta, a porn interpretation of Silence of the Lambs with the same kinds of results. Tom Byron won Best Actor.

When Morgan approached Orenstein a second time, he was told to do it again. Orenstein said while it was great Morgan was doing “dark,” no one wants to be depressed while they’re jerking off. It was suggested he go the comedic route.

Morgan waved his own fees, added some more money and did Double Feature. [One of the best porn comedies ever made, by the way.]

It got 11 AVN nominations. Of the 11 noms, Morgan took home 10 awards that night. He didn’t win the Best Videography category. He held the record for most awards for a single project until Digital Playground’s Pirates swept in 12 categories.

“Now can I get a contract?” Morgan then asked Orenstein. Orenstein said come see him after he got back from Vegas.

“The contract that he offered me, I was making $30,000 less in a year than if I would freelance. But I saw the big picture. It was longevity. I was willing to take less money.”

In fact, one of Morgan’s features, Space Nuts, shows up in the mainstream film The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Morgan said once he showed Orenstein what he could do the purse strings were loosed and he was able to make a very comfortable living with longevity.

“I’ve been with the company 13 years. It’s nice to know I have a company that supports me, backs me and gives me the financial means.”

“If it wasn’t for Wicked Pictures there’d be no Jenna Jameson,” Bardoux ventured to say.

“Jenna had a lot of drive,” agreed Morgan

“She wanted to be the biggest of the big. We just helped her get there a lot of quicker. She would have eventually gotten there but not as quick if it wasn’t for Wicked Pictures. It was perfect marriage.”

Morgan never got a chance to direct Jameson. He did a scene with her when she first came into the business. It was for director Fred Lincoln and Sin City called Cherry Pie. According to Morgan, it was a spoof of the Archie comics.

“I did a threeway with her and another girl whose name slips my mind. I remember going she’s [Jameson] one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever been with. She’s flawless. It was pretty exciting.”

Morgan ventured to say that most Jenna’s Wicked movies were directed by her ex-husband Brad Armstrong.

All told, Morgan has directed in the neighborhood of 350 to 400 movies for Wicked excluding movies he’s directed for other companies.

“Wicked definitely gets behind the directors,” he says.

“It gives them the support and the means and the financial backing to create some really interesting things. I know all the directors at Wicked have put their stamp on movies that will definitely stand the test of time.”

“It’s an amazing company run by an amazing man. This is my opinion he is the only man that I know whose word and a handshake is all you need; it’s as good as gold.”

Bardoux suspects that’s because Orenstein hails from a porn era when a handshake was what it was all about.

“Nowadays, at least for me, if you don’t get it in writing signed and notarized and have a judge standing right there, then you don’t know what the heck is going to happen. Those days are gone.”

Bardoux said Morgan’s obviously a good catch. He said he was dating someone.

“But when you’re in this business it’s tough to have a relationship,” he added.

“You carry, dare I say, a Scarlet Letter. Relationships are tough to come by. I’m with a great girl now. I’m very blessed, very happy. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to spend my time and my life with somebody who is a beautiful woman.”

Bardoux brought up Kylie Ireland who actually left her husband for Morgan.

“Kylie was a very memorable time of my life,” recalled Morgan noting that most relationships don’t end well.

“I will admit. Kylie’s been one relationship I’ve always tried to make amends with. Unfortunately, throughout the years, it hasn’t worked out to that. It doesn’t mean I haven’t given up, either. But I have nothing but kind, respectful things to say about her.”

Bardoux recalled a trip she took to Mexico with Morgan and several other performers including TT Boy.

“As you know this business allows you to do some traveling,” Morgan added.

“I have to honestly say even though we were shooting a movie it honestly felt like a vacation.”

All things being said, Bardoux didn’t think it was legal to shoot in Mexico. Morgan didn’t think so, either.

“I don’t think it’s legal to shoot in Mexico. We were doing things guerilla-style. It was Clive McLean’s private house on his private beach. There weren’t too many prying eyes. It wasn’t like we were in the heart of Mexico City banging away. We kind of kept it on the fly.”

Morgan seemed to recall a public nip-slip or two on Bardoux’s part due to several Margaritas.

On the subject of old porn parodies, Morgan said there was always a risk of mainstream companies coming after you.

“Remember HIP Video? They were headed by Nic Cramer. He did a couple of parodies. Instead of Cheers, he did Smears. He parodied Tim Burton’s version of Batman. Warner Brothers got all pissed off and sent a cease and desist. HIP Video actually had to disband and dissolve. It was known not to do parodies. Now we’re doing them like they’re going out of style.”

Bardoux was also trying to remember Frank Dietz who was in the business for a spell. Dietz did a lot of Hollywood parodies in advance of their public release.

Morgan recalled the Whoreos debacle which took producer Al Borda out of the picture as well when Nabisco came after him.

“We’re parodying snack foods.”

On another occasion, Bardoux worked with Morgan in a movie I wrote called Adult Video Nudes. Morgan played several roles in that film.

“Man, we are going way back in time,” Morgan laughed, recalling a scratch & sniff porn movie that came out. [It was a marketing disaster.]

Bardoux said now that companies are releasing behind the scenes footage you have to be really careful what you say. Morgan noted that Wicked was one of the first companies to include BTS footage in their packaging when DVDs first came out.

“But with the Internet, DVDs aren’t as popular,” Morgan rues, noting that instant gratification supercedes the process of making a trip to the video store.

Asked for his opinion on that trend Morgan comments, “Everything evolves and moves on. Back when I started VHS was the new, hot thing. It used to be to get your porn pleasure you had to go to porn theaters. You didn’t have to go to a theater with VHS. Everything’s evolving. You have to be able to adapt whatever the next cutting edge is. Either you adapt or you die.”

Morgan recalled an instance at the AVN awards when Larry Flynt commented that the companies you see today might be gone in the next four years.

“It’s so true. Companies come in, they make a big splash, then they’re gone.”

“The last big company to make a big splash was Bluebird Films. They came in. They had an owner who was willing to shell out a whole lot of money; they were like the big thing. Now they’re gone. They were the toast of the town for awhile, now they’re gone.”

“When you meet someone that’s new in the industry and if you talk to them, I know for myself and just their attitude, you can almost say to yourself they won’t be around in six months,” Bardoux added.

On the latex issue, Morgan says Wicked has been shooting condom movies for at least 10 years. Asked if that presented problems for him in casting because some guys just can’t function with them, Morgan said, “Ever since the pharmaceutical wonders of Viagra and Cialis, that really is not too much of a problem, hiring someone and making sure there’s an erect penis. It is a little bit difficult to shoot every once in awhile.

“Again, it doesn’t flow constantly because there’s stop-start, putting the condom on; the condom broke. One thing or another you’ve got to stop and it kills the momentum. But, overall, I would have to say that you get a rockin’ hard guy with a chick who really wants to be with him and there’s chemistry between them, condom or no condom you can still make a great scene.”

“We didn’t have that back then,” said Bardoux calling them “dick pills.”

Morgan recalled some guys directly injecting their penises.

“Back then you needed to be on the money; the night before you couldn’t be fucking around, off having sex or getting drunk.

“You had to be like an athlete, take care of yourself and be prepared because the next day you needed to get an erection and maintain it. Being on a porn set as opposed to real life, real life sometimes sex is hot and heavy and done in five minutes.

“On a porn set, minimum, you’re going to be fucking at least 40 minutes if not longer. You got to be in shape and ready to do it.”

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