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Ex-porn star Marilyn Chambers in local indie film

SEEKONK, MA – Thirty-five years ago, she was the seductress with the girl-next-door looks whose “Behind The Green Door” lifted cinema sex onto a new and ecstatic plane.

But on Monday, Marilyn Chambers stepped into more serious but unfamiliar role playing a lady cop in a low-budget film being produced by a trio of filmmakers that includes an Attleboro School Committee member.

“This is a fantasy of mine,” grinned an amiable Chambers showing off her Pawtucket Police uniform prior to filming a scene with star Nick Jandl at Pawtucket City Hall.

Chambers, directed by Attleboro’s Frank D’Agostino, also filmed a scene Monday at Benny’s Plaza on Central Avenue in Seekonk where she stopped a car driven by one of the film’s young stars.

The 55-year-old Chambers, who no longer appears in pornographic films, said she enjoys appearing in small movies such as D’Agostino’s.

She recently completed a comedy called “Stash” about a man whose business it is to dispose of porn and sex aids left behind by the randy after their untimely deaths.

D’Agostino, whose day job is selling medical products and who represents Ward 2 on the Attleboro School Committee, describes his film “Solitaire” as a coming-of-age movie. In it the lead character Richie, played by Jandl, begins wandering aimlessly toward a life of petty crime but regains his equilibrium through love and “self discovery.”

Chambers said the more laid-back style of independent film producers like D’Agostino suits her at this stage in her career.

“There’s a lot less pressure on you to perform,” said Chambers, who added that “you don’t have to be young and skinny.”

After an early break being cast alongside Barbara Streisand in 1970’s “The Owl and The Pussycat,” Chambers became much better known as a sex vixen appearing in films like “Behind The Green Door” and “Insatiable.”

But she also had flings with music and politics, charting with the disco single “Benihana” in 1976 and running for vice president in 2004 on the Personal Choice Party ticket. She’s also directed films.

D’Agostino’s co-producers for the film are Rhode Island resident Vin Fraioli and Rand Sabatini of Attleboro. Sabatini, a former auto dealer parts manager, said the challenge of independent movie making is in keeping things moving and keeping costs low.

“I do whatever there is to do, from bringing people drinks to the catering,” he said.

This is Sabatini’s third film with D’Agostino, who sometimes uses the pseudonym Victor Franko in tribute to actor-director John Cassavetes who played that character in The Dirty Dozen.

About 15 people including actors, public relations people, cinematographers and caterers, came along to film the two scenes Tuesday. Additional scenes are scheduled during the next couple of days. With any luck, the producers say, the film will be ready for release sometime this fall.

D’Agostino, whose film career has received relatively little notice, has nonetheless participated in a number of film projects as an actor, director, extra or stand-in. He worked as an intern while in college in the Dustin Hoffman film “American Buffalo,” which was filmed in Pawtucket in the early 1990s. He also received a small role in the movie “Underdog,” which is due to be released next month.

His own films have tended to be no- or low-budget horror films including “Hecatomb” and “Killer Campout.” However, a mildly controversial documentary about the Catholic Church entitled “Service at The Altar” filmed in partnership with videographer Tristan Rudat received respectful reviews.

Chambers, who will also be shooting scenes in D’Agostino’s movie over the next few days, said she met D’Agostino after receiving a script from the Attleboro filmmaker several years ago. Although she rejected the first one, she was intrigued by “Solitaire.”

“So I asked my agent to give him a call,” she said. “Frank’s a persistent guy. I think he’s got a great future ahead of him, and I’d like to be a part of that.”

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