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Lovelace Liked What She was Doing

Porn Valley- Among the fan features presented in the DVD release of Deep Throat, is a behind the scenes take on the movie offered by porn legend Eric Edwards. The segment which is filled with choice home movie-style clips from that era, is directed by Paul Interlandi.

Edwards, seated in front of black screen, describes himself as a struggling actor at that time, who, basically, like a lot of other actors, fell into the porn business by need and circumstance. Edwards was a trained actor who went to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC under a scholarship. In his legitimate guise, Edwards did theater, summer stock and some commercials.

“Then one day I got involved in the film industry,” he states. “But at that time it wasn’t called the film industry. It was more like an underground 8mm, sexual loops industry.” Describing its simplicity, Edwards notes that often a set consisted of a cameraman, a couple of lights and the talent. Pretty much a description of the current gonzo scene.

Edwards remembers submitting his photo to Screw Magazine in an ad soliciting talent who could work sexually in front of the camera. Edwards said he had no idea if he could do that but would give it a try. Edwards eventually got a call about six months later. The place he went to was a loft on 42nd Street. “I was scared to death.”

The actress he was going to work with turned about to be Linda Lovelace. Edwards was going to fill in for Lovelace’s husband Chuck Traynor who was having some difficulty, according to Edwards. “We’ve all had difficulty before, even me when it comes down to performing in front of a camera.” But Edwards at the moment was operating on an ignorance is bliss principle.

“This was my first loop,” Edwards explained. “This was the first time I met the famous and infamous Linda Lovelace.” After that, Edwards said that Lovelace called him on a number of occasions because they worked so well together that first time.

“I would accept because I was a starving actor and the $40 bucks I would get would help out on rent. I remember those figures because she got $50 and I got $40. I thought, wait a second, I’m the one who has to get an erection and perform and she could just lay there and enjoy herself. Whatever. I enjoyed getting my $40 bucks and going home with a little extra money for rent and for food.”

Edwards describes how things were breaking big in the adult industry and Deep Throat was the biggest in the history of the adult industry.

“Gerry Damiano was getting together a script, the first talkie of a small budget- at that time-motion picture which would change history forever.” Edwards is under the impression that there was a different title at first but that Deep Throat was agreed on because of Lovelace’ consummate skill to utilize her capacity to massage penis with her larynx.

“It is an extreme sensation I must say having experienced it,” Edwards states.

At the time Edwards says there was probably only a handful of actors in the burgeoning adult industry. “I probably could count them on one hand. There weren’t too many guys who could perform in front of cameras and lights. There was a small group and we all knew each other.” While some may be under the mistaken impression that Edwards was in the movie, Edwards says the only thing that probably prevented that he was doing stock theater at the time but would work with Lovelace on a number of other occasions.

What shocked Edwards when he returned to New York was the way that people were lined up at movie theaters to see Deep Throat which supposedly amassed $600 million in its theater run and sold over 3 million tapes during the advent of the VCR. “One out of three videotapes that anybody would rent or buy when they bought their VCR was Deep Throat.”

“Deep Throat is very important to all of us,” Edwards continues, “to our country, to our rights. It was the first of its kind. It opened up an awareness of our First Amendment, of our freedoms of speech. It became an icon not only in our industry but in our society. It took a film like Deep Throat with all of its massive revenue to defend our right to watch something like Deep Throat. The government was trying to suppress it and we fought it. We fought for those rights.”

Edwards imagines that he wouldn’t have been an actor in the adult business the length of time that he was if not for someone fighting for the rights of free expression.

“All of the money spent to defend Deep Throat and our right to see it has changed our society forever.”

On the issue of Lovelace, who died in 2002 as a result of an auto accident, Edwards couldn’t recall the last time he saw her. Edwards goes on to contend that Lovelace was ousted out of the industry.

“It became a necessity for new girls to be introduced into the industry. It just snowballed and Linda was left on the wayside along the way. It was sad.” Consequently Lovelace, embittered, wrote a couple of books about the business in which she states how she was forced into doing things she didn’t want to do. Edwards is of a different opinion.

“I was there back in those early days and I never saw one incident where she was either forced into doing something she didn’t want to do,” Edwards says. “There were no guns on the set.”

According to Edwards, he saw a girl who enjoyed doing what she wanted to do.

“She was the one who called ME to see if I wanted to work again and perform together.” Of course, Edwards concedes that he wasn’t privy to the behind-the-scenes of Lovelace’s home life.

“The marriage between Chuck and Linda, I suppose, was destined to come to an end sooner or later, but I don’t think there was any violence there. I think she liked what she was doing.”


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