Athena Faris Talks Porn Career

LOS ANGELES—Athena Faris tells AVN it was fellow performer Scarlett Sage who recruited her into adult entertainment when they matched on Tinder.

“She was definitely the one that I can thank for all of it,” Faris jokes. “Scarlett saw me on Tinder and she’s like, ‘Oh, I see that you model. Would you be interested in doing something a little more explicit?’”

Faris never considered doing porn until her conversation with Sage.

“But I wasn’t opposed,” Faris recalls. “So I was like, ‘Let’s give it a shot!’”

So Faris did her first scene—for NetVideoGirls in January 2017—and then stopped.

“Because within an hour everybody that I knew found out about it,” Faris explains. “So I was like, ‘OK, I don’t know if I’m ready for all this pressure.’ And then the AVN Awards [in January 2018] was my deciding factor of whether I wanted to commit to it or not.”

Faris hung out with the Motley Models crew for the entire week in Vegas last January, leaving no doubt that she was ready to make the move. She started back in February 2018—and now dozens of scenes later, Faris is poised for a breakout year in 2019.

“I’ve been working my butt off,” says Faris, who grew up in the Pacific Northwest—everywhere from Seattle to Portland—and was living in Sacramento when she made her porn debut. “I shoot all the time. I still love it as much as when I first got in. I’m still as interested as when I first got in. I’m still setting new goals for myself.

“I’m learning from people on set. I just always have a drive to do better in the industry and I don’t have an end date that I want to get out. This isn’t just me making money; this is like something that I actually enjoy and have a fun time doing.”

Faris remembers being inspired by what she saw at the 2018 AVN Show.

“When I was at the [2018] AVN Awards, me and my agent [Dave Rock from Motley Models] sat down for dinner,” she says. “He was like, ‘OK, now’s the time. Are you going to make your decision? Are you willing to do it?’ And I was like, ‘Yes. I want to be on that stage next year. I want to have something to do with it. This is what I want.’

“I was determined. I was like, ‘I want to be signing at somebody’s booth next year.’”

Faris, who turned 22 last month, followed in the footsteps of some of the top performers in adult entertainment on January 26th, appearing on stage as an Official Trophy Girl for the 36th AVN Awards Show at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. She joined Gianna Dior as one of the two newcomers to land the coveted honor. She also shared the spotlight with several other established stars signing at the Jules Jordan Video booth at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo.

“All of this stuff—watching it play out—it’s just amazing,” Faris adds. “So yeah I’m seeing it all happen. It’s definitely happening faster than I thought it would. It’s definitely gratifying.”

Gary Miller, executive producer of the AVN Awards Show, says Faris was nothing short of stellar in her duties as a Trophy Girl.

“I think she did great,” Miller says. “I think she looked absolutely gorgeous, which is the first order of business for a Trophy Girl. Second of all, she was punctual. She showed up on time and did everything we had asked her to participate in to the highest level.”

Fellow Motley Models exclusive Scarlett Sage recalls when she first met Faris in person after they had been chatting.

“The funniest thing was I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time,” Sage tells AVN. “So I was like, ‘If you want to do this, get naked really quick. I’m sorry if that’s weird.’ She’s like, ‘No!’ I was like, ‘OK, alright. I guess she’s good…’ She was not shy at all.’”

Sage continues, “I wasn’t in the business then. I was in the business, but I stopped for a little bit. I found her during a hiatus for me… I knew the situation she had and I was like, ‘OK, this is what you can do. You can make a change for your whole life. It’s not just make a thousand dollars and then leave. This could be something for you—something that could be big.’ It just depends on the girl. It depends on what they want.

“I didn’t do too much. It’s really her. I can give them the opportunity but if they don’t take it—or if they take it for granted—then they’re not going to get the maximum. But if they take it serious and go full throttle, then it can be something. … It’s their decision. She made the best decision for herself.

“She’s an awesome girl. She does a great job. That’s the best part; she takes it seriously.”

Motley Models owner Dave Rock agrees, telling AVN, “She’s had an incredible year. She’s been super busy—rocking it. Very reliable.”

Faris at the time of this interview said one of her favorite scenes came when she hooked up with Manuel Ferrara—who is now the six-time AVN Male Performer of the Year—under the direction of Jules Jordan.

“It turned out amazing; I loved it,” she says. “Just the energy that we had together was incredible. It’s 45 minutes of sex—ready set go. And it went so well. It was the most fun I’ve had on set. So much fun, the energy. The way it played out was great.

“I worked with him again just recently with Gianna Dior and that was also shooting for Jules Jordan; and that one is not out yet.”

Speaking of Jordan, he also shot Faris is her first interracial scene—a steamy encounter with Rob Piper that ended in a creampie.

Faris continues, “And then there was one with Chad White for New Sensations. That was also really good. Just the chemistry we had together for that scene because we had been talking before. We were both saying that it would be fun to work with each other. Then we finally got on set and everything went smoothly. All of my fans say that’s one of their favorite scenes of mine.”

Faris, who was born in Salt Lake City and graduated from high school in Portland, Ore., juggled three jobs before starting her porn career.

“I was a waitress at a country club in the morning and then I was a waitress at a different restaurant, [Lazy Dog], at night and then in the middle of the day I would come home, eat lunch, get my cousin with cerebral palsy off the bus and make sure he was set up and his caretaker came over to take over… So it was long days—long days for sure,” recalls Faris, who has lived in eight different states but was in Sacramento at the time.  

She says the main reason she decided to return to porn performing last February—after her one-and-done trip in 2017—was because “I was in a better state of mind at that point.”

“I didn’t really care about what people thought about me anymore,” Faris says. “I don’t know why I cared so much in the first place. … I didn’t have a bad time shooting. I had an amazing time. So I was like if I had such a good time doing that I’m going to do what makes me happy and whoever is important is going to be there to support me.”

Faris had some experience modeling for local photographers who were just trying to build their portfolios before going pro.

“It wasn’t a huge commitment of mine. As much as I liked it, the money wasn’t there. The opportunities where I lived, they just weren’t there,” she says, adding she never did any nude work prior to coming to Porn Valley.

Faris recalls how she kept in touch with Scarlett Sage during the year she stopped performing.

“I had expressed that I was still interested in shooting after I figure this out. I told her that I need time for this to blow over with everybody,” Faris says. “I said I was having a hard time accepting all of the negative stuff that was being thrown at me.

“So she would keep checking in, like ‘Hey, are you interested? There’s this event coming up if you want to go—if you want to come check it out.’ It wasn’t until the AVN Awards that Dave was like, ‘Oh, all of the money that you’ve been making on Pulse is going to pay for your trip if you wanna go. It’s going to be this really amazing opportunity for you. This would be the perfect way for you to decide if you want to get back into it because there’s going to be all this information.’

“So then that’s when I committed and I was like, ‘OK, this will be the deciding factor.’ If I don’t want to do it then I don’t want to hear about it ever again.’ If I want to do it, then I’m going to have to commit, take everything head on and keep going.'”

Faris also did a stint as a bikini barista in Oregon. “That’s actually how I started with modeling,” she reveals. “Some photographers came through the drive-thru. They were like, ‘You look really photogenic. We would love to shoot you.’ I was like, ‘OK, sure. I’ve never been in front of the camera before, but let’s do it.’ That was in Portland; that was before I moved out to Sacramento.”

She enjoys the outdoors and singing when she’s not on the set.

“Singing was something that I was also considering pursuing and this would definitely give me a good platform if I did want to pursue it because I’d have a fanbase already and that’d be cool,” Faris says, adding that one song she likes to cover is “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae. Another song she can do is “Dream A Little Dream of Me” by Ella Fitzgerald.

“That’s stuff like that I can sing for sure. I kind of put my own spin on everything,” Faris adds. “I listen to like every genre of music. But yeah definitely more slower songs. I’m not like a powerful voice, but I definitely do have a very angelic voice—is what I’ve been told.”

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Photography by Jules Jordan Video (2 & 3) & Jeff Koga 

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