by Rich Moreland, February 2017
My thanks to Girlfriends Films for providing some of the photos in this post.
* * *
Talking with the stars of films I’ve reviewed is always a treat. At this year’s Adult Entertainment Expo, Kasey Warner fell my way, an expected surprise.
A text and a meeting at the AVN booth led to an interview after her signing time.
I’m interested in Kasey’s perspective on B Skow’s Color Blind, a film that was nominated for Best Drama, Best Director, and Best Screenplay at this year’s Awards Show.
She plays an unsighted girl who falls in love with a man of color.
To read my review of this socially significant film, click here.
I Can Hear Your Voice
I asked Kasey how she prepared for her role.
“B Skow sent me some clips of a girl on YouTube and said study her videos and pick up on her mannerisms so you can play a convincing blind girl,” Kasey remembers.
At first, this adorable brunette realized that the YouTube girl wasn’t doing the things that seemed “stereotypically blind,” something she would have to take into consideration in her acting.
“At the beginning of filming I was trying to portray a blind person as blind people actually are, but then as it went on, [I started] doing the things that people do when they act blind.”
She references her eyes shifting around, for example.
Skow picked up on her mannerisms, understandable because he directed Maddy O’Reilly in Daddy’s Girls who also plays a girl without sight.
Kasey recalls his reminder, “‘Don’t look at people in the eyes, [because] you can’t see.'”
It was a struggle at first and she remembers telling Skow, “I can hear your voice and I can center my ears to find your voice. So it’s kind of hard trying to find a medium between a realistic blind girl and a girl that people could watch and say, ‘Oh, she’s blind.'”
But, she pulled it off!
Feeling it Out
The opening scene in the kitchen sets the tone for a powerful film. Were the scenes shot in lockstep with the screenplay?
“That actually was the first thing we filmed. I don’t think every scene was filmed in chronological order, but I do think that the team tried to have it that way because for professional actors it is a little bit easier to go through the movie and kind of feel it out as you go,” Kasey replies.
“By the second day I was is in the groove of a blind girl,” Kasey notes with a smile.
And that was no mean feat.
“When you’re shooting a porn movie you don’t get as much time to practice,” Kasey explains. “You don’t have a table read, you don’t have run-throughs. So I definitely felt like as it went on I got more into my role, so that was good.”
No doubt, her performance is impressive.
Not Typical Gonzo
Kasey’s sex scene with Isiah Maxwell is far from a gonzo shoot. There’s a gentleness in it.
How did she balance being sightless and romantic at the same time?
“I was obviously already in the character and I love Isiah. He’s the sweetest guy in the world so it’s not hard to have him be my boyfriend and be all lovey-dovey with him.”
Because of her character’s circumstances, “each scene is a whole new experience” for the girl, Kasey says, and “I was able to use that to make it seem like it was new for me.”
In other words, her scenes had authenticity.
I suggest that losing virginity in the real world is hardly a romantic experience.
“I read one review where they didn’t like the sex scene and I understand that because it’s not your typical gonzo scene and it’s not me riding like a crazy person. I am a blind girl from a sheltered racist family losing my virginity. It’s supposed to be kind of scary, timid, and very emotional and romantic because that’s what it is.”
Fans should understand that portraying a certain character does not mean every sex scene is an Adriana Chechik scene, Kasey points out. (Adriana plays her sister in the film and was voted AVN’s 2017 Female Performer of the Year).
She says fans often want gonzo “to be every scene” but her character’s situation doesn’t lend itself to that. “I’m not going to be on top, doing crazy stuff like ‘choke me, Isiah!'” Kasey laughs.
Filming with Skow
“I love shooting with B Skow because he allows me to do scenes that aren’t just, ‘Be my Stepdad, Again!’ It was really nice to be able to shoot a movie that really had some meaning behind it,” Kasey says.
Picking up on Color Blind’s theme, this East Coast girl remarks, “It was nice to do an interracial movie where the whole point is that we’re all the same.”
The idea is important to Kasey because she was on board with IR shoots as soon she entered the industry. It seemed natural to her, but she was in for a surprise.
“I didn’t know that some girls hold out on that.”
But no matter. Even if she had been aware of not doing everything right off the bat, Kasey wouldn’t have changed her approach to her career when it came to IR.
“It’s dumb to discriminate. The whole point of me being blind is I can’t see color so I’m the girl who says, ‘Why shouldn’t I have sex with this guy, I love him. He’s great.'”
At this point, Kasey interjects that too much of interracial porn is gonzo-centered, just another white girl banged by a black guy. “Usually it’s like, ‘Woo, you’re my black babysitter!’ I don’t know, some dumb stuff [like that].”
Focusing on Emotion
I’ve reviewed enough B Skow films to understand his intensity and his endearing maverick status. I explore this idea with Kasey.
What makes Skow such a spirited and impassioned director?
“He refuses to adhere to what porn says he should do to make the most money. He’s not going to shoot the most generic, asinine thing just because ‘Big Butts 37’ is going to sell more than a politically, racially-fueled movie with a message,” Kasey says.
“He really cares and he doesn’t care that some people might not like it. This is what is important to me. It’s nice to shoot with directors who are passionate [about their work],” Kasey explains.
“That allows me to do a good scene because it’s hard for me to care if the director doesn’t.”
My final question on the film concerns its shocking finale.
Because her theater experiences in her student days enables her to feel empathy for the characters she plays, Kasey is good at focusing on emotion and that showed up as the film closes.
But there is more. Kasey praises Steven St. Croix’s portrayal of her racist father. His intensity created the energy she absorbed to enhance her performance.
Were her tears spontaneous?
“Yeah. I was like it would be cool if I cried but I didn’t mean to. But the emotion was building up, I let it happen.
“The PA had to leave the room because he was going to start crying. Because there was so much emotion, I garbled through the speech a little bit. I was glad they were able to get the crying and the speech through editing.”
Kasey and I are from the same part of the country, just outside Washington, DC, a continent away from LA. This interview is like old home week for us so I inquire about her background.
What motivated her to go into porn?
The school she was attending had a stem program (science, technology, engineering, math), Kasey explains, but it was not for her.
“I’m not really into any of that. I just went there because they gave me a big scholarship.”
She didn’t much care for her classes.
“I wanted to pursue a culinary career or get a degree in sexology and study human sexuality professionally.
“So I’d be sitting in my room just watching porn—not masturbating or anything—thinking this is really good porn, you know, just appreciating the cinematography and the acting. It occurred to me, ‘Hmmm, that’s an actual job that people have. I’m eighteen, a young cute girl, I could do that.
“So I just packed up and moved to California and started working.”
Aren’t we glad she did.