From the Gene Files 9/11/02- The marriage of Extreme's wackiness and Tony Tedeschi's considerable skills has been a beautiful thing to behold as of late. Tedeschi just appeared in Tom Zupko's Ass Aliens, will be seen in Brad Siskin's upcoming homage to the Seventies and will headline for Zupko in a takeoff spoof of The Crocodile Hunter. We had the following chat.
Gene: You had a Romeo and Juliet scene in Ass Alien. I heard there was a little rough going. That's because you're a big guy and not every woman in the industry can consume you in the ass.
Tony: Yeah. She [Misty] had a little bit of difficulty. It took a while to get that done.
Gene: I'm hearing this for the first time now being on this side of the camera- I'm hearing that girls are tentative to do a scene because you're big guy. And yet I've never associated you with length-girth. Do you hear that a lot?
Tony: Usually afterwards they don't complain. I think it's got a lot to do with skills- knowing how to do it and taking you're time and making an effort not to cause any damage. Some people just jump right in and that doesn't work.
Gene: If anyone's the unsung woodsman it's you.
Tony: But Bill Margold has no love for me so that will never happen.
Gene: You're one of the most talented guys in this business.
Tony: I have awards- six of them.
Gene: But you're not the guy who plays the political game.
Tony: No, that's what it is. Tony English, who's a great director, calls be the Abby Hoffman of porn because I speak my mind and a lot of people can't hang with that- they're porno-whore-submissive.
Gene: That's the east coast thing. A lot of people can't deal with that fuck you attitude. So if I have this right you started out as a club deejay.
Tony: At the Foxy Lady in Providence, R.I.
Gene: How did you wind up getting that gig?
Tony: Our family knew a good friend of the family of one of the owners of the club. I was working as a bouncer.
Gene: No offense. You don't look exactly look like a bouncer. Do you make up for it in secret Oriental martial arts trickery?
Tony: It's more about knowing how to handle people. It's more about those skills and knowing how to manipulate the drunk mind. They had had one deejay before that which was a radio jock who had a tape deck. I said I'll bring my equipment in. I worked 90 days straight. Finally they said, okay, you can hire some more deejays. It's one the biggest clubs in the country as far as business and they've just opened a spectacular new place in Brockton, Mass that's amazing. The walls are paneled with mahogany and leather furniture with a live jazz band in one room. It's an incredible club.
Gene: How did you parlay that into a career in porn?
Tony: I hooked up with a few of the girls who were features and one of them was Britt Morgan.
Gene: Britt and Jace Rocker were the first ones you worked for?
Tony: Yes. Just fucking around we shot a tape in Connecticut at a hotel there just to see if I could perform in front of a camera. The scene was with Britt. Then we shot in New York for Homegrown. That's the first thing I did commercially. I did two scenes with Britt back to back.
Gene: What was your first feature?
Tony: Cheeks 4. I worked with Brandy Alexandre and Britt Morgan. It was a My Man Godfrey-thing. It got really good reviews. Then I did a movie with P.T. called Touch 2. That starred Heather Hunter and I did a scene with Amanda Stone. Remember her?
Gene: Redhead, big tits.
Tony: It was an excellent scene. She was good.
Gene: How many movies do you think you've been in, or do you keep count or bother.
Tony: It's hard to say. It's somewhere over a 1,000. Then with the compilation who knows how many of them are out there?
Gene: You'd be a good judge of the changing of the times. There you were just about doing everything that was feature-driven, script-driven. Now there's more gonzo..
Tony: There's been a lot less features, but I think recently there's been a resurgence in features. I think it's cyclical with the cable-thing. Some cable outlets want features; some don't. I think with the hotel rental-thing, there's a lot of features sold because of the couples.
Gene: For the most part you've kept yourself distant from most drama.
Tony: I had a couple of problems with drama early on in my career. But since then... I had a run-in with Alex Sanders but you can add me to a long list that have had run-ins with him if I can remember all the gossip correctly. Now I try to stay away from all that. I have a lot of friends in the business. Chad Thomas and Misty Rain are really close friends with me and my girlfriend. We see them all the time. There's a few others- Nikita Denise. We keep some people close.
Gene: What did you start out doing when you took the veer into porn.
Tony: I was going to college. I got a job in a titty bar. I was making good money but the opportunity came to go west and I've always wanted to live in California. I always wanted to be involved in films, somehow.
Gene: What were you studying in college.
Tony: Liberal Arts. There really isn't a good school to study films in the northeast outside of New York City College. The cost of living is ridiculous. Or Emerson in Boston where the cost of going to is astounding. It's like $60,000 a year.
Gene: The idea was to get the degree and parlay that into something else.
Tony: Hopefully get a job at a television or radio station.
Gene: Were you a ham actor as a kid growing up?
Tony: Yeah, all the time. Imitating Elvis. There was a dwarf that was a maitre d' at an Italian restaurant. There was two of them- twins. One of them used to play softball in a league my dad played in. So the one guy, the maitre d', I used to imitate him. I'd put shoes under my knees and stick a pillow under my stomach and go [with a Harvey Fierstein voice], "hey, howya doin' what's happenin"?" Stuff like that. And I saw a lot of films.
Gene: One movie I particularly remember you doing was Buttsizer. You got nominated for that?
Tony: Yeah, I got nominated for that. That was an interesting, fun little film. Video, actually.
Gene: You say you've won a half dozen awards. Remember any of those.
Tony: Best Supporting Actor- Video for Smears. That was a Cheers-take off. I played the Cliff Clavin character That was a HIP Video.
Gene: HIP was the company that got closed down. Warner Brothers finally got after them with their Batman parody.
Tony: I also got a Best supporting actor for Silver Screen Confidential for Wicked. A best supporting actor film award for Show which I did for Vivid.
Gene: But never Best actor.
Tony: Never best actor but I've been nominated a lot.
Gene: What would you rather do, act or fuck?
Tony: Depends upon the script. Sometimes I'd rather not even read it. Like this script for the 1970's thing from Brad [Sisken] is really cool. It's really interesting and should be a lot of fun.
Gene: You pretty much can tell a turd the minute you look at it.
Tony: Yeah. Like working for Nic Cramer he usually does good stuff. For him, it's good.
Gene: You walk onto a porn set. In most cases you're being handed the script- first time you've laid eyes on it. In a couple of hours you pretty much have to have your part committed to memory. Is it something you just pick up?
Tony: Yeah. I have a good memory anyways. I'm a quick study. But being in this business that happens to you all the time and it becomes second nature to be able to do that.
Gene: What gets me is that there's so many distractions on a set- how do you focus; how do you concentrate?
Tony: It's the same thing as the sex. When you're trying to study your lines, you have to try and get in a zone.
Gene: When you have to deliver all these lines then go into fucking, doesn't that take all the excitement out of it because you have to shift gears of concentration?
Tony: I suppose it could but I think it actually heightens the anticipation which is so close and you have to keep waiting a little bit more. If it takes forever, of course, it can mess with you.
Gene: Over the years who have you enjoyed working with.
Tony: Taylor Hayes, Nikki Dial, there's a lot of young girls fresh out of high school getting into porn now; Brittany Skye and Chloe D'or are roommates. You're getting a backlash from porn being on television now. It's like kids are leaving high school wanting to be porn stars now. Teenagers are into a lot more freaky stuff then they were ten years ago. Doing porn to them is a cool thing because it's a television thing. You're part of a global village. You're on television all over the world so it's kind of hip to be a porn star. And because of watching it, they're more open about sex than kids used to be. It doesn't freak them out as much. They're so many girls at 18 getting into porn now.
Gene: Do you get recognized a lot?
Tony: Yeah. All the time. And it's also because of cable TV.
Gene: But do you ever get anything on the house because of who you are?
Tony: Oh yeah. I get into nightclubs for free, get free drinks. People come up buy my drinks- things like that. I met some women because of it. They watch porn.
Gene: Anything transpire out of that.
Tony: No. Other than some sex.
Gene: Other actors have told me that when women in the real world find out that you're in porn they get seriously freaked out.
Tony: Number one. I meet women straight up. I don't hide it. It's the wrong thing to do because you're going to have to own up to it sooner or later. That should be something they should know.
Gene: So you're having a conversation with a woman and she asks you what do you do.
Tony: I tell them. I always have.
Gene: How do you phrase it- you're a porno actor.
Tony: Porno movies. Adult films. X-rated videos. And 99% of them don't get freaked out that way. Like I said cable TV changed everything. It took it from the back rooms of the peep booths to your living room. I've seen the change. I was lucky. I became pretty famous pretty quick because I started right before the Spice Channel basically. So almost everything I did went on cable right from the beginning. And I did a lot of features. People have been doing movies for 20 years before that, and probably are as well recognized as the group that started the early Nineties and went right on to cable. Ron Jeremy is recognized all over the place but he's also been in a lot of Hollywood movies.
Gene: You've had the chance to do some mainstream.
Tony: Boogie Nights. It ended up on the cutting room floor but my name's in the credits so I still get residuals.
Gene: What was the scene.
Tony: That was me and Nina Hartley in the laundry room. He [William H. Macy] comes in. We're fucking. He shoots us at point blank range. They hit us with squibs- gel caps that they fire from a pneumatic tube. Then they shot mortars to have blood and guts on the walls.
Gene: Disappointed the scene got cut.
Tony: Yeah but still I got the job. I made the audition and got paid. It was an experience.
Gene: Was that through Ron Jeremy.
Tony: The reading. I was in the movie before he was.
Gene: He's given the credit as the technical advisor.
Tony: Yeah. But that was later.
Gene: The impression is given that he brought the porn people into it.
Tony: He wasn't in the film. He wasn't the technical advisor until later.
Gene: So you went to a casting call for this.
Tony: Yeah. Paul Thomas Anderson came to Jim South's with the casting director and someone else. They interviewed me. It didn't go all that well. I said you want me to read for you. I did. They said we'll give you a call- definitely- and they did. A week later and they hired me.
Gene: You said the interview part didn't go well.
Tony: But when I read, I nailed it. They liked it a lot.
Gene: What was about the interview part.
Tony: I was nervous. A $16 million movie- Hollywood, the whole thing.
Gene: Any other mainstream.
Tony: I did Win Ben Stein's Money. I made it to the second round. I didn't make anything. You have to get to the final round. The big thing is it looks deceptively easy on TV. Buzzing in to answer a question. Looks deceptively easy. It's not easy at all. I managed to make it to the second round. I knew almost every answer but I couldn't get in on time. Ben plays the second round against the two finalists. And he buzzed in first on every question because he's been doing it for six years. He's very competitive. It was funny back in the green room the guy that won had sweat stains almost from his elbow almost to his hip from being under pressure. It's very nerve wracking being on a game show. It's not like acting. It's not like doing interviews. You're on the spot. But it was a very cool experience. Ben's a huge porno fan and he kept talking about it which made me more nervous. He kept saying stuff like, "Tone-y. Dew I knooow you, Tone-y? Have you been on the shoooow before?" I said perhaps you've seen me on Playboy... "Oh my God! Tone-y. Tone-y Tedeski, yes I dew knooow you!" And he starts talking to Nancy the co-hostess before they start shooting, he goes "You know who this is? He's a huuuuge porno star." She goes, yes, Ben, I read the bio. I know who it is. Then during the show he goes, "Tone-y you know you're huuuuge. Tone-y is to poooorn what I am to Comedy Central." She goes, yes Ben. He says, "You don't understand. What Madonna is to pop music Tone-y is to poooorn. Everything he does is topnotch. He's a huuuge star." He was making me that more nervous because he kept saying that stuff. It was so funny.
Gene: How or why the choice of a porn name. Tony Tedeschi. Where did that come from?
Tony: I just wanted to use a real name and I wanted to use an Italian name. I just didn't want to use my own last name because of my grandmother.
Gene: Where did the Tedes-ski pronunciation come from.
Tony: That's the proper pronunciation. Tedes-she is Japanese. It's spelled the same way; it's pronounced differently. It means "correct" in Japanese. When Momo [the Japanese photographer] first saw me at AVN he came up to me and he goes, 'Tony Tedes-she, you Japanese?" In retrospect I should have said, you've seen my dick, motherfucker, do you think I'm Japanese. I didn't think of it at the time. I said no I'm not. He said that's a Japanese word. I said I didn't know that. It also means "Germans" in Italian. It's a common Italian name. Especially in the northeast. There's a chain of markets in New York and Massachusetts. I didn't know about that until we went back and took pictures. It was a name I liked.
Gene: What possessed you to get married?
Tony: I don't know. I guess I was in love and worried about Tina [Tyler] getting kicked out of the country. She was from Canada. It just didn't work.
Gene: How long were you married.
Tony: Five and a half months. Then that whole porn quarantine thing happened. And there was a big money issue and we were broke. It was just bad timing.
Gene: You were affected in the quarantine. It was like Jonathan Morgan, Nicole London, you..
Tony: Kaitlyn Ashley and Steve Hatcher. And obviously whoever the chick was that was HIV disappeared.
Gene: What did you do in your down time. I know Jonathan became a roadie for awhile.
Tony: I starved. I got whatever little bit of work I could- non-sex roles or something like that.
Gene: Did you work crew?
Tony: I didn't get much work at all.
Gene: Did you feel bitter about that?
Tony: Yes I did. I feel bitter about the fact that Marc Wallice works within our industry still to this day and no one's prosecuted him for attempted homicide. It should have been done years ago. I think it's ridiculous that someone in this industry would give him a job after he infected those five women. In his case it wasn't an accident. He was HIV positive and he knew for a long time. He continued to work with fake tests. To me that's homicide. A doctor told me he came and tested in his office. He was positive. He wouldn't come and pick up the test. Even on the test it said 49- Female and no one even looked at that. And yet he works within our industry. He should be in jail.
Gene: You've been a pretty vocal guy on those issues. Do you think the industry has done all it can; are there things yet to be done.
Tony: To this day there's still no central governing body in porn. Not even a clearing house for information. You got to call Jim, you got to call AIM, you got to call this company to put everything together. There's no organization in porn- really. The Free Speech Coalition? I don't even know what the hell they are. I don't know what they do for anybody. They should open up their books if they're a legitimate organization. But they won't. Same thing as Major League baseball. There's a reason why Major League baseball won't open its books- because every fucking team from the Montreal Expos are all making money regardless of what they're saying. In porn nothing's really been done. We've improved the testing and the communication is a little better but there's still no organization.
Gene: There was a point where you were only working with condoms.
Gene: You're changed that.
Tony: I know. Especially now there's very little chance that I'm going to catch HIV in this business. It's a multi-million-to-one shot. It was more of a matter of educating the public- letting them know that if you're going to have sex you should protect yourself. They put those blurbs at the beginning of a movie but no one looks at that. At least they could have a girl in a bikini saying it. Or something. Maybe people will stop and listen to it. But they see Ron Jeremy doing movies for 20 years and he's still alive without a condom, they figure, hell, they can go out and fuck anybody without a condom. The unfortunate state of education in America, a lot of kids get their sex education from porn. It's a little better than on a street corner but not much.
Gene: Have you given to thoughts beyond performing.
Tony: I'm definitely going to get into directing. And I'm also going to do some non-porn directing. Short films and stuff.
Gene: Tom Byron in different interviews mentioned that he acquired arthritis over the years from striking contorted positions for the camera.
Tony: I've had it since I was 18. To me it's part of my life. Coming from New England to California, it's a lot more comfortable here that it is back There. In New England on a bad day if you have arthritis, your hands, your knees, your elbows feel like they're on fire. Here it's a relief. There's hardly ever a bad day for arthritis other than if you physically work. I'm very energetic in my scenes so it's going to hurt at some point anyway. It's like being a professional athlete. I'm 38 and that's pretty old.
Gene: Are the ball sac and pop shot as voluminous.
Tony: Sometimes more so.
Gene: Do you take any vitamins or supplements.
Tony: Oh yeah, always
Gene: I've been reading some RAME discussions about Zinc and L-Arginine.
Tony: I take zinc anyways. But arginine is necessary for vital replication in the human body. So it's not a good idea to eat diets that are high in arginine. Especially when you're close to people all the time- colds and flu. But I take a lot of vitamins, yes. I take E, B-complex, A which is good for the urinary tract.