I don't remember the very first time I heard of adult video actress Annie Cruz, but I do remember the first time someone asked me if I'd heard of her. It was a friend who asked me if I knew who she was after catching her on KOFY San Francisco's Creepy KOFY Movie Time during their "Ask an Adult Film Star" segment.
Having been in the adult entertainment business since 2003, Annie has good things to say about the industry, in which she has become a top name. According to the Internet Adult Film Database, to date, she has 373 titles to her credit. (However, Annie later told me that they have it wrong and she's actually appeared in over 600.) During her time in the biz, Annie has pretty much done it all on camera, says she hasn't done anything on camera that she hasn't done in her personal life, and even says she'd do it all again. Known for a particular, special talent (Yes, you'll find out what that is in this interview ....if you don't already know.), her enthusiastic performances, and the fact that she can actually act, it's no wonder she's one porn's major stars and a future AVN hall of famer.
Besides smut (a term she joyfully uses herself), Annie has been involved in boxing, professional wrestling, plays golf, and has been a prolific blogger since 1999. She's also a horror film fanatic and has appeared in some indie films of that genre, most recently Streets of the Dead, where she plays a zombie and a SWAT team officer. I was recently fortunate enough to get Annie to take some time out for an interview in which she revealed she's about much more than just being a porn star.
CHRIS CHARLES: I'm really pleased that you agreed to be interviewed for this feature, Annie. I have our mutual friend Reyna Young aka Miss Misery, to thank for putting in a good word for me with you.
ANNIE CRUZ: I love Reyna! I'm happy to hear that she put in a good word for me, and thanks for having me.
CHRIS: You've been in and are still involved with many non-porn-related projects, but would you consider yourself an adult film actress/porn star, first and foremost?
ANNIE: I started doing porn, when I was 18 years old, so yes, I would consider myself an adult film actress first.
CHRIS: As far a porn goes, you've done almost everything on video. Is there anything - legal - you haven't done on camera or have done once and wouldn't do again?
ANNIE: I haven't had sex with a tranny ("transsexual," for those not up on porn lingo) yet, and I'm not against the idea. It just hasn't happened yet, surprisingly. There isn't anything I have done that I wouldn't do again, and everything I've done on film, I have done in my personal life. I would never do anything on film that I haven't already off-camera.
CHRIS: Anyone you particularly admire in the adult entertainment industry?
ANNIE: Tera Patrick, Belladonna, Nina Hartley, and Ginger Lynn.
CHRIS: Is it true you were a cheerleader in high school?
ANNIE: Haha, yes, for two years. My sophomore and junior. I played golf my senior year.
CHRIS: What were you like in high school?
ANNIE: Although, I was bullied in junior high, high school was slightly better. I was neither popular nor an outcast. I was just a quiet girl, who got good grades. I was a cheerleader and played golf, but I was also the yearbook class TEACHER and editor my senior year. I graduated in the top 5% of my class, 38 seniors, Class of 2002, at a Christian private school.
CHRIS: I read that you trained as a boxer but gave up your professional aspirations after a couple of fights. What made you take it up in the first place and have you ever considered getting back into it?
ANNIE Wrong. I did not give up any aspirations. I actually got into boxing through a company called Erotica Boxing, which basically showcased women doing real boxing ...but naked. We made it on two different shows on Playboy TV; The Bang and Sexcetera. After Erotica, I continued training under Phil Paolina, who once trained Laila Ali, Muhammad Ali's daughter. He really believed in me, so I trained about five days a week, almost five hours a day. Two hours in the AM at the regular gym with a trainer and three hours at the boxing gym in the afternoon. After watching me fight, my husband at the time feared for my work in front of the camera. To his luck, I got sick with bronchitis one day, stopped training and ended up concentrating on porn instead.
CHRIS: Do you still do boxing training just for the workout?
|"The Scorpion." From her wrestler|
profile at UltimateSurrender.com
ANNIE: I wish I could say yes. I really miss it and have considered returning just to train and get back into the shape I once was. I weighed about 135 pounds at 5'6", when I religiously worked out. I was 107 pounds pre-training. I don't want the same muscle mass I had then, but it would be nice to be lean. Thankfully, muscle has memory!
CHRIS: You also wrestle and have been in some matches for UltimateSurrender.com, which is real and unscripted amateur-style wrestling, with a sexual aspect added to it. I know your won-lost record there was not very impressive, however, I don't believe that's because you aren't a good wrestler. In fact, I've seen a few of your matches there and I think you probably could have beaten most of the girls you lost to if the matches would have been more "traditional," without the groping aspect. So, my theory is, when you opponents started going for the "style points" you got so turned-on, you kind of turned to butter and lost focus on the technical wrestling. True?
ANNIE: This is somewhat true. Having trained in boxing, wrestling was a whole new world for me. In the beginning, I fought girls who knew Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and found myself getting slaughtered. After a couple years, I started training with Dia Zerva, who was a really good wrestler and was training in BJJ. Although it did not change my winning streaks. I've won three, despite my profile listing two as the third was a win from a "Summer Vengeance" tournament. I still fought hard but lost well for the audience, who preferred me as a loser for obvious reasons. (Author's Note: See my next-to-last question to find out what those "obvious reasons" were, if you don't already know.)
CHRIS: So, if you were given rematches with the ladies you lost to at Ultimate Surrender, under Olympic-style rules and none of the touchy-feely stuff, do you think any of the outcomes would be different?
|As a zombie in Streets of the Dead|
ANNIE: As for rematches, I would say that I am a lot stronger and more wrestling-savvy now, so it would be interesting to fight under those circumstances. Even after leaving US, I got into pro-style wrestling, which is something I honestly love more. I have appeared on PPV's WEW (Women's Extreme Wrestling) as well their DVDs. Compared to real grappling, I love the idea of playing a character and doing theatrical stunt work in pro-style. Plus, the chances of getting hurt aren't as high as with grappling (laughs).
CHRIS: You and I have a few things in common, one of which is playing the drums. How long have you played?
ANNIE: I bought a set of electric drums back in 2005. I never learned to play properly but rather watched others and used visuals as my teacher. I stopped playing for a while and have since recently picked it up again, but this time, I am actually learning and have an incredible teacher, Damien Rainaud, who is an amazing drummer and all-around musician from France.
CHRIS: Ever been in any bands?
ANNIE: Only in my dreams. There has always been talks with friends and people about working on that "cool project." Unfortunately, none of those actually came to be.
CHRIS: You sing as well but I've never heard you. Has your voice ever been compared to anyone else's?
ANNIE: Because my voice changes according to different styles, there are many comparisons.
CHRIS: I understand you like pretty much all types of music except country. You mean just the old "twangy" type of country or all forms of it?
|As a SWAT team officer during the shooting|
of the indie horror Streets of the Dead
ANNIE: Singing about "thinking your tractor's sexy" just isn't sexy. I do, however, like Johnny Cash. My musical tastes vary from old punk rock - none of that "poppy bullshit" people misconstrue to be punk currently - to rock and roll to Billie Holiday to some metal and so on. Peep my iPod, and you'll find 17,000 songs of different music.
CHRIS: In college, you majored in journalism. Did you get your degree?
ANNIE: I wish I had my degree! I actually stopped two years into college to pursue a career in smut.
CHRIS: Besides your blog, are there many other places I can find your writings?
ANNIE: Pre-porn, I ran my own blog site before blog sites even became cool, from 1999-2004. A lot of my poetry, short stories, life essays and incessant ramblings could be found on the site. I am slowly but surely transforming my current blog site into the same thing but with even more such as information on my favorite serial killers for example. It also goes with my theme.
CHRIS: Just looking at your blog, Memoirs of the Damned, shows that you're way into horror films. Did you design it yourself?
ANNIE: Yes, I did in fact design the layout myself. It's a bit on the rusty side at the moment because I threw it together really fast a few years ago and need to touch it up, when I have free time. Did you notice the monsters that pop up when you mouse over the links on top? A few of the images were drawn by me and a friend.
CHRIS: You appeared in in the indie horror film Streets of the Dead. (Trailer here) What was making that one like?
ANNIE: It was a lot of fun because it's like a teaser trailer (think along the lines of Tarantino and Grindhouse), and zombies are one of my favorite things. It took three hours to "zombify" me and nearly two hours to remove it. I also got to play a SWAT team officer on my off-day. I not only got to be a zombie myself, but I got to shoot at them as well.
CHRIS: What's your favorite zombie movie?
ANNIE: Some of my favorite zombie movies are the original Dawn of the Dead, the original Night of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead, Dead Alive, Evil Dead and I could go on.
CHRIS: Well, you're definitely a fan of the dead. Could you see yourself as a Scream Queen?
|Annie as "Psylocke," a character based on Annie |
and drawn for her by Alec Knight. Stay tuned!
ANNIE: Very much so! I absolutely love, love, love horror. You can catch me in Don Coscarelli's (Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep) John Dies at the End. I'm rockin' out in one scene and my titties rock it out in another. Unfortunately, no screaming for me, but at least you get my boobs! I also appear in a Hellraiser documentary for Clive Barker.
CHRIS: Do you plan to eventually get out of porn to branch out to other areas of show biz or will you still continue to do porn as well as whatever else you may move on to?
ANNIE: I have every intention of eventually leaving porn. As much as I love the business and as great as it has treated me over the years, there will be a time to move on. I want to be out by or before I am 30. I'll be 28 in November. There are plenty of opportunities for me that I would like to pursue, and I definitely plan to branch out in a different part of show biz that does not include, "Anal Asians" in the title (laughs). Porn isn't the same as it was 10 years ago, so it's great to have another plan ready. I've also had the pleasure of doing a few mainstream projects already aside from the above mentioned horror film.
CHRIS: Plan on making any more appearances on Creepy KOFY Movie Time's "Ask an Adult Film Star"?
ANNIE: I took a break from the last season as I had just made a comeback into porn and my schedule wasn't open enough to allow me to come up to San Francisco just for the show, which is what I had been doing after I moved back to LA in 2010. I have great news, though, as I have recently spoken with the producer of the show, and fans will get to see me again.
CHRIS: You're currently living in Los Angeles but you're originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. Plan on making LA your permanent home or will you eventually return to the Bay Area?
ANNIE: Well, I first moved to LA in 2004, got married to another performer, bought a house with a picket fence (no joke) and decided to make it my permanent home then. I got divorced in 2006, moved to Vegas in 2007 then back to SF in 2009 and back to LA again in 2010. I guess I've been quite the nomad in the last several years.
CHRIS: To you, are there any major differences between Los Angeles and San Francisco?
ANNIE: The people in SF in general are very different compared to LA, and I feel that the city has more culture. Everyone seems so liberal and free, whereas a lot of people in LA are frigid, plastic, and uptight. I admit that I hated LA, when I first moved here in 2004, but after my second run in 2010, I have to say it has grown on me. I moved into a loft in Downtown Los Angeles, and it's the closest I'll get to SF living. I love that I can walk to a lot of places and bars won't kick me out if I jump on the bar and take my top off like they do in Hollywood. Downtown LA is like a hidden gem, and it's changed dramatically within the last three to four years. People are getting more hip to it. Regardless, there is no place like San Francisco, and my heart will always be there.
CHRIS: Yes, I know what you mean. So, you have several piercings, but you're tattoo-free. Any particular reason for that?
ANNIE: When I first got into porn, directors would constantly request I remove my nipple rings and my labret ring because it took away from my "innocent" young teen thing they were going for at the time. Generally speaking, a lot of porn companies prefer women with no piercings or tattoos. Obviously, there are plenty, who dawn either, and yes, there are "alt" companies, who specialize in that particular look, but when it comes down to it, directors and producers will often choose girls with very little to without. I kept myself ink-free throughout my porn career, and when I started doing mainstream, non-porn related work, casting directors would search for actors without tattoos just the same. Maybe one day, I will indulge. But for now, I will stick with piercings because at least those can come out.
|From Giuseppina Magazine's 2010 Halloween issue|
CHRIS: Do you have any talents, hobbies or guilty pleasures that you don't include on any of your bios?
ANNIE: For the most part, I am an open book. Comic books, video games, everything that is already included in my public bios...wait, there is something I left out. Talents: I am a super heroine. Guilty pleasures: I am a super villain. Shhhh.
CHRIS: Perhaps some readers will be disappointed that I haven't asked you many questions that you might be asked by interviewers for porn publications. So ...what is the most commonly-asked question you get of that nature and what's the answer? My guess is that it's about your squirting ability.
ANNIE: You guessed correctly. The most common question I get asked usually revolves around squirting. To discuss it briefly for those who may be curious; I was 18, when I first did it, and after years of practice as well as learning about the female anatomy, specifically the genitals, I suppose one could say I have "mastered the art."
CHRIS: And with that, I'll thank you so much for doing this with me Annie. Any plugs, shout-outs, or honorable mentions you'd like to give?
ANNIE: Check out my website, which will be re-vamped and re-launched by yours truly soon: AnnieCruz.com, my blog: MemoirsOfTheDamned.com, and my Twitter: AnnieFuckinCruz. Shout out to Reyna for putting a word in for me for this site and special thanks to everyone who has shared this roller coaster of a journey throughout the last 10 years with me.
From a photo shoot at horror guru Clive Barker's house
All photos courtesy of Annie, herself.
Big thanks to Reyna Young aka Miss Misery at: