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Belladonna of the ball

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Adult film star and director Belladonna
Photo: Trent Ogle

In a magenta cocktail dress fit for a charity gala, the sweet, polite and bubbly 28-year-old Michelle Sinclair chats about the profession she excels in. Her golden blond bob is perfectly styled; makeup simple, yet elegant. The picture of any Hollywood A-lister.

Except Sinclair is part of a different movie industry. She’s better known to fans as adult film superstar Belladonna, or “the dirtiest girl in porn.”

Belladonna

You’re quite the chameleon with your appearance. How do you feel that affects your career?

I appeal to lots of different people. If I shave my head, people who like that come and they’re my fan. If I have blond [hair], if I have dark, if I have red … I think that my look affects my career in a positive way because I appeal to a larger amount of people.

When you’re on camera, are you playing a character? Or is it more of an expression of your own sexuality?

I feel that I am playing both a character and also expressing my sexuality because it depends on the project that I’m working on. There’s projects that you go to and it’s completely the opposite of what you really are and you’re really getting in to that character, whereas sometimes I direct my own movies so I get to choose what I do and it’s an expression of what I’m into at that moment.

The majority of women in the industry seem to have a typical look with long hair and implants. The films you direct seem to have more natural-looking women or individuality. Is that a conscious decision?

It was a conscious decision of mine to only shoot girls with natural breasts, although very early on in my directing career I did shoot a couple of girls who had implants because I felt that their energy was something really special. But I’m happy about that decision because I think a lot of people out there watching porn want to see someone that looks a little bit more like them or see breasts that move naturally. I like that myself, too.

Belladonna pauses to take a photograph during her autograph signing at AEE.

What are the pros and cons to the big-budget adult features you’ve done versus the less technical movies like the ones you film at home?

For the big-budget films, I would say the pros are, well, you get to play really amazing characters and be on a set that you feel like it’s actually a Hollywood movie. Sometimes you get to learn a new skill; when I shot for Pirates I learned sword fighting. And you also reach different … fans. A lot of people out there only watch feature movies. Whereas with the gonzo movies — the low-budget ones — you’re in and out, it’s really easy. It’s more exciting for me to do the low-budget one because I feel like I can focus on that for an hour and then I’m done.

Do you think most of your own productions can be described as “gonzo pornography”? How would you describe that term to someone who is not familiar with it?

I feel that most of my movies fit in the genre of “gonzo.” … Gonzo is when there’s not a storyline: There’s a cameraman and usually just the girl, maybe they’re talking, interacting, and it’s very to the point. Although a lot of my movies are vignette type so there’s like a little bit of a storyline and then it goes right in to the sex.

When you’re editing your own scenes, do ever you get self-conscious or overly critical of how you look from certain angles?

When I edit my own scenes I definitely get more critical. It’s one of those things that you noticed every little thing that bothers you about yourself, but I really try to not think about it too much because I know that my fans out there probably aren’t even thinking that at all.

Going off of that, do you have any advice for those that are maybe uncomfortable with their sexuality?

My advice to those out there who are uncomfortable with their sexuality would be to just learn about yourself and what you like and what you feel comfortable with and explore yourself because there are so many things out there that I didn’t know I liked until I tried them. I’ve been lucky enough to do that through porn, through a career. If you want to know what you like, explore!

You’re married and have a daughter. How do you keep the spark in your relationship at home since sex is your career?

Honestly, I do a lot of therapy. I like to talk and have good communication in my relationship. Always learning about your relationship as you go and try to find things that spark it up: Going on dates and doing things that you know that other person would enjoy, even if you don’t really enjoy them yourself.

What’s the key to being a successful businesswoman in the adult industry?

I can only speak for myself, but for me it’s just always been being myself, knowing my worth, really learning about the business, learning about the new technologies, never being afraid to try different things and just being who you are because for me that that’s what I’ve done so well is just to be myself.

How has the economy impacted the adult industry, if at all?

The economy has impacted the industry big time. I’ve seen it both on Internet and DVD sales, but that’s where you have to be smart and evolve and not wait for it to be completely gone. I have some new things coming up in 2010 that will venture out.

Speaking of 2010, what can your fans look for as far as new movies or possible products?

For 2010 what you can look out for is Heavy Petting which is a new movie of mine that I feel very, very, very special about. It’s completely different from anything that I’ve ever done, I think. I have a new company coming out that will be featuring products that you can buy. It’s going to be for women. I’m not going to say what but you can look for it in your local adult store.

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