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September 11, 2017

Joanna Angel Shows Serious Side in Project for Penthouse

This story originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see the digital edition. Pictured above and at bottom: Riley Nixon and Joanna Angel It’s been the better part of a decade since Joanna Angel directed a feature for anyone other than her own company, BurningAngel Entertainment, but way back in 2005 and ’06, when she was just getting into adult, she was briefly under contract to Hustler/LFP and directed four features for them, all of which were overseen by Drew Rosenfeld, LFP’s then-head of production, who’s now performing the same duties for Penthouse. “The whole thing came to me through Penthouse’s CEO Kelly Holland,” recalled Rosenfeld. “I don’t know where she saw Joanna—it may have been at some industry function—but they ran into each other and had some conversation about a couple of things: Penthouse’s massive broadcast reach and about BurningAngel’s already produced content that Joanna would want to place with Penthouse on the broadcast side, and that led to more conversation about having Joanna come on board and direct for us. “I have a long history with Joanna,” he added. We go back to just before she started BurningAngel, so I’m very familiar with how Joanna performs, works, directs; I’ve followed her career for years and we did some really great stuff over at LFP, and I was really looking forward to bringing Joanna over here so we could bring that kind of variety to Penthouse as a brand, and with a new DVD line coming out from Penthouse, I thought it would be a great fit to have a Joanna Angel-directed/written/produced feature as one of our newer release, and that’s our plan.” Joanna had similar memories, though with more detail. “I had a meeting with Drew at the Penthouse offices in regards to them licensing some BurningAngel features for their broadcast platform,” Joanna explained. “And during this meeting, we both decided for various reasons this was not a good fit—but he did mention to me he was looking for new directors to help revive the Penthouse Video brand. Right there on the spot, half-jokingly, I proposed the idea of a film about me corrupting the Penthouse Pets and, well, we both laughed, and then we both smiled—and we both agreed this could potentially be an awesome idea.” To say that Joanna’s been prolific over her career would be a major understatement. She’s been responsible for more than 300 features and web scenes, all written by herself, but the current feature, the punnily titled Corrupted by an Angel, is one that, as far as she is concerned, is testing her mettle. “It’s been a really great movie and it’s actually been a big challenge for me,” she said late on the second day of shooting, “because primarily, I write comedies. This is a serious dramatic movie though there’s still some comedic parts in it, but I think it would be categorized as a drama. “It’s a very touching story,” she continued. “There’s some very sad moments and a lot of intensity—there’s even some crying parts, and that was a challenge for me because I’ve never done anything like that before and I really want to keep learning new things and doing new things. At first, when Penthouse had told me they weren’t interested in a slapstick ridiculous comedy like I’m used to making, there was one part of me that thought, no, I shouldn’t do this, because I only know how to write comedies, but then I was like, no, let me try something different, and it’s been really fun.” And that’s something Rosenfeld could see when he visited the set. “She’s got an amazing team, all guys we know who really care about the work they do, and who have collectively been in this business for like 200 years, so we knew the production was in good hands,” Rosenfeld said. “I went over there on Day One and watched for a little while and just felt like, I don’t need to be watching her and seeing what she’s doing other than just having fun there, because she knows exactly what she’s doing and understands exactly how to run a set really well.” Our own observations certainly confirmed that. Her main videographer is the award-winning Mike Quasar, and even with short dialogue scenes, his expertise in determining what camera angles to use gave him good coverage of all aspects of the scene, often shooting the same action from five or six different angles, not to mention “singles” on each speaker. For Joanna, though, one of the best parts is getting to direct Penthouse Pets in several roles. “It’s been really, really fun to actually work with the Penthouse Pets, Jenna Sativa, Gina Valentina and Ryan Keely, and the main character is played by Riley Nixon, another Pet,” Joanna noted. “The idea of a movie about me corrupting a bunch of Penthouse Pets seemed really sexy to me, and it started to excite me, and it’s not something that would make sense in my own platform, so I figured, ‘Why not?’ “Really at the end of the day, me and the girls, we’re all equally as slutty as one another; I just have tattoos, so I kind of have to be the one doing the corrupting,” she added with a chuckle. “But perhaps, in a different movie somewhere down the line, I am totally open to all the Pets corrupting me! I mean, that would only be fair, right? Ha!! Either way, I truly look forward to what’s to come in this exciting new relationship with my brand and one of the most renowned brands in adult. I think we will both greatly benefit from it.” The plot of Corrupted By An Angel revolves around Sandy (Riley Nixon), a college student who’s less than thrilled with attending classes and writing papers, but one day, as she’s heading for her car to drive to school, she meets Joanna, who’s putting flyers advertising a free show of her band, The Fuckfaces, on windshields. Sandy crumples the flyer, which draws Joanna’s ire—but it’s the beginning of a true (but odd) friendship. “Sandy’s a good girl, I would say,” Riley told AVN, “but she meets Miss Joanna, who kind of corrupts her sexually and just makes her want to be more adventurous. She ends up leaving in the end and breaking my heart, but I’m better because of it.” “The funny thing about this movie, most of the movies I’ve written have had a male lead or a few male leads, and this is really all female leads; most of the guys in this movie basically just walk in and have sex; they don’t have that many lines, so it’s very like a girl-power movie,” Joanna noted. “I’ve never written a movie that had all girls in the lead roles, and it’s been really beautiful.” And there’s no shortage of sex scenes along the way. For example, Joanna has a girl/girl scene with Ryan Keely, who plays Riley’s mother, and Riley herself gets anally double-teamed by Joanna and Small Hands, plus a boy/girl encounter with her cinema professor Tommy Gunn. Joanna also gets anally pleasured by bandmate Will Havoc, and Pets Gina Valentina and Jenna Sativa enjoy each other as well. Joanna Angel in Corrupted by An Angel (Penthouse)   And speaking of bandmates … “There’s going to be music,” Joanna assured. “My lovely husband, Small Hands, is a great musician and a great songwriter, and together—and by ‘together,’ I mean he did 90 percent of the work and I did like five percent of it—we wrote a song, and I actually did sing the song you will hear in the movie.” As we were preparing to leave the set at 9:30 on a Friday night, the crew was readying the marble-floored stage in the studio where the band would soon by playing, and at least two dozen extras were milling outside, several of them BurningAngel girls, waiting for their evening’s entertainment—and we’re guessing they weren’t disappointed. We certainly weren’t! Corrupted by an Angel is set to release in late September and will be distributed by Girlfriends Films. (Click here for more information on the new distribution deal between Penthouse and Girlfriends.)

 
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