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:: Spotlight :: Spotlight Interview - Riley Steele (Piranha 3-D)

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Riley Steele is a sexy and sensuous young woman whose career in the adult entertainment industry has really taken off in the last twelve months. She lives in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, is 5' 9", and is just 21 years old. Those in Australia familiar with the SEXPO Convention would remember Riley being a special guest in 2008. Signing to Digital Playground has set the scene for Riley to mark her mark and it has also given her an opportunity to cross over into mainstream acting as well.

One of the opportunities that has come about is Riley's role in the just-released horror feature film Piranha 3-D. She plays Crystal, a fun loving stripper with a wild streak and who is best friends with Dani (played by English model Kelly Brook). See picture of them on set (right).

I spoke to Riley by phone recently and asked her about gaining this latest role in Piranha 3-D.

A. Digital (Playground) suggested I go for the Piranha audition and I actually tried out for Kelly Brook’s character Dani. I had never really done any acting so I was a little unsure. As it turned out, it was a similar preparation for other films I've done except the swim training, and my part was of a wild girl and to wear a bikini and do swimming.

Q. Was it a scary experience?

A. Overall, the film was one of the best experiences of my life. It was a three-month shoot in Lake Havasu. It was more about the energy to film those scenes in the water, so it was somewhat physically demanding."

Q. How did you enjoy the company of the other cast members and were they inquisitive about your career in adult films?

A. Piranha was like a big family. I had a wonderful time and all the cast and crew were so friendly. I couldn't have been any happier. Yes, they were very inquisitive about my career. I wasn't sure if they would accept me, but I had a great time. People like Jerry O’Connell and Paul Scheer made Kelly and I feel at ease. They are very funny guys. I was mostly working with Jerry, Kelly, Jessica Szohr from Gossip Girl, and Steven R. McQueen

It's no surprise that Riley gained the part. She has a natural charm and presence and, alongside Kelly Brook, made a pair of gorgeous starlets who wouldn't take much to impress the producers. One of the film's enticing moments sees a girl-on-girl underwater kissing scene between Riley and Kelly.

Q. What was it like working with director Alexandre Aja, who is renowned for horror films?

A. Alexandre is so amazing to work with. He is very polite and very quiet. He actually said to me that the stuff he shot with me and Kelly underwater was the best stuff he ever shot.

When I asked Riley about her initial desire to feature in porn films, she simply said, “I love porn. I had always wanted to be a sex symbol and express myself using my sexuality. When I happened to meet Jesse Jane at a store, I was excited and Jesse liked my looks and personality. She suggested that I had the looks to make it big as a porn star.”

So it was that Riley signed what she described as a “beautiful contract with Digital Playground”. She added, “They are like a real family to me. They take great care in nurturing my career and know what's suitable for me. They allow girls to have so many mainstream opportunities, plus being involved in modelling and doing music videos.”

Riley's deal with Digital has already seen her do several films in the short space of just over a year. One of her highlights was working with her idol, Jesse Jane, as well as being featured in Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge, the sequel to the successful film Pirates, a spin on the Disney blockbuster film Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. The subsequent worldwide success of Pirates II has opened many doors for Riley's career.

Riley has several more adult films in the pipeline, including the upcoming feature ‘Body Heat’ and she is definitely keen to move further into mainstream films. She has a new series on HBO coming - ‘Life On Top’. In fact, when I spoke to Riley she mentioned that she had just returned from twelve days in Romania shooting this show. “It’s a Sex In The City type of show, but with younger girls and we have a lot more sex and show a lot more.”

Q. How do you stay in great shape?

A. I love going to the gym and working out. I eat healthy foods.

Q. What is your fashion sense?

A. I just love wearing casual clothes.

Q. Your favourite music?

A. I love all music, really - mainly hip-hop and rock

We then finished our lovely chat and I wished Riley the best for the future. Riley comes across as a very ambitious and enthusiastic person and she is keen to continue pursuing her talents in future mainstream films - particularly action and serious roles. She is also looking forward to her role in hosting the AVN Awards in January 2011, where she may well win an award or two.

In the meantime, check out Piranha 3-D, which opens across Australia on August 26 on general release through Roadshow Films. The film also stars Elisabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Lloyd, Jerry O'Connell, and Eli Roth.