Brad Armstrong is, hands down, one of the luckiest men on the planet. Not only is he Wicked’s star director, but he performs in his movies, too, with some of the hottest women who have ever graced the blue screen. He’s dating contract star jessica drake, and he’s a nice guy, to boot. Miss Lagsalot had a long talk with Brad Armstrong the other day… and we mean long! Here’s part 1 of a 3-part interview we’ll be publishing weekly! [*Part 2 HERE, Part 3 HERE.]
WHACK! We’re pretty sure that anybody who watches porn probably knows who you are since at this point, you kind of are porn. But just in case, can you give us a little bit of background on yourself for the readers of the magazine?
Brad Armstrong You sweet talker, you! I’m Brad Armstrong, I’ve been a contract director for Wicked Pictures for… um, fourteen years now. I’ve been working for them for fifteen or sixteen. And I am, kind of, give or take, the face of Wicked as far as directing goes, for most of their big movies. And, that’s about it.
W! How many movies at this point do you think you’ve directed for Wicked?
BA We actually sat down and counted them a while back, and a couple years ago with my movie Fallen, I hit the hundred-movie mark. And so now I think I’m at about 125-ish.
W! Wow. You put the Coen brothers to shame. They do what, one a year? And they’re the most prolific mainstream directors I can think of…
BA It would be a beautiful thing if I could focus a whole year on one movie. That would make things a whole lot easier.
W! Well, maybe someday…
BA I do ten a year, that’s what I do.
W! Wow, oh my god, I didn’t realize it was that many!
BA Yeah, well when I first started I did eight, then went to ten, then went to twelve. Twelve was too many, I wasn’t getting them done as well, so we went back to ten. It’s a pretty good feel, about one a month, and I take the month of December off and usually one of the summer months and just hang out.
W! I was just going to ask if you ever get a vacation; it seems like that would be pretty necessary with such a busy work schedule. Well, anyway, we’re here mostly because I wanted to talk about your newest big feature, Speed, which is about the world of motorcycle racing. Which, as far as I can tell, when you couple that with sex—and I think there’s what, twelve sex scenes in this movie?—that’s probably as adrenaline-pumping as you can get. Are there any explosions or other really exciting things that we should know about?
BA Um, no explosions … but you get an armored car robbery that’s really cool, and we have a drive-by machine gun shooting while the guys are driving by with the Asian gang. They drive by with machine gun fire at the other groups. So that’s cool.
W! That’s really cool. Man, I feel like if you could get Vin Diesel in one of these it would be just perfect.
BA It’s pretty much a knockoff on Torque and Biker Boyz, which are really the only two sport bike movies that were ever made. There’s all kinds of Harley and bike gangs, movies about that kind of thing, but there’s not too many when it comes to the sport bike racing. We were kicking around a couple of ideas for the big movie this year that we’d narrowed it down to that were gonna be contenders for what we were gonna do, and we kept coming back to that. Because sometimes you get really caught up in the movie-making aspect of it and you kind of lose the porn aspect of it. So you’ve gotta always kind of remember what your target audience is and remember to cater to that and make sure it’s still sexy. And with all the hot chicks rolling around on bikes in cool outfits and leather and all that, just in general it’s kind of a cool environment where everybody’s kind of being… you know, cool.
W! Yeah, so it’ sexy anyway. I saw a few trailers and I really liked the outfits that the chicks were in. It was kind of different from what you usually see them in, cause it wasn’t like goth kind of punky, hard rock style, but it wasn’t cute, either. It was right in between. I really liked it. It was really hot.
BA Yeah, it’s kind of that vibe, just kind of cool. You know, where they’re in jean shorts and leather jackets or whatever it was, it still had enough skin to be eye candy on the screen, and then if you have bikes in there to boot…
W! So how much do you actually know about motorcycle clubs? How did you research to make this movie work?
BA You know what? It was all by luck, and it was just something that… My buddy Derrick Pierce, who’s in the business, he’s actually the president of Rough Riders for the Valley chapter. So he basically was my go-to guy for the movie when it came to anything motorcycle. And he got us the 75 extras and the bikes on the bridge, and basically he was my man.
W! That’s pretty cool. That makes it way easier…
BA Obviously he’s knows bikes. He’s been the president there for fifteen years or something, so he has access to the bikes already and he leads the monthly meetings. … So basically we had a couple meetings and he filled me in on all the dos and don’ts of bike culture.
W! How did the actors prepare for their roles? Did he work with them, too?
BA Um, a little bit, they kind of filled each other in. Each person, each porn actor has a kind of variety of characters they can pull out of their bag, they’ve got the bad guy, they’ve got the cool guy… Most of them went for the cool guy, and then you know once you kind of put on the leather and you’re sitting on the bike it kind of comes naturally. It’s something where we actually had a couple riders like Keni Styles…
W! Oh really? I didn’t know he was a rider.
BA He actually did all his own riding. He actually had one of the biggest, toughest bikes to ride. It was a really cool one that had Asian writing all over the side of it and stuff so obviously he was in the Asian bike club. …It was a 1400, which is a really big bike, it was a stretch, it wasn’t an easy ride. And he was rockin. He did all his own riding, all the racing, everything. He was great. Another reason that the movie works as well as it does, because he has a pretty big part in it. So I would have had to get a stunt man every day that he was riding, which would have been a real pain in the butt.
What was really cool was that when we came up with the idea, jessica [drake] had had a bike before. Hers was a little Harley. She ended up going out, taking a course again, refreshing herself with it, got her riding gear and bike license, and did all her own riding as well, except for one shot.
W! Wow, I was actually just gonna ask that. Was she the only one of the girls who did her own riding?
BA Yeah she’s the only one who did her own riding and Kirsten [Price], we had a trailer behind a bike and she jumped on a bike as well. I think that was actually kind of scary. The bike trailer was a little precarious, so…
W! I’ve noticed… I mean, I don’t know that much about it, but I’ve noticed that in a lot of the movies that jessica drake is in, she really prepares herself for her roles. I’ve always been really impressed by that.
BA She really gets into her parts and then what happens is, a lot of times she actually has a little extra lead-in because she’s my better half. So she knows the movies that are gonna happen right away, so she has a little added bonus of getting a jump on things. So yeah, she definitely takes it seriously, and she really prepares for her movies. For Manhunters she actually went out and took an online course and got registered as a bounty hunter.
W! That’s so hot! So did you perform in the movie, or were you behind the camera the whole time?
BA I was a little bit of both. It was such a big, complex movie that I didn’t give myself a big part, I just had a little part. I played an undercover cop who gets into the club life to basically inform on them.
W! Ok, I’m really looking forward to seeing it.
BA It’s actually, I mean, you know how some movies, the trailers have things blowing up and stuff and the movie’s not as good as the trailer? Well this movie’s actually the opposite. Because they cut the trailer so early so they could start showing it and pumping it, we didn’t have all the coolness of the movie cut yet. So the movie’s a lot stronger than the trailer. So if you liked the trailer, you’ll love the movie.
W! I’m hoping to get my hands on it soon.
BA They’re printing the boxes now. Everything’s going to be ready within probably the next week or so. Any second now!
W! All right! Since you have worked so much with so many people on so many movies in this industry, I want to know: do you have one moment that stands out in your memory as the highlight of your career so far?
BA You know, the things that stand out the most are usually the bad things. You know what I mean? You know, Euphoria is probably my most recognized movie, it’s pretty much my most recognized and awarded show, but it was the toughest, the most… I totaled my car during the show, we had the whole lighting grid come crashing down on us… One of the makeup trailers lost a wheel while were filming… Like everything that could have gone wrong on that show did go wrong on that show. It was just brutal. But it all came out happily ever after and all that.
Usually you’re in love with the shit that happens that works, but as far as this movie [Speed] goes, I’m just super, super happy at how the riding came out. The riding is kind of the make-it-or-break-it of this movie. You can’t make a movie about motorcycles if the riding looks like ass. It’d be kind of a wash. So I’m really happy between Francois Clousot, Jake Jacobsen, and Mark Nicholson, our cameramen, and the editor, Scott Allen — he really did put a polish on the riding footage that gives it that really mainstream feel as far as the riding goes, it’s just so cool.
W! I’m really excited to see it. I’m not usually much of an action flick fan, but I’m really excited to see how the action and the sex meld together.
BA And that’s the thing, too, where a lot of times we stay away from action because of how short our shooting schedule is. I mean this movie was shot in six full photography days and a couple for pick-up stuff, so really all together that’s eight days. Eight days for an action movie’s kind of ridiculous, as far as the real world. And that’s the thing, it’s really certain spurts of action, it’s not a big action-packed thing. You’ve got exciting scenes, you’ve got the riding scenes, the armored car robbery — they spent a lot of time on that, they really wanted that scene really realistic. So I mean, it’s more in spurts. Everything looking cool, then some sex, then spurts of action. So it’s not like an action or a sex film, it’s kind of just the momentum of sex, cool, and riding.
…Interview will continue next week!