A Conversation with Aiden Ashley

In all my years of meeting adult film performers, I do not think I have ever come across an actor like Aiden Ashley. Porn stars, like most entertainers, get branded with a label that their characters create. Fans think that they are these invincible gymnasts who have sex on the mind 24/7 and are always looking for the next great thrill in life. The truth is that most are people who have spent years creating an image of a model—sexy as can be and as close to perfection as a human being can get with what they put on display. They are athletes who have the ability to take an action that most of us can endure for ten minutes and make an hour-long erotic work of art, like making sex with six people look like something we all could do next weekend if we wanted to. Most of all, they are actors who must become a character, but then stay in that character with nothing to ease their nervousness. They are naked, remember? They must be able to hang tough, hold in their pain, and create something so alluring that you fall in love without even saying hello. That is the person we are going to meet today—one of the most brilliant actors in the world. Her mission within the industry has taken her to the world of rock n’ roll as she looks to jump to even bigger ponds with bigger fish. That is how Aiden Ashley likes it though. This is the person she would like for you to say hello to. So, without further adieu, may I present… Aiden.

Aiden Ashley for Girlfriends Films

DJD: You know, since day one, I have always respected the path you took to this business. All the places that you have been, my respect for you is massive!

AA: Well thank you. I have so many stories in life that most people don’t even believe them.

You and I, we are similar in other ways. I had a cousin who played Warped Tour and we made the rounds of touring. I also come from a family of musicians. You are so fucking fascinating to read about. I have like a billion questions and I am like, fuck, this will take like ten hours.

Hey, I have time, I got the day off! I will bust out the lawn chairs and we will be good!

You are having one hell of a year, I mean that. I am happy to see this kind of success happen for you in a year when we need the performers who care to see this industry through a lot. You have such natural talent as an actor. Every time a person presses play you wow us with all you are.

I appreciate that from you so much, because you are a person who has seen so much of my work. You are a person who knows.

Well, I love what I do and this is a place where I found my family—when I found people that I could relate to, who gave a shit about their fellow human being, people with true personality. You are an amazing example of a person who lives life to the fullest. This industry is filled with people who do not let fear control their world. That is so rare in this life.

It definitely is. Especially when we started, because it was very looked-down-upon to even start anything in your life that had the title “sex worker” attached to anything. You definitely had to be a pioneer in what you wanted to do.

I heard that you had a very similar story to how I found my way into the sex-worker way of life? Is this true?

Yes, our stories are almost exactly the same. I was in college, and I mean I was in college at seventeen. If that is not crazy enough, there came a moment during my sophomore year that I needed $3,000 dollars in less than a few weeks in the name of school. So, I went to the strip club and thought I would try that out. That was the way that I could continue paying for my dorm housing. Yes, that is what started the sex worker thing. I was able to start because I had a college ID. They saw the ID and assumed that I was eighteen.

I have always loved that you are a woman of so many passions and characteristics. You are a nerd, you are a jock, you are a musician…

I am a jack of all trades. I am a very intelligent person. When I was in the fourth grade I was already at the college level in the state tests that they give you. I ended up aging out of elementary school and they ended up busing me out to middle school. Then the same thing happened in high school. College courses and me just have gone together as long as I can remember. I have always been smart for my age. So, when I began to give into that little rebellious spirit that was there, I had to find that balance between my book nerdiness and my rebel spirit. I was also really into rock music and I did not want to be a groupie. Who wants that? I wanted to be the rock star’s boss. That was my thinking. I wanted to go on tour with them, but I wanted to be the person who was their business boss. I started to take business courses and things like that. That was my plan since high school and that is what I did when I went to college. I took business courses. Being advanced placement, I got to take these courses even when I was still in high school. So, by the time that I graduated, I had my degree and I was able to start going on tour. I started at the bottom of the totem pole being the “merch girl.” People saw how good I was with money, so I ended up settling the shows and then tour managing everything. I literally spent seven years on the road doing that, being the tour manager for rock stars. It really did begin when I was in middle school. I had that rebellious spirit and knew what I wanted to do with my life. You can really say that I made myself a rock star and a porn star. I wanted to be the main bitch. I am not the side bitch, I just cannot be that person.

Aiden Ashley for Girlfriends Films

You know, you can see that in your aura. I remember the first time I began to get paid for reviewing a film, it was a film that you were in. No bullshit. It was a film that Alan made with Girlsway and what I saw with you was an actor, a good speaker, a true model, and a performer. You can always tell the person who has seen many roads in life by how they conduct themselves in everything they do. I saw all of that from day one.

That is so awesome.

Getting to learn that you were always around older kids growing up was something I always wanted to ask you about, because I think you can relate to this. When you are younger and will always be the young one on a team or in the classroom, you have to learn to be a ballbuster so that you can beat them at their own game and they accept you. No one will accept you right off the bat when you can out-work them or out-think them.

Oh no, you are so right. I was picked on from the very start and I never really had any friends growing up. I was always the weird, smart kid in the corner. I remember my first day of middle school after being skipped a grade and I had these Keds that showed how tiny my feet were. I mean everyone in the class was making fun of me because of how tiny my feet are. I remember telling the other kids, “I’m sorry I am only like seven years old. My feet are supposed to be small!”

If you would have been born in the eighteenth century, you would have been the female Charles Dickens with the way that you are able to speak about the worlds that you have seen and the places that people do not know exist. The great writers of the past, they were people like you who had that combination of mind, body, and spirit like you do.

This is true. I like to say that I am a person who is extremely adaptable. I have always been that way too. I am the person who can literally head to a dive bar and get to know everyone, on every side of the counter. I am also that person who is on a trip, shows up at the fanciest hotels, you know, places that have these extravagant dinners. I get along with that crowd too.

You know, I can remember being the guy who was in college and being open to so many things and honestly, it came from being open with my sexuality. One of the best things about being in-tune with my sexuality is that it has allowed me to meet so many amazing people. It is something opening and freeing to the mind, and I see that in all that you do.

Cool, and thank you. I have always been an extremely open person. It has gotten me in trouble at some places in my life, but I would not trade it for anything. I love the way that I think, even though it is kind of different.

I believe that thinkers are meant to have people start to come around to us and finally admit that they think the way that we do when we’re older. I meet people who are just so afraid to admit they think like the rest of the population when they get too old to run away from things, that is when we will finally be able to share conversation and ideas with others on a larger scale. For instance, I think a lot of men do not care to admit they love things like lesbian sex or trans porn because they think it means they are bisexual or gay. I do love informing people that all that means is that you are a normal human being.

Yes, it just means that they are a normal person with urges that you want to fulfill.

Aiden Ashley & Charlotte Sartre in Lesbian Strap-On Specialists 15 for Sweetheart Video

Aiden, the kindness that you put out into the open in this business, you have traveled many roads to gain that type of kindness in your being. I think all great people do. I think kindness is something that you earn from all the shit you see in life. Kindness is a privilege.

Honestly, touring in the music industry really helped with that. I was a crew member and even though I was a tour manager, when another crew member did not do their job, their job fell onto my plate. I had to know how to do everything. I can tell you so many stories about nights where I had to be the drum tech, the guitar tech. No matter the problem or occasion, if someone got sick, or somebody got sent home—which happens very often—that taught me to be more adaptive to so many things, and when that crew member got back I knew what it is that they go through. That is also how I knew what crew members go through when I got onto my first porn set.

I see a lot of the girls in this industry just show up like an A-list celebrity and they throw open their cars as they get to set and expect everything in their cars to be unloaded. They want everything to be perfect for them and they come onto set angry if their water is not there waiting for them. I think that is so stupid to be that way to others, because I have been a crew member and I know how much they have to do and what they go through. I know all about budget and how much even the smallest things cost to make a film.

Being fifteen minutes late, that is money right there. That is fifteen minutes extra that someone has to pay to keep shooting at a location. That means that maybe the audio guy will not be able to pick up his kids from school that day. That means that the husband trying to save his marriage has to cancel the reservations at his wife’s favorite sushi place on the couple’s anniversary because you were thirty minutes late. This person could be the light person or the PA, and they cannot say anything because they are at the bottom of the totem pole and they do not want to lose their job. Girls just do not get this sometimes, especially new girls getting into the business that get really famous, really quick. They just really don’t get it. Touring and then me getting to see this all firsthand in our industry really made me understand it. So when I came back to shooting full time and Motley signed me, my outlook on it is so different. To be honest, I think I hang out with the crew members more than I do my costars. I love them. I love being around them. They are the people who work the hardest. They are there the longest amount of hours during the day.

I see people that I share a scene with and they complain about having to work three days in a week, and then I see the crew members who are on set six-to-seven days a week. The ones that only work six days, they spend the seventh day going to get COVID tested in the industry that exists now. That is on top of driving somewhere and picking up shit for the director, or the other crew members. There is so much work that goes into things behind the scenes. It has helped me to see so many things that I did not when I was younger. To tell you how much this has helped me when we were shooting A Killer on the Loose, there were only four crew members on set the entire movie. It was basically Ricky Greenwood, Ricky’s right-hand guy, the audio guy, and the camera operator. We had no one else on set due to COVID-19. The way I tried to approach each day was that those four crew members needed help from the cast as much as possible. If we just sat there, that movie would not have been made. We had to get a little gritty and really become part of the production. We could not just sit there in our nice chairs and just wait for them to tell us what to do.

Aiden Ashley for Sweetheart Video

You know, I was having this same conversation with another performer yesterday. Another great actor like you. She told me, “If more people took this business seriously, our critics would not know what to do, say, or think.” The potential for what the XXX world can be is so massive. I have always believed that X-rating gives you the ability to go beyond any type of restriction that holds down artists in other sides of entertainment. I learned this from a very wise man. He said, “Be nice to everyone you meet in this business, because no one stays on top forever, and you are going to need a friend on your way down.”

Very true! Extremely true! There are always ups and downs, always! Those people that you meet on set, that you are working with side-by-side—they can either be your enemies, or they can be your allies. They are people that can get you back on set, or they are people who can keep you off set.

This is some of the best wisdom and knowledge from someone on set. I try to tell talent this as much as possible, especially the young ones. One year in our business is like three to the rest of the world. So much changes. The person holding the boom is now the boss. That is just the way this world always works; it is just the nature of the beast. You are the hottest thing on the planet one second, and the next, no one knows who you are.

You are speaking the truth. I have been on so many sets this month where the director of the set hired me. We begin this casual conversation that begins as I get to set in the best of moods, “Hey, do you remember me?” My answer was no, and he goes on to tell me that he shot me when I was nineteen and he was actually the audio guy. He told me that he was eighteen years old and that he remembered how nice I was. We spoke about this funny story that we shared and he told me that since that day he always remembered me. He always wanted to shoot me since then, and now that he’s directing, he hired me. This has literally happened to me three times this month. No matter what it is that the people do on set, those people who work so hard, they will most likely move up the ladder years down the road. That is why you must be nice to everyone.

What I love that you produce with your brand and who you are, is that you care and nurture everything that you are doing in this business and that is never a bad thing. Kindness and compassion is a must in any job you love. That artistry comes to life with your smiles and I respect that so much, Aiden. Being a person that has seen a few sides of entertainment, I think that this one is the most special because of how it connects with everyone.

I honestly care so much. I hate the days on set when a director says that this is going to be an easy, quick day. I don’t want anything that I do to be quick, fast, easy, and the “bare minimum.” If I am going to be a part of something, I want it to be amazing. I want something that fans will look at and they will say, “This is great.” I am the girl that even when I am shooting gonzo, and someone tells me, “Hey, let’s just make this a quick, ten-minute photo set.” I will be that person who says, “No, let’s do a little bit more. Let’s make sure that the lighting is perfect and let’s go for a few extra photos with this.” I am always that person. I want to do that extra on set because I actually enjoy it. I love being on set; I do not want to go home early. I want to be there. I want to have something that I am proud of. To me, I do not mind being on set for twelve to fourteen hours a night. That is how I have a smile on my face when I go home. I do not know how anyone could smile if they rushed through something only to see it come out a month later and have it be less than sub-par. I love the artistry, I love creativity, and I love seeing myself grow because of all of that and with each performance that I do. That is why I love doing films that have a script attached to it, especially with porn.

I would love to know what it is about an adult film that has a script that drives you to keep looking to always make something fresh? I ask this because I see it in every single performance.

I love porn that has a script because I am starting to notice that I am getting a fanbase that really likes the whole mental aspect also. They just don’t like to just see the fucking. They like to see the whole story and love to get involved with the character. That is almost like their foreplay, and there are a lot of people out there who love to have their mind stimulated and not just their genitals. I am really that person. In my real life, you have to stimulate my mind in order to get me off. So I think that is the real reason behind why I love scripts so much. I love the movies that are so heavy with the art direction, I get to the point where I really feel like I am there.

That is just so fucking awesome. What goes through your mind when you discover these characters on a script?

I am telling you, I will actually become that character. Somehow my mind switches when I am on those sets that have that detail, and all the things that I spoke about earlier. I am not Aiden anymore; I become that person, that character. When someone is talking to me on set there have been times when they yell “cut,” and I am still fully in-character. Ricky has even said this to me. Ricky, he is one of those people that is very hands-on as a director. There was this time on set that I was in the bathroom, and he came to get me out so that we could start shooting, and I answered the door and I answered it as Clara because I was getting ready for a very intense scene. I had gone to that place with her emotion and my voice was low-pitched as I answered the door for Ricky. I was fully immersed being Clara. He tells me, “Okay, you need to get to set now.” I remember walking to the cameras and I felt like I was possessed by this character. I absolutely loved it, and it was right before my sex scene with Seth Gamble. I walked into that scene as Clara. I was this character.

Aiden Ashley in A Killer on the Loose from MissaX.com
Seth Gamble in A Killer on the Loose from MissaX.com

The exchange between you two throughout A Killer on the Loose was just amazing. In Episode Two, the audience starts to discover that nobody is who they think they are. This film is just awesome. Things start out with Vanna Bardot in Episode One, and then Ricky just fucks your mind in Episode Two. Anyone watching is stepping back and saying, “Woah!” There are some things you do not see coming. Getting to see your character and Seth’s become something so real and so edgy, it is just amazing!

Thank you. We definitely put a lot of heart and work into it. There were some moments where we were terrified. We were going to film it before COVID, and then it got pushed back because of the shutdown. We were watching everything that was going on in the industry, and then we were watching the mainstream media begin to talk about our shutdown and things were scary. Then, as everything began to open up again we were trying to fit things in this week and then that week. Let’s try and get ready for this or that. Like I was telling you last week, the day that Goodwill opened, we knew that we were going to be shooting soon. I had forgotten how much fun that was. I remember picking out a few outfits and texting him. Like I said, we had a very small crew, so we wanted to be able to still make this project have the quality it would if we had a full crew. We were literally getting back to shooting the first week that we were able to get back to shooting.

Damn Aiden, that had to be scary. I mean for anyone that was getting back to work. Hell, here I am just getting back to doing things out of the house more often and that thought is in your head.

Oh everyone was very nervous still. We did not have that buffer, or anything to reference or compare what we were doing to. We did not have the luxury of someone doing it before us. I mean we were the first ones to do it. It was strange in a sense to come to set and have so many people and things missing.

How do you mean?

Oh, I think you will notice first that we did not have anyone on set doing stills. We did not have a makeup artist. We did not have the amount of PAs that a set normally has—especially one with a script like this one. It was really just four crew members and that was it. Ricky took so much responsibility on his plate that he had to get done. That is what really motivated me to take care of Clare’s wardrobe myself. I did everything that you would normally have someone on set do. I went to the Goodwill, I got it altered to fit me right, I did my own makeup (and that is not as easy as people would think). I had ten outfit changes during that film. So in one single day, I am changing my clothes ten times, so you can imagine what it is like getting the makeup look to be right with every wardrobe change.

How much time did you guys have to shoot the film? I can imagine that they kept the same schedule even though there were fewer people. Ugh, this pandemic is just the fucking worst!

So, we did it in three days.

That always seems to be the magic number these days. Have you noticed that?

Yes, and these were also days that were twelve-to-fourteen hours long.

Oh my goodness, that is intense. I love that these are your kind of work days. Those are mine too. As I climb up the ladder and pay my dues, as filmmaking is what my end goal is, I want to have the days return where a person makes one or two films and those days on set are long. Bringing back the days when you would have one day for a table-read and rehearsal, one day for a box cover shoot, and then the days we film. I think that there are so many gifted actors in this business.

I think that too, and so many of us just do not get that chance to shine. I think that is why everyone has that stereotype that there are so many bad actors in this business, because there are a lot of people who use their first take on everything. I have run into a lot of moments where I say, “Well, that was a terrible take,” but then they say that they are just going to use it. That is, unless you have a director like Ricky who actually cares. So, I have to tell you this and I cannot believe I forgot to tell you this. This is how dedicated Ricky Greenwood is; he personally sanitized everything. Ricky saw how much this COVID thing was on everyone’s mind, and he went in there before and after our sex scene with this big, huge tank on his back looking like a Ghostbuster. Literally, the director went in before and after to sanitize the set. I was sitting there telling him, “Ricky, you are actually the director and you are cleaning up our juices.” He is just amazing. He was in this outfit that looked like a hazmat suit, and he was cleaning everything. That is how much he got his hands dirty so that we could make this film. So yes, we can say that Ricky Greenwood went onto set, in a Ghostbuster outfit, and went to town with this machine. I do not know what the name of it is or anything, but it was this huge sanitizing machine, and he used it.

God bless that man.

I know. How many people can say that their director was getting their hands dirty like he did? I do not think anyone can say that they got their hands dirty quite like Ricky.

That is what I love most about Ricky; he cares so much about everything that he does and what this industry is. That is a man who loves film, he loves story, and he looks to make everything unique. I see exactly what you mean when you said, “People who give us something to shine in.”

Yes, making this film was so much fun.

Aiden Ashley & Seth Gamble in A Killer on the Loose from MissaX.com
Aiden Ashley & Seth Gamble in A Killer on the Loose from MissaX.com

I have to know how it is that they came at you with A Killer on the Loose. This film is a mind-fuck in so many ways. No bullshit, this film is better than half the films they have on Netflix, and I am talking about everything from suspense to drama.

Ricky came to me and told me, “Hey, I think I might have a script for you.” Normally, Ricky will text me about something like this, so when he called me, I knew this had to be awesome. He tells me, “You are going to be the lead in this one.” He knows that I love that, and he sent over the script, and he told me that he wrote it specifically for me. I read the script and obviously I absolutely loved it. Ricky knows me pretty well by now, and I think he knew that I was going to love it. I was looking forward to the challenge of learning the script. This is by far the biggest script that I ever had to learn. I put a lot of effort into memorizing it and knowing what was going on. I ended up recording my lines, and I spent time playing them in a few different ways back and forth. I was actually working on my lines for two weeks before we started filming. I was literally walking around with a little tape recorder. I recorded the other characters that I would play back and answer. It was a good two weeks of studying for this role. I spent a lot of time saying my lines into the mirror, getting the look and feel right. I also watched Hannibal a few times, and that is definitely one of my favorite movies of all time.

No bullshit, as I began to watch this film, I think that I know what is going to happen. I said to myself, “Okay, what is this? Come on, Silence of the Lambs?” Then I see your dialogue come up about being the woman who was drugged and taken advantage of, and that you diabolically chose to fuck your boyfriend’s roommate. I was like “Wait, what the fuck? This is not Silence of the Lambs!” That is how good and unique you all made this creation. Then, things go to that powerful lust after that spine-tingling drama. First thing I said was, “Damn, this shit just got real!” That is the intensity you created. It was fucking epic! I am watching it with my girl, and she tells me, “When do you ever have something that fricassees your mind with these dark, taboo feelings and then boom—the intense lust hits you like a tidal wave?” Those are the best mindfucks.

Like I said, I am a very mentally sexual person in my real life. I love mental games and I love to play mental games when it comes to sex. So getting to take part in this kind of film and the sex scenes, it was an absolute dream come true for me. It was so intense because I got to experience that entire mental fuck alongside the sex. To me, that is the ultimate pleasure. To have the actual mental fuck side of things and the fuck-fuck side of it is just the best thing ever.

You speak so much truth here. I think a lot of people don’t give our industry’s films credit for being something you cannot forget after you watch it. That is what any powerful film will do to the person watching. I told this to Ricky as well. People watching will walk into a mystery, they will see things change in that dark way within their own mind to remember. Now I know, it is because you were having just as much fun and passion while it was all being created and taken in by you. That is beyond performance and sex; that is what this industry is and can always be with its films.

Yes, I want to show them that porn stars can really act. I think it says even more about our acting that we were able to make that movie in three days. I think everyone did an amazing job at honing in their characters and getting the viewer to really believe that they are right there with us. We want the fans to be right there with us during this entire mindfuck game.

You know to put an icing on the cake of this interview. I love the barriers that Ricky is moving past and taking down with a film that casts people on their talent—not on their sexual orientation, or career love, or drive. I think you have some shots to win awards, and one of the reasons why is that scene with Dante Colle. I think you would agree with this. When you shoot with a man, not every single one is great at putting in that exuberance and extra something that I do see in many bisexual men in the business. Dante, being a bisexual man, added charisma that I think viewers have never seen before. I think that gay and bisexual men are two of the most honest types of males there are on planet earth with everything they are and everything they do, especially as performers. Man, you guys just fucking tore it up, and I am glad you and he got that chance too.

It was absolutely amazing. When Ricky came to me and asked me if I had any problem working with Dante, I told Ricky absolutely not. My reaction to Ricky with a smile was, “I have absolutely no problem at all.” I am so happy that Ricky suggested him for the role, because he is honestly my favorite person to work with right now. I just did another scene with him last week and it was massive fireworks again. I am telling you, it was crazy.

Aiden Ashley & Dante Colle in A Killer on the Loose from MissaX.com
Aiden Ashley & Dante Colle in A Killer on the Loose from MissaX.com
Aiden Ashley & Dante Colle in A Killer on the Loose from MissaX.com
Aiden Ashley & Dante Colle in A Killer on the Loose from MissaX.com

I think what that did was show another side of fantasy and passion. To see the man become unsure, and then have the woman become that type of aggressor that is also powerful… you have to have people that are willing to take things to a place of fantasy not visited very often. You both just captured so much.

Well, we wanted to captivate our audience. Dante is one of the best male talents to work with and one of the best male talents that I have ever worked with.

Now that is as good as it gets in this industry. As this interview closed out, and we spoke about her career, what I can share with you fans and all the industry people reading is that Aiden’s focus is to take this industry mainstream, and take her career to places that she told me that people would never think that a porn star could. I will tell you all that a trophy means so much to this little lady. Her professionalism could not hide her desire to get that accolade for a craft that is a part of her soul. For all those fans who think that the modern porn star can not connect with them, well perhaps you just need to say hello to Aiden Ashley. This starlet has been quoted for years as being a woman who is as authentic as it gets. I think after today, we will see that her sweat that she pours in every single scene she has been cast in, it is something that is more than just intensity, lust, or romance. It is a woman who wants her fans to be right there alongside these characters and feeling that comfort to be who they are, and enjoy these films just as much as she does. I think there may be no one in this industry who enjoys them more than she does.

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