Garrett Clayton, who plays prolific adult film star Brent Corrigan in the upcoming film King Cobra which just had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, and director Justin Kelly sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about the explicit murder movie, and the challenges they faced filming it.
Kelly also directed I Am Michael, the story of “ex-gay” activist Michael Glatze. James Franco, who played Glatze, also stars in King Cobra as a cash-strapped adult film producer trying to cash in on the falling out between Clayton’s character Corrigan (aka Sean Paul Lockhart) and his producer (Christian Slater). Keegan Allen also stars as Harlow Cuadra, another performer who serves as Franco’s accomplice. Corrigan himself turned down a role in the film. Franco also serves as a producer.
The film also stars Alicia Silverstone as Corrigan’s mom and Molly Ringwald as Kocis’ sister.
“It’s definitely a little bit of its own genre. There’s a montage in the movie where Sean-slash-Brent is [going from being] a porn actor to a porn star, and I got to work one day and there was eight men sitting outside of set and they’re like ‘alright these are the people that will be in the montage with you’ and that was a very difficult day…to be…handled by a bunch of strangers. Being touched by one stranger alone is like a lot, let alone eight, and you’re kind of pulling your clothes off, and you have to sell it. It was at the end of that day that I remember calling my mom and I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.'”
Kelly describes some of the more explicit moments:
“We all discussed what each person was comfortable with. Each scene or scandalous moment is really only there if it helps push the story forward…So it’s not just about having sex scenes because the story involves gay porn. It really is a part of the story and pushing characters towards their goals — or not….[In one scene James Franco and Keegan Allen are] both fully naked wearing these things called ‘c–k socks’. It was one of those moments where even though we all know what the movie is about and I wrote it, I still shocked myself watching and directing it. ‘Wait, this is kind of insane. We’re just actually doing this.'”