The list of pornstars who have tried to make the leap to more mainstream film fare is a long one. Sean Paul Lockhart, best known to gay porn aficionados as Brent Corrigan, can now be added to that list. The white-hot twink who directs many of his own sex videos is a gorgeous, notoriously clean-cut lad who does dirty things very well.
But in his latest film, I Was a Teenage Werebear, Lockhard delivers a surprising turn. Proving he has some other acting talents — including a strong comic touch — Lockhart dances and sings his way through this horror-musical-comedy short.
Written and directed by out horror filmmaker Tim Sullivan (Driftwood, 2001 Maniacs), Lockhart plays a young man who falls for the werewolf bad boy at his high school. Set in the ’60s, Sullivan’s film sends up campy beach romantic comedies, Grease, Twilight and the High School Musical movies. Sullivan adopted the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach, packing in sex, romance, gore, camp and musical numbers. Imagine the illegitimate love child of Roger Corman and John Waters and you get the idea.
Sullivan says he cast Lockhart because of his sheer talent.
“He’s got an amazing look, for sure,” says Sullivan. “I mean, if Disney ever made porn, Sean would be their man. But when he auditioned for us, I was blown away by how good he was. It proves that you should never judge a boy by his DVD cover. Sean has serious acting talent.”
The gloriously kitschy I Was a Teenage Werebear, part of the feature-length horror anthology film Chillerama, is great fun. And while it does present something new for Lockhart, his Brent Corrigan past isn’t too far behind: one sequence features him dancing around a locker room in nothing but a jock strap. Xtra checked in with Lockhart at a Dallas, Texas, hotel room… by phone.
Xtra: What led you to this project?
Lockhart: Personally, I was fascinated by the new approach to a message of acceptance and tolerance in the community. Originally, with my background, I had this notion that I could take on roles and films that most actors would generally feel a bit awkward or uncomfortable doing. On paper, the Werebear screenplay presents itself far raunchier and edgier than the finished project. Despite surface content I was able to see through some of the splatstick humour to the value within. Chillerama as a whole seemed like such a novel idea, and I loved that. I’ve always been drawn to the risky and edgier side of things.
Are you at all concerned your porn past won’t let you have a different kind of acting career?
Yes, it’s a constant concern for me. For the longest time, that fear is what held me back from even considering anything remotely involved with the mainstream entertainment arena. But as I picked up bit parts and cameos in queer film projects purely based on my adult persona, I was also able to inadvertently show the entertainment world there was actually something more than a name or a body to me. Yes, there have been many projects I’ve been passed on already, likely due to my adult image. On the flip side, I’ve turned down other mainstream projects that I felt were going to sell me short. I believe the real key to success transitioning from adult to mainstream will be working with people who believe in me. I realize I have a lot to prove, but I’m ready and willing to rise to the occasion.
No doubt you are. What was the biggest difference for you in taking on this role, a non-porn one?
The biggest difference was being front and centre in the film. I like to be able to break things down and analyze them, to understand my strong points and evaluate where I need to improve. But when you’re working at that pace, it’s up to everyone else around you to worry about those things. It was difficult just being an actor in a lead role. Being the lead character and not having a full, hands-on approach to every possible part of production was a big change.
You have a massive gay following. What do you want to say to your fans?
I think more than anything I want my fans to know I appreciate and value, above everything else, that they have been able to recognize the difference in me versus the next internet figure. My biggest hope for the future is that these same friends and fans are willing to take that to the next level and follow me through a more mainstream side of my career. I’m asking a lot of people — filmmakers, actors, fans, viewers — to take a chance on me and let me prove there is so much more to me than the physical.