Biography of Sasha Grey (a.k.a.: Sasha Gray)
Sasha Grey (born Marina Ann Hantzis on March 14, 1988, in North Highlands, California)
is an award-winning American pornographic actress. She is also active outside
of pornography through modeling, acting, and music.
Grey grew up in a working-class family in Sacramento, California and her mother
worked for the state of California. Her parents divorced before Grey finished
middle school, and her mother remarried in 2000 when Grey was 12. She attended
four high schools before graduating, unhappy in each one. In autumn 2005, she
attended junior college and took classes in film, dance, and acting. Grey contemplated
stripping during college so she wouldn't have to work as much, but eventually
settled on porn. She waited tables at a steak house through March 2006 and saved
$7,000 for a move to Los Angeles.
In May 2006 Grey moved to Los Angeles and started her career in adult films
just after turning 18. Originally she toyed with the name Anna Karina (after
the French New Wave actress) before deciding on her present name. The name "Sasha"
was taken from Sascha Konietzko of the band KMFDM, and "Grey" represents
Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and the Kinsey scale of
sexuality. Her first scene was an orgy with Rocco Siffredi for The Fashionistas
2 by John Stagliano. When she was younger, prior to her video career, she dated
a cook at the steak house where she worked, who introduced her to slapping and
other kinds of consensual degradation during sex. Nearly six months after entering
the adult industry, Grey was featured in the November 2006 edition of Los Angeles
where she was flagged as a potential major star, perhaps the next Jenna Jameson.
Less than a year after entering the industry, in January 2007, Grey was the
recipient of awards for "Best Three Way Sex Scene" and "Best
Group Scene" at the AVN adult movie awards. She was also nominated as "Best
New Starlet", but lost to Naomi. Grey was named Pet of The Month for
July 2007 and was photographed by fashion photographer Terry Richardson. In
2008, she became the youngest person to win the AVN "Female Performer of
the Year" award.
In December 2006, Grey was interviewed on the syndicated entertainment industry
news show The Insider. In February 2007, she appeared on The Tyra Banks Show,
discussing teenagers in the sex industry. Grey was profiled in the Rolling Stone
"Hot Issue" for the December 2008 edition. And in April 2008 she made
a highly publicized visit to Brandeis University for an interview with Los Angeles
Times blogger Scott Feinberg followed by a Q&A with 300 students.
Grey represents herself in the adult industry through her own agency, L.A.
Factory Girls. while The Spread Group manages her mainstream affairs. Since
2006, she has been developing an autobiographical documentary, illustrating
her experiences from the age of 18 to 21.
A. O. Scott of The New York Times described her pornographic career as "distinguished
both by the extremity of what she is willing to do and an unusual degree of
intellectual seriousness about doing it."
After making her name in pornography, Grey has moved into other areas such as
modeling.Grey was featured in the artwork for The Smashing Pumpkins 2007 album
Zeitgeist, and appears in their music video "Superchrist". Grey was
also featured in the music video for the song "Birthday Girl" by The
She has modeled for American Apparel and Richard Kern as a part of Vice magazine's
anti-fashion layout, and appeared in a three-part VBS program, "Shot by
Kern". She also appeared in Taschen’s 25th anniversary reprint of
Terry Richardson’s Terryworld. Among other collaborations with Richardson,
she has also appeared in Wives, Wheels, Weapons, a companion book to James Frey's
Bright Shiny Morning. She has also modeled for artists James Jean, David Choe
and Frédéric Poincelet.
Grey appeared in an episode of James Gunn's PG Porn with James Gunn, as well
as a cameo role in Dick Rude's independent film Quit, and stars in the upcoming
Canadian low-budget black comedy/horror film Smash Cut from the Ottawa-based
Odessa/Zed Filmworks. She plays a TV news personality who goes undercover as
an actress in a horror film production, only to discover her older sister's
Most prominently, she plays the lead in Academy Award-winning director Steven
Soderbergh's film The Girlfriend Experience. Critics had mixed assessments of
Grey's performance. J. Hoberman of The Village Voice writes:
“Are we watching an authentic sacred monster playing the part of a cute
little chippie—or is it vice versa? (Imagine one performer embodying both
the Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider roles in Last Tango in Paris.) Grey isn’t
the first porn actress to go straight, but she may be the first to allegorize
her own situation—projecting an on-screen self-confidence that’s
indistinguishable from pathos.”
In 2008, Grey began an industrial music collaboration, called ATelecine, with
Pablo St. Francis. Their first EP, AVigillant Carpark, was released by New York
label Pendu Sound in 7 inch vinyl only. She also contributed vocals to the Current
93 album Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain.
Fleshbot announced in January 2009 Grey is engaged to her photographer, Ian
Grey cites Jean-Luc Godard and David Bowie as influences on her life and career.
She admires their careers for always reinventing themselves. In having Grey
prepare for her role in The Girlfriend Experience, Soderbergh asked her to watch
Godard's Vivre sa vie and Pierrot le fou. Vivre sa vie is about a prostitute
who dreams about making it in the movies.
Full name: Sasha Grey
Birthdate: March 14, 1988
Birthplace: North Highlands, California, USA