Girlfriend Experience: Soderbergh’s Indie Starring Porn Star Sasha Grey

Steven Soderbergh has cast porn star Sasha Grey as the lead in his new low-budget indie, The Girlfriend Experience.

The Girlfriend Experience
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Theatrical release poster

The low-budget drama, shooting in New York, centers on a high-price call girl, is part of Soderbergh’s six-picture deal with multimedia entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

The feature was written by “Ocean’s 13” scribes Brian Koppelman and David Levien and will be released by Magnolia Pictures.

The 20-year-old Grey entered the porn world after her 18th birthday and has appeared in many such movies. In January she became the youngest recipienct of AVN’s Female Performer of the Year award.

For Grey, who lists Godard, Bertolucci, and Breillat among her favorite filmmakers, “Girlfriend” will be her third legit film appearance in 2009, having played small parts in Dick Rude’s indie “Quit” and Canadian horror project “Smash Cut.”

One of Soderbergh’s weakest films–quicky half baked–the film was shot in New York City, and a rough cut was screened at the 2009 Sundance Film Fest.

The Premise:

Set in 2008, just before the presidential election, the tale centers on a high-end Manhattan escort meets, as she interacts with her boyfriend and her clients. Chelsea (real name Christine), who specializes in offering girlfriend experiences, realizes that her clients are spending less and less money on her services, due to the financial crisis.

Meanwhile, she’s also interviewed by a journalist, who quizzes her about her work and personal life.

Soderbergh mentioned Michelangelo Antonioni’s Red Desert and Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers as influences.

The film was produced for $1.3 million, but failed to recoup its expense due to dismissive reviews.

Cast:

Sasha Grey as Christine, alias Chelsea
Chris Santos as Chris
Philip Eytan as Philip
Timothy Davis as Tim
Peter Zizzo as Zizzo
Glenn Kenny as “The Erotic Connoisseur”
Vincent Dellacera as Chelsea’s Driver
Kimberly Magness as Happy Hour
Mark Jacobson as Interviewer
Kenneth Myers as Craft Steak Maître d’