NEW YORK - AVN Female Performer of the Year Sasha Grey has been cast as the lead in director Steven Sodergbergh's new feature The Girlfriend Experience. The movie is now shooting on location in New York.

Written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, The Girlfriend Experience explores the world of prostitution from the viewpoint of a $10,000 a night call girl. Soderbergh is directing the low-budget feature as part of a six-picture deal with producer Mark Cuban.

"To have the opportunity to work for an Academy Award-winning auteur is truly a great honor," Grey told AVN. "I've been an admirer of Soderbergh's films for years, and I am elated that I have been given a leading role in a character-driven film." 

Grey has appeared in several mainstream projects this year. She played a reporter in Canadian director Lee Demarbre's indie horror film Smash Cut, appeared as a mini-mart clerk in Dick Rude's Quit, and posed for a photo companion to James Frey's novel Bright Shiny Morning. She is also prominently featured in the German documentary 9 to 5 Days in Porn.

Soderbergh won the Academy Award for Best Director for Traffic in 2000 after scoring nominations for Erin Brockovich and Sex Lies and Videotape. His recent films include Ocean's Eleven and its two sequels, and the Che Guevara biopics The Argentine and Guerrilla

AVN broke the news that Soderbergh was considering Grey for the part in April. The Girlfriend Experience will be released in 2009 by Magnolia Pictures.