Bruce Beckham Soldiers On With Newfound Purpose

When she hosted the red carpet with Bruce Beckham at last summer’s Str8UpGayPorn Awards in New York, NakedSword director mr. Pam was struck by his aura.

“It was actually funny that I met him maybe 20 minutes before we were doing the red carpet. We just had a blast together. He was clothed the whole time, unfortunately. He’s just so handsome and had this elegance about him. I hope to shoot him eventually. I remember him from being a Lucas Entertainment exclusive. When I started at Lucas, there were photos of him everywhere, so I’ve always been intrigued by him. I think he quit right when I started.”

They had texted before, and the director had hoped to cast him in what turned into the smash hit Secrets & Lies—but a scheduling conflict prevented it. Fast forward to March of 2018, and the two were finally connected with a project. It continues another chapter in the long and successful career of Beckham, one filled with a gap of self-discovery between two highly successful stints—the second one still in high gear.

“I had always thought porn was really, really hot, and that guys who did porn were the pinnacle—the gold standard of male beauty and gay desirability,” Beckham recalls. “I always really liked the guys who worked for Falcon—that was particularly my type. And I also knew the Titan guys back then, too—but I thought they were even bigger and out of my league.”

That sentiment is even sillier in retrospect considering where Beckham’s big return unfolded (but more on that later). To begin, we head to New York in the early 2000s…

Out of the (Big) Blue

Like almost every other gay man with a pulse, Beckham had a long-standing porn crush on Matthew Rush.

“Prior to even being in the industry, he came to a place I worked at in New York and I almost fell over. My co-workers were like, ‘What is your problem?!’ I said ‘You don’t understand! That’s Matthew Rush!’” Beckham says, his voice rising as he mocks his own star-struck adulation.

When I ran into Matthew, that sort of put it into my head that, ‘Oh, maybe I could do this.’ And then I moved to Los Angeles with a boyfriend. We immediately broke up, and I found myself single. I knew the predominance of porn was filmed in L.A., so I was running into and meeting guys that were filming porn here and there, and a friend of mine was working for Blue Blake.”

Beckham floated the idea of getting into the industry to his friend, who soon introduced the two. “And Blue was great. He was charming. This big, really amicable guy—just a character. He immediately said yes: ‘Whenever you’d like to film, give me a call.’”

Beckham was soon shooting his debut in 2004, a scene at a ranch with superstar Robert Van Damme in Cowboy Rides Again (using the name Billy Frank at the time, which he kept for one more movie at Big Blue Productions, Young Gods).

“It was all pretty smooth, and the only note I got from Blue during filming was to not overact on camera, because even when you do something really small, it looks really big on camera. So he said to just keep it natural and keep it real,” Beckham says. “I was really attracted to Robert, who was identifying as straight at the time—just really hot. In my head, I was like, ‘Wow, I get to suck that guy’s dick! Amazing!’ The camera crew didn’t bother me at all—there wasn’t shyness about it, I didn’t have performance anxiety. I was into the idea of doing it; it was a fun day and everyone was really cool on set.”

At the time, he was also bartending at The Abbey in West Hollywood. “I was making great money there, so (porn) was more like a hobby, a fetish, a fantasy of mine. It wasn’t really something I was doing for a career.”

By chance, Rush entered his life again: “He came up to me, and I said, ‘I’ve always had a crush on you,’ and he’s like, ‘Well, I’ve always had a crush on you,’” Beckham says, his voice lowering as he recites Rush’s reply. “And I didn’t think he knew me from a can of paint, so I was like, ‘Well I bartend at The Abbey. If you want to come meet me, I will be there tomorrow’—not even expecting him to show up at all, and he showed up! And we hung out in front of my bar for a while, and we went on a few dates. He lived in a different state; I have nothing but positive things to say about him. That’s all I remember from that period, just being enamored over Matthew Rush.”

Soon, the impulse to take his porn career further proved too strong.

Back in a New York Groove

Having known Michael Lucas from his time living in New York, Beckham decided to call up the filmmaker to see if he had interest in working together. He did—and signed the star as an exclusive, casting him in a handful of films—including Dangerous Liaisons, one of the most successful gay porns of all time. He was so popular that he even got his own “greatest hits” compilation in 2006, Filming Bruce Beckham.

“My m.o. at the time was, ‘When I stop having fun, then I’ll stop doing it.’ And I filmed a few times a year with him. It was great—we went to Milan, we went to Barcelona, I met a lot of great guys in the industry. And then I sort of felt like I had scratched that itch. I had been under contract with him. When that lapsed, I told him I wasn’t going to renew it, and I was just sort of going to segue out of it, which was my genuine intention—to just stop and sort of be done with it, being able to say I had done it and move on from there.”

But Rush offered a live webcam gig with him for Falcon around the same time period, which Beckham accepted.

“I thought, ‘You know, I’m not under contract, there’s no reason not to. We’re quote-unquote ‘dating,’ why not? And Michael got wind of it because Falcon was promoting it, so on his end I’m sure it looked like I had given him a bill of goods, like, ‘Oh, I’m just sort of leaving the industry’…and that I had something lined up with Falcon. So that was not…you know, it wasn’t amicable at the point. We’re on perfectly fine terms now; I spoke to him a few months or so ago just to check in and say hello and touch base, because I hadn’t spoken to him in forever. Everything’s fine—time heals all wounds.”

At the same time, Rush had been offered a directorial debut for Falcon (2007’s Rush and Release)—and Beckham accepted the offer to do a scene for it.

“It was…clunky? I was uncomfortable, I was kind of out of shape, I hadn’t filmed in months. I had to go back a second day to do some reshoot stuff; I don’t think the work I did even made it into the final film. So it was sort of like a long—and I would say, from my end, disappointing—endeavor. I really wasn’t pleased with the condition I was in when he called me up to ask me to do it. I wanted to say yes and I wanted to meet Erik Rhodes, and in hindsight I probably should have been like, ‘I’m not really in the right shape for that.’ So I did it, and it was enough of a letdown of an experience that I was like, ‘Okay, this is great way to cap it and just be done with it.’ And that was the end of that chapter of me in adult films. Michael took very good care of me, promoting me. I got a lot of magazine interviews, he got me on a lot of covers of things, but it all just stopped being fun. It wasn’t the main source of my income, it was sort of like a hobby and a fantasy—and it kind of got in the way of the rest of life, so I let it go.”

Bruce Takes a Break

By and large, Beckham continued to bartend in restaurants and nightclubs “sort of aimlessly in West Hollywood...there just got to be a point where my life was just going to work, working in nightclubs, going home, waking up and doing it all over again—and not much beyond that.” He then decided to take a break from it and spent some time in his home state of Ohio—and soon “evolved into a bit of an obnoxious morning person” he laughs (“I have a to-do list, I want to get things done”).

He transitioned back to the restaurant industry, where he worked consistently for a long time—but soon found himself unmotivated by it, a realization he came to on opening night of a restaurant he helped open.

“They were toasting the success at the opening and I literally had the thought, ‘Oh, I wonder if this means I can go home now…?’ I definitely took that as a sign of, ‘Wait, this is not something you’re passionate about. You have worked in this industry for a while, your resume lines up with it, it’s a skill that you have—but this is likely not your last chapter.’”

And that proved to be a risky revelation given how good Beckham was at it. “The very last restaurant I worked in was a nationally acclaimed Spanish food and wine bar. The Los Angeles Times reviewer wrote us up multiple times, it was named one of the Top 10 New Restaurants in the United States, it was hitting all of those lists, and creatively and financially it was very lucrative for me.”

But he found himself wondering if he had some unfinished business. 

“I had a new friend at the time, Kyle Kash, and older acquaintances of mine who had been in the (adult) industry before. They coincidentally were all crossing my path, and I thought, ‘Pandora’s box is already open.’ So I sent a few emails out just to see if anyone would bite.”

Family Reunion

When Beckham got the word out that he was returning to the industry, it caught the eye of a familiar—and friendly—acquaintance: Tony Dimarco, now a senior director with Falcon Studios Group.

“Someone connected the two of us. He had been the principal photographer for everything I did for Michael Lucas, so he was familiar with me. Tony had reached out to me and said, ‘I hear you’re back, we’d love to work with you.’ So I did the scene with him at their new location in Vegas.”

The shoot paired Beckham with Chris Bines for Hot House’s Cruising Grounds, filmed in early 2016. “I wanted to come back with something noticeable and with a bang…there was a lot of preparation just to get in shape physically, and the day of shooting I was ready to go. I was really excited to get that ball rolling and make it happen, and Tony has always been great to work for. He was really sweet, and he was really pleased to see me again. We hugged it out.”

The reunion was equally exciting for the director.

“I always have good memories working with Bruce. He was always in good spirits and fun during our shoots. Even when things were tense or rough during shooting, he always had a good sense of humor about things, and he was never shy to speak his mind, at any time,” Dimarco says of their days at Lucas Entertainment.

“It was great to finally work with him again after his long hiatus from porn. I shot his last scene at Lucas and his first scene returning to porn, so that was pretty special. Working together again, there was no time gap. Like good friends who have not seen each other in a while and pick right back up, that was the same with Bruce. He is a great performer because he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and he has a good sense of humor about it all. He’s also focused, committed and enjoys fucking and getting fucked. He’s a really nice person and great guy all around. He’s completely up front with you, so you always know where he stands. He has a great—and at times twisted—sense of humor, and I think once you understand it, then you ‘get’ him.”

Greatest Hits, Vol. II

To his surprise, Beckham was separately approached around the same time by the company he previously thought was “out of his league”: Titan, which wanted to shoot with him. He was soon filming Blueprint with TitanMen exclusive Dallas Steele.

“We were truly honored that Bruce chose TitanMen for his initial foray back into the adult world,” says Keith Webb, vice president and managing partner. “Bruce is one of the most spectacular men we’ve ever worked with. Movie-star handsome, superhero body and a huge dick…the stuff dreams are made of. In addition to all the physical attributes, he’s smart, funny, can act and is a great cook! We love working with him as he the ultimate professional, and is just as invested in making the movie as great as we are. Guys like him only come around every so often. He’s truly a star in every sense of the word.”

Director Jasun Mark shot him in hit after hit, from award-nominated films like Cauke for Free and Beards to fan favorites like Demolition, Bad Cops 2 and the recent L.A. Cruising. (Beckham was also nominated for a GayVN Award for Best Sex Scene with David Anthony in Joe Gage’s smash Titan hit Stopover in Bonds Corner.)

There are so many stories about Bruce. He always is like a rock in the ocean. When stress levels get high, he’s the one who keeps his cool and helps us get through anything. Literally nothing could phase him,” Mark shares. “One of my favorite stories was when he and I were hosting the Mr. Los Angeles Leather contest earlier last year. He’s usually such a stoic Captain America type, so I loved seeing how giddy he got when he found out that the musical guest was Cazwell. He was so excited to get up on stage and introduce him. That was pretty fun.

“He also has jumped in to help cook dinner for the cast and crew on shoots. He sticks around to help wash the dishes, and he’s always asking if he can help us prepare for a scene. A joy to have on set, and honestly, a great friend when we’re away from the cameras, too. We love working with him and no matter what we’ve thrown at him—the ‘uncle’ role, the ‘uptight Republican in a suit getting fucked by the security guard,’ the handyman, the architect in a suit and tie—he’s able to handle it all. And he gets into every role. I can’t say enough nice things about him. It doesn’t hurt that he’s stunningly handsome with a great body. I should also add that I know that years from now when we've all gotten ‘real’ jobs, he and I will still be in touch. He was never a Titan exclusive, but he's family. Always will be."


A Realization…

So eager was he to get back in the business, Beckham quickly lined up shoots in succession. Combined with the different shooting styles that he had to adjust to—longer days, more still photography and a lot more up-and-down time than his first foray into the industry—he found himself trying to catch his breath.

“I think one week I had four shoots lined up, and I ended up having to cancel the fourth…I don’t want to say I bit off more than I could chew, but I had an aggressive filming schedule the first month, and then I dialed it back a bit.”

He still ended up doing about 15 scenes in 2016, most of them for Titan or Falcon, plus two for Trenton Ducati and one for Toward the tail end of that year, he was working mostly for Titan and Falcon Studios Group (his work in Raging Stallion’s Destroyer earned him a Best Actor nomination at the Grabbys). “They were both favorite companies of mine to work for—I can’t say enough positive things about the Titan experience and working with those guys; and Falcon was always really organized.”

At the time, Beckham had kept his restaurant job—but then it dawned on him that it was starting to get in the way of his more lucrative filming gigs.

“So I said, ‘Take a leap of faith, leave the restaurant, let the illusion of security go and just sort of dive head first into this and see if you can make the most of it. You’re being well received, they’re billing it as sort of a comeback, there’s fan interest generated, studios are wanting to work with you, it would be prudent to make the most of this particular opportunity while you’re in the middle of it.’ So that’s what I did.

“And then I was able to travel, I was able to see my family on holidays and not be trapped in a restaurant, I was able to take a weekend off if I wanted to. I had a lot more of the power back for steering my own ship, which was much appreciated coming from a grueling restaurant schedule where you’re on their clock seven days a week.”

Around that same time, Beckham visited New York City—where an old roommate he had in Chelsea offered a bedroom for rent in Harlem if he wanted to move back. He took him up on that offer on October 1st of 2016.

“I sort of dialed my filming schedule down as a result. Falcon and Titan both shoot on the West Coast, and I figured they had a lot of product in the can. A lot of it was in post-production and would be tricking out for a while, so I could take that fall off to have kind of that New York adventure—see if it’s a fit, and if I wanted to move there permanently.”

…and a Roadblock

But just two weeks after moving, Beckham suddenly started having vision problems in his left eye. He discovered it was a detached retina, which became the focus of his fall—and the reason he ended up going back to his apartment in Los Angeles. He subsequently needed “full operating room surgery” the week of Christmas.

“That sort of derailed the momentum of shooting, as I was definitely in a pattern at that point—but also of life in general. I was on bed rest for a month, but I wasn’t able to drive, my eye was really dicey with sunlight, the vision very slowly came back, and it took a very long time to heal and just look aesthetically similar to my other eye. Our eyes are drawn to symmetry, even just facially. If you looked at one eye or the other, it didn’t look so bad; but if you looked at me head on,” Beckham says, starting to laugh, “I looked a little bit like Disney’s Quasimodo, droopy, puffy, sad—just a bad situation.”

Beckham laughs at the suggestion of taking off his clothes to distract people from his face: “Right?! From the waist down…no one would be looking at my face. It sort of set me back a bit; I wasn’t able to go to the gym, I had to be careful of things like holding my breath and ocular pressure, and other things that could exacerbate the situation until it healed. And the good news is, months and follow-up appointments later, the detached retina completely re-attached, problem solved. My vision is basically 95 percent in that eye, and aesthetically it looks identical again.

“The doctors and specialists I saw basically said it was a culmination of genetics. Because I’m nearsighted, the retina is more likely to detach. Just bad random luck. And it was possible that my workout style contributed to it—I did a lot of jumping jacks, a lot of impactful stuff, and they said a micro tear could have let fluid in behind my retina, and then subsequently slowly detached it.”


Renewed Focus

After returning from his eye scare, Beckham shot a few more times with Titan…and then decided to step away for a moment. But thankfully, the “R” word is not on the horizon: “There’s no retirement. It’s really more than anything sort of a scaling back and assessing where I want to go from here. I did a lot in the last year.”

Beckham moved back to New York last June—renting that same bedroom—to just enjoy summer in the city. “It was just going to be for June, and then I was gonna go back to L.A., but that turned into July, which turned into August and September...”

And that turned into 2018 after he finally took the full leap, getting rid of his apartment in Los Angeles. “I love New York City…it’s the most vibrant, energetic city in the world. It's not for the weak or meek, but it gives a lot back if you have the fortitude to live here. Harlem in particular is unique and diverse, with gorgeous old brownstones and new retailers like Whole Foods popping up in the interstitials. I much prefer living in an environment more culturally rich and racially diverse. L.A. felt like an overgrown, dirty parking lot.”

That time he gave himself allowed him to focus on other things in life. A single man, Beckham has dated here and there…a thought that prompts a sigh.

“I’m picky. I don’t want to date just for the sake of having someone to hang out with, or to throw my time away. One of the things that the retina situation impressed upon me was that life really is short, and you don’t always have 2018 and 2019 to focus on because you don’t know what’s around the corner for you. So I will say ‘yes’ to dates and things with friends that I didn’t used to go to before, and just have a totality of experiences that I didn’t use to. So I will never say that dating is out of the question.

“To be fair though, I just think the modern realm of dating has so significantly changed with the advent of Grindr and social media. I just think that culturally and socially, our ideas of dating and what that entails are completely different anyway. That’s a bigger, broader subject that I don’t necessarily need to dive into. I’m always open to the idea of going on a date with someone I’m curious to get to know. But what I’m looking for is kind of rare. I want there to be some substance, I want there to be someone who’s personality just knocks me under the water.

“I don’t really date on physical type, other than someone who’s in shape, which sort of indicates that they give a damn about themselves. I went on a couple dates a few months ago with someone much younger who I would never have picked out of a crowd as being my type. But his personality was so engaging and so charming, and he was so interesting to talk to—just so gregarious and fun that I definitely wanted to see more of him.”

A few other passions Beckham has outside of the industry include his love of dogs (he had to put down a beloved Pitbull in 2013, and while in Los Angeles served as doggy daycare for a friend’s Pit) and ice cream (he knows a lot about ice cream science…but doesn’t indulge much: “I’ve had everything on the market, and I understand why it’s made a certain way, and what contributes to it being a certain texture”). He’s also gone back to college and taken some psych classes (“it’s certainly another option that’s on the horizon”) and notes that he can always return to food and beverage—or enter the hotels and hospitality industry (“that would be a better long-term fit for me because of the benefits package”).

“There’s even times when I’m out at a bar with a friend and I see two guys bartending, and I sort of miss that camaraderie, the ‘us-against-them’ mentality of it. I won’t be going back into bartending, and I can’t see myself working in nightlife anymore, but really anything is around the corner. I by and large just spent last summer making some money here and there from appearances, and soaking up New York. I have a friend that has access to theater tickets and so we saw a lot of shows, I explored all the neighborhoods, and just sort of had that experience.”

His first film back from his personal break was his shoot with mr. Pam and Chi Chi LaRue—“a fun original concept” that turns Vogue’s “73 Questions” series into (natch) “69 Questions.” 2018 has him more focused on career opportunities like studio projects, OnlyFans content (at, a larger social media presence through Instagram (brucellaneous) and other outlets, “and any other opportunities in the entertainment field that come my way. Basically, I'm saying ‘yes’ to a lot of things this year to keep pushing my comfort zone. I go-go danced a bit at some local New York City parties, and I'd like to do more appearances and interact with fans as much as possible.”

As far as studio content, he’s in talks with Men at Play and Guys in Sweatpants to film this year, “and I'd love to do something with Boomer Banks' new condom-less imprint.” With all he has given the industry over the years, the new adventures and freedom are a luxury Beckham has earned.

“The benefit of having been in the adult industry almost 10 years ago and currently is that I really have a perspective of what it takes to have longevity—and how most think they’re going to have it, but really they just get a turn on the carousel and then it’s someone else’s turn. This go-round, I had nothing attached to the idea of staying or notoriety; it was solely about wanting to make an impact. It’s been fun to sort of handle my own promotion and sort of interact with the fans in a way that I didn’t 10 years ago.”

It’s also given Beckham a close-up look at the differing personalities the industry has to offer.

“I went to a few of the industry award shows last year, and both were definitely full of two kinds of people. Jason Vario said this to me—he said it so simple and yet so perfect: ‘You can just tell that there are people who do this, and then there are people who live this.’ And I feel that it’s something that I do. I don’t have any issue with it being something that I lived; it’s not as though I think that sex work or the adult industry is beneath me, and I know there’s a lot of guys that go out of their way to qualify, ‘Oh, this is just something I did for a minute’ or ‘This isn’t my real job or life.’

“I think what adult performers do is really important and really powerful, and really significant. I just know that there’s other things that I want to do, and I don’t see it being my end game, either. I can see myself in the industry for a couple more years, and then just sort of politely and quietly bow out, you know? At the point where I feel like I’ve saturated the market enough for the time and I’ve worked with guys that I’ve wanted to, and I’ve had all of the experiences I can have within the context of it—and then it’s time to sort of try something else.

“I belabored that thought when I had the bed rest for the eye thing. I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve got a lot of down time, I need to ‘solve’ my life right now!’ And the reality is, I’ve had a very non-traditional life from birth till now in a whole lot of ways, and I don’t necessarily know that I know what’s next. But in the same way that doing adult films was an unexpected solution that turned into something even better, even more lucrative and even more interesting, I have no doubt that something else is around the corner. My job is to just sort of keep my eyes open.”