Porn superstar Michael Lucas introduced his latest creation, a sizzling gay-porn remake of the 1960 classic La Dolce Vita, to the world last night at an exclusive, invitation-only screening in Manhattan.
A who’s who of about 200 of New York’s elite from the worlds of porn, fashion, and media gathered at the Soho Playhouse to view a special one-hour, R-rated version of the new release from Lucas Entertainment.
Afterward, the cast of the lusty epic about life and love in the Big Apple — which runs for four hours in its XXX-rated entirety — took part in a Q&A session followed by a reception.
Producer/ co-director Lucas (along with screenwriter/ co-director Tony Dimarco) greeted first-nighters fresh off the red carpet as co-stars Savanna Samson (on loan from Vivid), Pete Ross, Jack Bond, Ben Andrews, Spencer Quest, and newbie Jonathan Vargas posed for the cameras.
Guests, who were treated to a gift bag brimming with MAC cosmetics, Marc Jacobs perfume, and the Dolce Vita DVD, included cast members of the indie hit Shortbus, cameo-scene stealers Amanda Lepore and Village People's Randy Jones, and designer Jacobs himself (who lent his store for a shopping scene).
After the appreciative crowd hooted and hollered its way through the screening, Big Brother 3’s Will Wikle hosted the Q&A, during which Lucas revealed with a laugh that he had prepared for the emotional demands of his leading role by swearing off Botox.
Samson discussed the latest wines from her company and noted that she was thrilled to be working with such hot men. “The guys on the straight side never have six-pack abs like these models,” she said. Ben Andrews, holding on to his cockfight with Chad Hunt, proclaimed, “I’m still bigger!” And Quest talked about balancing his appearance in the long-running off-Broadway show Naked Boys Singing with his still thriving porn career.
At the afterparty, Lucas publicity director Heather Reznor (who is also featured in the film as a spunky tabloid reporter) was pleased with the audience response. “It was surprising how the crowd acted like they were at a gay Showtime at the Apollo —only with claps and laughs and less booing! We were all very nervous about how the audience would react to the film. We’re glad that people laughed with us and, at times, at us. But we all had fun, and that is most important.”
Lucas, looking content and runway ready himself, added, “Screening the movie at this venue with an audience was a great learning experience for me and the production crew because it gives us all a better idea of what to do for next time. And as for next time, we’re still not sure what major thing we want to tackle next. Right now it’s all about selling La Dolce Vita. It’s all about the publicity machine.”