LOS ANGELES—French star Cassie Del Isla juggled classes, worked at McDonalds and moonlighted as a stripper before stepping onto her first porn set in 2016. She recalls how life was hard during those years.
“But I don’t have any regrets,” says the 27-year-old Del Isla, who flipped Big Macs in Toulouse, France, between shifts at the club. “I’m quite proud because those years were terrible for me. Because I had two jobs and then in afternoon I had my school.
“And it is not really easy to work in the McDonalds. You finish and you smell like french fries. It’s really, really complicated and people talk to you like you are shit. But I manage to do it so I was like very proud of me because I had my diploma at the end.”
Del Isla, who was born on Ile de la Reunion, a small island east of Madagascar that is a department of France, says everything changed when she met her husband Dorian.
The former paratrooper in the French Army owned The Private strip club where Cassie worked; the two hooked up in 2013 and married in 2015. One year later they made their porn debut for French studio Jacquie & Michel under the direction of a familiar face.
Tristan Seagal, a childhood friend of Dorian who grew up with him in Bordeaux and has been directing porn since 2003, recruited the couple, which had dabbled with cam shows on Chaturbate.
“For me it was weird because it was like, ‘This is the best man of my wedding,’” Cassie jokes. “But you try to forget it…”
Dorian adds, “He’s a good coach. The first shoot was completely easy because he say, ‘Do what you want and what you can.’”
That scene generated more than 1 million views on the first week on JacquieetMichelTV.net. It now has more than 7.1 million views. Fifty-something scenes later, Cassie went to Vegas in January with three nominations for the 2019 AVN Awards, including her first for Foreign Female Performer of the Year; Dorian received two noms—including Male Foreign Performer of the Year.
“We want to come more often in LA for work because I think it’s good to mix between European porn and US porn,” says Cassie, who along with Dorian, lives in Ibiza, Spain, and is repped by LA Direct Models in the US. “Last year we came but we stay like a month and we learn a lot about how the business here—the porn industry was working. … We learn a lot more this year so now we know that the next trip would be perfect because now we know.”
Cassie and Dorian agree that it has been a challenge to establish themselves in LA—but they are making progress.
“It’s not like Europe,” Cassie says. “The way to work is like Europe, but the rest is not like in Europe. It’s so different really. … It’s what come after [the scene] that changed. The way to be paid. The relation you have with your agency.”
Cassie continues, “We live again what we start in Europe, actually. But it’s cool because you travel a lot. We met a lot of interesting people. So it makes you grow up and think about future because in porn industry you cannot be all the time porn actress. I mean for me, personally, I will not be porn actress when I will be 40. For me it’s impossible.
“In my mind I can’t picture me in 10 years still in the industry. It’s interesting because we meet people who sometimes have other business and make you think that, ‘Oh maybe we can try to do this.’
“They have business and they continue to shoot porn but just one or two scene by month to stay in the industry, but next they have another business that is completely different,” he says. “It could be interesting to meet these kind of people. Three years ago I was a little bit afraid about having popularity in Europe because I heard a lot of stuff about actress—like when you are porn performer people are really bad with you. But it’s really rare. People are really nice with you…
“When you are in the bar or the restaurant, they come out from the kitchen and give you a glass of champagne.”
“Sometimes you meet weird people,” Cassie says. “But we never had some bad experience with people who recognize us. Even in Las Vegas for the AVN. We didn’t went inside to the exposition, so we sit at the bar. We are more festive people, so we stay at the bar. I couldn’t get to pay myself a drink. It was impossible.”
Dorian recalls how his old buddy Tristan Seagal urged him to give porn shot even though they went their separate ways in their early 20s.
“He became in the industry and I sign to pass my life in the French Army,” Dorian explains. “So we have two different ways and every time he ask me, ‘What is your salary in the Army? Come on, you want to shoot for me?’ Every year for my birthday he ask. … But it was a joke. But after when he saw Cassie for the first time, it was every month, every week, every day [he would ask].”
Dorian was a trained paratrooper in the French Army.
“I was in the commando unit for rescue men,” he says. “And then I work with Delta Force. They called us para-rescue men. I did it for seven years. And my first mission was Sept 22, 2001.”
Dorian, now 39, says he enjoyed his time in the Army.
“I loved it. If I met some young men now I could say, ‘Go in the Army. It’s a good way to know how to live and to be happy when you have what you have,’” Dorian says. “You appreciate everything. And you don’t complain because you don’t have the last car or the last video game. You are OK with everybody and with everything. As they say in Europe, ‘Your life is good.’”
Prior to her porn career, Cassie also earned money working with metal used for aviation parts.
“This is what I did in school,” she says. “So after I manage to find the work inside the aviation I stayed like a year working into this job. And after that I quit because it’s more like a man job than a girl job. Because I had a lot of sexual harassment. Because my boss didn’t give a shit about that. So I just stopped.
“So I get back to school to have a general diploma.”
Cassie says sometimes she still eats at McDonalds.
“It took me two years to get back into McDonalds because when you work at McDonalds you eat McDonalds,” she jokes.
“She is publicity for McDonalds,” Dorian says. “You eat McDonalds every day and you look like Cassie.”
Cassie adds, “I talk to my friend and she say, ‘Be careful. You like McDonald today but when you work inside you will hate it.’ I’m like, ‘Impossible, I love it.’”
She even says that a Big Mac—which is her typical order—tastes the same everywhere.
“In every country. We try in [Czech Republic], Hungary, France, Spain, USA, Africa, Morocco. Everywhere it taste exactly the same,” Cassie reveals. “The only difference is there is no potatoes with sauce… Everything tastes exactly the same. This is why I feel safe when I go into a McDonald’s sometimes because I know it tastes all the time the same.”
Cassie and Dorian this summer will be featured in an upcoming big-budget film for Jacquie & Michel called Secrets, which was directed by Pascal Lucas and is due out in June.
“There was a lot of acting. It was very difficult shooting in Paris when it’s very cold. But we did it and we are happy with the results,” Cassie says. “We saw the first image of the movie and it looks fantastic.”
Dorian adds, “In France you have some big production, shitty production and between you have nothing.”
“There is no middle,” Cassie says. “And when you are French porn actress, you are the one who shoot in France or you are the one who get out of France and try to have a real name and become a real performer—a real porn actress—not just known in France.”
And both Cassie and Dorian Del Isla are doing just that.
“I think if people know that we are available maybe test us or something,” Dorian says. “I know that we are good, so I’m not afraid about it.”
Photography by Jeff Koga/KogaFoto (lead photo), Jacquie & Michel