Cherry Kiss Talks International Female Performer of the Year Win

LOS ANGELES—Cherry Kiss knew what kind of year she had put on video, but heading into Las Vegas last month she couldn’t be sure of anything.

Then Kiss made history on January 27, becoming the first Serbian to win an AVN Award, taking home the International Female Performer of the Year trophy at the 41st annual ceremony.

“I was super happy, this means a lot to me,” Cherry said Friday. “I was surprised—in a very good way.

“The thing is I know that I work hard. Of course there is always a hope for [winning], but when it actually happens it’s a totally different thing.

“Honestly, it gave me a new boost and new energy for everything. Since then I’m just working, working, working. I want more…”

The 12-year veteran continues, “I will work my ass off, literally, and continue this way so I can win more. Now it’s no limit. I want to stay here [in the U.S.] I start to like it more and more.”

Kiss, who also graced the AVN Awards stage for the first time, presenting the Mark Stone Award for Outstanding Comedy along with retired Hall of Fame director/producer Axel Braun and fellow star Kenzie Taylor, said every day she was in Vegas was “a celebration.”

“And at the same time it was work. I had so many meetings and I needed to be awake early every day,” Cherry said, noting she was signing at the Evil Angel booth at the AVN Expo on the days leading up to the awards show. “I took it serious. Still, it was so many people I like there and we were celebrating every night. I had great company and it was really fun.”


Kiss recalled her first AVN Awards Show in 2023, when she saw her late friend Kai Taylor’s picture on the screen during the memorial reel.

“It was so emotional,” she said. “And now it was just pure happiness. I was so happy to step forward and especially to win.”

Kiss came to L.A. in early 2023 wanting to make her mark in America.

Armed with world-class talent and a blue-collar work ethic, Cherry established herself as one of Europe’s most bankable performers during the past decade, racking up more than a thousand credits along the way.

So she decided to introduce herself to the producers, directors and performers in Southern California’s Porn Valley, doing more of what she does best—uninhibited hardcore.

A “true lover”—and natural born fighter—Cherry told AVN in November that all roads she has taken in her life led her here.

“I don’t say it will be easy and I’m ready for everything,” Kiss said. “I want to reach success because I know how hard I work and I know the energy I bring on the shooting.

“I love this business that much. I’m obsessed. I cannot go. I accept that I will not leave it because I love it.”

And no one wants Cherry to leave, not with the type of headlining performances she delivers and the creativity she brings when she’s behind the camera.


Kiss revealed before the show that her goal was to win International Female Performer of the Year and later Female Performer of the Year.

“And then I can say OK, now I can just be a model sometimes, my story here as a performer is done. So I can relax and just perform sometimes and produce more,” said Cherry, who started producing and directing for Evil Angel and Private more than four years ago.

“Because I’m very good in managing people and the movies I make—everyone likes them. So I’m proud when I see I do productions like I do. It’s a lot of fun. This is what our business about.”

Cherry admits that her first couple months in the States were hard, “but I got used to hard.”

“Like when I arrive here. First in Chicago they stole my laptop and my hard drive,” she recalled.

Then when she went to the 2023 AVN Show, she took off her heels, slipped and fractured her elbow. Not long after that, she had a bout with Covid.

“I was like, are you fucking kidding me?” Kiss said. “So there is so much moment in your life where you’re like, I want to give up. But the key is to don’t give up.”

There’s no quit in Kiss—it’s not her nature.


Born and raised in Niš, the third largest city in Serbia located about 155 miles south of the capital of Belgrade, Kiss earned her nursing degree and then also finished her studies at an economic university.

And she worked the entire time she was studying.

“My life has just been like move, move, go, go, go,” Cherry said.

From an early age Kiss did whatever she could to help her family survive—her parents are both nurses and don’t earn a big wage, plus she has two sisters.

“I have two younger sisters and I take care of all my family, from the books, from the school, from everything—since forever. I’m working since 14 years old,” Kiss explained.

“I’ve been singing, I’ve been doing so many things. Small works, a little here, a little there. But everything was for my family. And I feel sometimes because life is crazy, you meet crazy people. You do crazy things and I’m so lucky to have them.

“Because whatever road I go I’m like I need to think about my sisters. So whatever road I go very fast. I see if it’s good or not because I have something more important than me.

“If it was just me I think I will make much more mistakes in my life if I don’t have my sisters. My middle one is five years different and the youngest one is 12 years different.

“I grow her like my baby. My parents both are nurse and they have payment that is not even enough to cover their bills.”


Kiss defended her decision to do adult—and the industry itself—for many years in Serbia.

“I think one day somebody will make a movie about my story,” Cherry suggested. “Because I’m the first one [in Serbia] and I survived like wow, so many things. For six years straight I was just like fighting on TV.

“I was fighting on TV to explain this business is a business.”

She appeared on numerous shows—and did reality TV alongside singers and other famous Serbians—while enduring their criticism and judgment. In the process, Kiss achieved national fame in Serbia.

Because she stood up for herself and owned her choices, Cherry managed to shift the narrative about her.

“So after that they start to like me and they start to respect me,” she told AVN.

“And then I opened a club in Belgrade and I run it seven years as well. I always have one foot in the [adult] business, one foot with another business and I’m hyperactive so I need more work.”


Kiss said her opportunity with the club came about due to her high profile from TV.

“I got so much respect from the owner from the way how I fight for my life, he literally just give me the keys of the club in my hands,” Cherry said. “And he say, ‘I trust you to run this.’ It’s very old guy and he teach me how to run business.

“I’m thankful for that. I was listening to him. He was annoying but he’s so smart. He teach me everything, very old ways of running business. Don’t make mistakes. Separating work and pleasure. Don’t interact with the workers. You need to keep separate, what is work is work, what is fun is fun.”

Kiss said that all of the judgment that she endured ultimately “turned into huge respect.”

Now she shoots promotional photos for casinos in Serbia.

Always hustling, Kiss also made a deal with BrillBabes to bring other Serbian girls into adult during that period of her career.

She recruited “really nice girls,” but later realized they did not have what it takes to make it in porn.

“We had a few models from Serbia and they all gave up,” she said. “So I am the first and last.”

Now on the heels of her first AVN triumph, Cherry already has “many great plans” for the future that include directing for studios such as SexArt and her official website.

“I want just to work,” she says.





A version of this story appeared in the December 2023 edition of AVN magazine. Click here for the digital edition.