Sweetheart's Ricky Greenwood on 'Confessions of a Sinful Nun'

The directors currently working at Mile High Media comprise an adult industry dream team, with Nica Noelle, Mason, James Avalon, Dana Vespoli, Bobby Manila, Mick Blue, Jacky St. James and Robby D. at the helm of vignette, narrative and gonzo projects for such studios as Hard X, Dark X, Sweetheart Video, Reality Junkies, Sweet Sinner and Cherry Pop. And this month Mile High adds another director to its fold as Ricky Greenwood makes his debut for Sweetheart Video with the feature movie Confessions of a Sinful Nun, starring Charlotte Stokely.

Greenwood, a French Canadian who grew up in Montreal, studied film for a couple of years and then worked for a TV station. From there he went to a production company before making the jump to Mile High.

Greenwood got ambitious for his first movie, a full feature with an arty, retro feel. He talked with AVN about the aesthetic influences that shaped him and what he was aiming to accomplish with the project.

“I’m a huge fan of the genre—the nunsploitation film,” Greenwood said. He showed Mile High Vice President Jon Blitt an example of this subgenre of exploitation films, particularly popular in Europe in the 1970s, and asked if Mile High would do an X-rated version. Blitt agreed, telling Greenwood, “I think people will love it.”

“I’m a huge fan of the 1970s movies, the time when they did exploitation films,” Greenwood revealed. “Faster, Pussycat Kill! Kill!, Caged Heat, Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS, all those prison things … That kind of era I like. And porn wise, I’m a huge fan of those old-school films like Behind the Green Door, The Devil in Miss Jones. Those kinds of films, they have the stories. I like those old days of porn. I think that’s what’s missing right now. I like to see those kinds of films coming back. I tried to put my touch on that kind of style, and see if people will love it. I don’t know. Maybe people have changed and they will not like that kind of porn anymore.”

He said, “A couple of people saw it already; they really enjoyed it. They were surprised by the look and the style.”

Producing the movie for Sweetheart Video, Mile High’s all-girl studio, Greenwood made it a message about the Catholic Church’s oppression of the LGBT community. “Sister Charlotte, she is fighting again the fact that she’s in love with a younger girl and she doesn’t know how to react. … Her faith is shaken,” Greenwood explained.

For his take on the nunsploitation genre, Greenwood took his characters seriously and aimed for a naturalistic feel. “When you see a porno with nuns, it’s dirty nuns and latex suits and stuff like that. I don’t want to do that.” In Confessions his cast looks “like real nuns. And also they way they act—I wanted them to be super natural. Most of them do not have tattoos or you can’t see them.”

Greenwood said, “I’m pretty happy with the cast. Working with Charlotte Stokely and Nina Hartley for your first movie … it makes your job easier.” He runs down the list performers: “We have Lily Adams with Charlotte Stokely—it’s a very, very nice scene. Lea Lexis with Riley Nixon. Nina Hartley with Mona Wales, and Penny Pax and Darcie Dolce. It’s a great cast. And we have a cameo of James Avalon playing a priest.”

Charlotte Stokely was an easy choice for the lead role. “I know she is a good actress,” Greenwood said. “She does other things outside of porn.” Nonetheless, he said, “She surprised me a lot,” fulfilling all the demands of the role.

Stokely told AVN, “It was an honor to be chosen as the lead role in this nunsploitation film, especially considering it’s the first feature [Greenwood] directed. It was really fun to be in character for the role wearing the nun attire.” Stokely described her character as having “so many conflicting emotions. Crying, praying, conviction and lust. I always love acting roles that allow the more conflicting emotions and not just the typical ‘I’m horny.’ I think this movie is going to be a classic remembered by all who see it. We all worked really hard to convey the proper mood as the story evolves.”

She took the role to heart and “also learned about nun life and Catholic practices I didn’t know about, so that’s another fun aspect of it. I kept flirting with the girls, lifting my robes and showing my ankles. So arousing. Also, we needed to keep the sex scenes realistic. For example, a nun wouldn’t say, ‘Lick my pussy!’ Instead she would say, ‘My cup runneth over for you.’ ;) I’m a big fan of innuendos!”

It wasn’t all business, though. “We laughed a lot on set. There’s a scene where we’re having dinner and Mother Nina is talking about sin and how it’s bad, and Sister Mona is giving her sternest look and directed it at me and I busted out laughing so hard we had to film that take several times. I thought, I’m totally gonna burn in hell. Then Dana Vespoli said to Mother Nina, ‘Is it bad I have this intense desire to get on the table and sit my asshole right on top of this giant candle?’ We had soooo much fun.”

In fact, Greenwood reported, “All the girls there, they were really into it. … It was important to me that they really wanted to do it—not just doing a movie because we paid them. I wanted to make sure they understand and that they wanted to do it. And the sex scene between Riley Nixon and Lea Lexis is just incredible. … After we shot that scene nobody was talking on the set—we were just, like, speechless.”

The director was also completely won over by Mona Wales, who plays the right-hand nun to Nina Hartley’s Mother Superior. “Mona Wales, she is amazing, he said. “I didn’t know her before, and now I want to cast her all the time. She’s a very good actress.”

Nina Hartley, who had performed with Wales before in a shoot for Kink.com’s EverythingButt.com with Daisy Ducati, also expressed her delight with Wale. “She’s a tremendous performer. Smart, educated, aware, politically active, NICE. … She just dived in.”

Wales is an ideal scene partner, Hartley told AVN, because she knows about pacing, about how to not move too fast or too slow—and how to actually have a good time while still putting on a show that will be enjoyable to watch. “Mona can bring performance awareness and actual orgasms,” Hartley said.

Hartley, whose mother was a Buddhist nun for 45 years, said that in the past she had avoided doing movies that disrespect spirituality. “I don’t appreciate blaspheming for blaspheming’s sake,” she said. “It’s not my thing. But I was assured none of the scenes were like that. They were all affection- and love-based.”

“What I like about Mile High is they make sure—get this—to hire women who like women,” Hartley said, adding, “A Mile High set is the best place to flirt with women.”

Overall, she said, “It was a lovely show—I like working for Mile High because they still invest in storylines and not just vignettes.” She also liked “that they had a couple days to shoot it … they had a beautiful set, they cared about the lighting and the camera angles.”

The veteran star added, “So, go get the movie. Pay for your porn!”

That’s a sentiment Greenwood shares. “I hope people will love it—maybe we can do a second part.”

Confessions of a Sinful Nun will be released by Sweetheart Video on August 30.

This article originally ran in the August 2017 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see the digital edition.

To see stills from the movie, click here.