Originally posted at The Well Versed
Before Sir-Mix-A-Lot made it cool to like big butts, John Stagliano was on it. After adopting the name “Buttman,” Stagliano rode against the rising tide of devotion to a big chest all the way to the top. Looking for more control of his product, the director formed Evil Angel so he could manufacture and distribute his movies and play by his rules. In the first of a two part interview, TWV chats with Stagliano about the origins of his company, his love of butts and why kinky girls are more fun.
TWV: You’ve been around for a while, for our readers who may not be familiar with you, can you give us a quick elevator speech?
John Stagliano: I answered an ad at UCLA in 1973 and did nude modeling. I was 21-years-old. The guy was looking for girls and I told him I was a writer too because he had a magazine, so I wrote for him. I hung around the fringe of the business. In 1983 I made a video—it was the beginning of the video boom and you could do anything. It was not a very good movie but it sold okay. I managed to continue making movies after that.
TWV: Did you feel like you were on to something after that first movie?
JS: The VCR was brand new in ‘81 or ‘82. In ‘83 you could really do any kind of bad porn, I learned on the job. The first movie was called ‘Bouncing Butts’ because I loved butts. A few years later I created the Buttman character because I thought butts were undervalued.
TWV: I agree.
JS: Another interesting thing happened in the ‘90s—I’d shoot a girl that was a little bigger with a little bigger ass and I’d get this fan letter that would be all sweaty and stuff saying, “Please shoot more girls like that.” Within ten years, you had this big boom of big ass girls. Every search engine has a big ass section. You didn’t have any of that in the 80s or 90s.
TWV: It was all about the breasts.
JS: Yeah, they didn’t know what the fuck they were doing.
TWV: What made you want to shoot the bigger girls? Or was it all about the butts and the girls just happened to be a bit bigger?
JS: Whatever makes my dick hard. I’d see a girl walk by, a little bit bigger with a big ass. Usually younger and bigger girls. Older women are interesting too. Just that roundness which was under appreciated—and I loved it.
TWV: Talk to me about the formation of Evil Angel.
JS: It was first started as a name in 1982. I had a porno newspaper. I did that for a year and then went to the videos in 83. It was just my production company. In ’89 I became a manufacturer. I kept my movies—didn’t sell them to other people. I put them in boxes and sold them myself. That was when the Evil Angel we know today started—1989
TWV: What about the importance of owning your own product regarding creative freedom?
JS: I had people tell me we can’t cut a cable version of my stuff. Well I could do it. It was just really tough and you couldn’t shoot the kind of girls you wanted, like I said, bigger women. I had so much more freedom. Basically the one big advantage was that my sexuality was something that…what I liked, a lot of other people liked too. There are some guys that are into weird fetishes and that’s what they know how to make. If the market ain’t big enough, they’re not going to make it. Fortunately my desire was for ass—which was undervalued. What I liked had a broad appeal. I was really lucky.
TWV: Was there ever a point—because you mentioned not being able to cut product for cable— where you thought about doing some mainstream things to reach a wider audience?
JS: Yeah. One of the reasons I got into porn was to make enough money to make a dance show. I was a professional dancer. I was in one of the first Chippendales. My goal in life was to do more than porn, which was kind of asshole pretentious in its own way because I love porn. I saved my money and I did my dance show. I had it for 3 and a half years here in Vegas.
TWV: The Fashionistas?
JS: Yes. I still want to do some things because I want to push myself to do harder stuff, maybe some more mainstream stuff on occasion. My Fashionistas movies were higher budget and as good as I can make a movie. They’ve gotten good recognition. Whether or not I could do a mainstream movie I don’t know, but I’m getting pretty close. The drawback is that I can’t work all the time and I love shooting pornos.
TWV: What is it about shooting porn after all these years that keeps it fun?
JS: The girls. What’s constantly interesting is that girls seem to be getting kinkier and more open minded. Each generation is just freer and more interesting. Shot a girl—solo, masturbation—which is my fetish, a lot of ass and the girl said she used to look at Buttman Magazine. And I’m thinking, “Wow, you’re only 19-years-old!” She was talking about gapes and said “Do you want me to gape my asshole?” I’m thinking, “That’s kinky nobody’s ever said that before!” It’s a pretty radical and perverted act. Some people love it, some people say “What the fuck is going on?!” It’s interesting that people are more tolerant and interested in fetish and things like that.
I’m amazed at the girls. It’s just exciting to be around.
To be continued…