BERLIN, 21st of October 2020 – I sat down with Sultan of Filth for a friendly little chat about his journey through the adult arts and his experience while shooting my new film “After Cherries”. Sultan is a performer and composer currently living in Berlin. Besides starring the latest Bedtime Stories he is also the composer of its enchanting soundtrack. Although it was our first time working together, I was delighted with our collaboration, and can’t wait for you all to watch him in this film.
Who’s Sultan of Filth?
Sultan of Filth is one of the nicknames of John Waters, one of my long time heroes. When I was living in Amsterdam, my bestie used to call me ‘Pope of Trash’, his most famous alias. And the first queer party I ever organised in a cinema was called Polyester, which was inspired by his film.
I’ve also met him in person in Zurich, during one of his one-man-show at the Contemporary Art Museum. Such a sharp, naughty and elegant gentleman. My last tattoo is also a reference from him, so when they asked me what my artist name was when they handed me my first disclaimer for a porn role, the answer was already there.
How did you get involved with erotica?
A random Wednesday on my first winter in Berlin I was on a tinder date, and (I don’t know how) I ended up at a TrashEra night at Wilde Renate. It was my first time at this kind of event, and there I met Jorge The Obscene in the toilets. We hooked up immediately! Afterwards, he asked me if I wanted to join for his first porn film shooting next Monday. I said, yes. So Berlin!
Growing up, how did you first become aware of gay porn?
I have been obsessed with male genitals, 70’s amateur porn and naked men bodies in general since I was super young. I remember being busted by my aunt surfing on gay porn websites on her pc when I was 11. Still, I watch porn on a daily basis. It’s my form of meditation and stress release.
“I watch porn on a daily basis. It’s my form of meditation and stress release.”
How was your experience working with Noel?
It was very pleasant and professional. Shay and I learned the part pretty fast, so Noel himself and all his crew were pleasantly surprised by our performance, I think. And I don’t mean just the sexual one (laughs).
Plus the entire crew was super kind and professional. We shot everything in no time. On top of that, I, of course, felt super flattered when Noel also asked me to use 5 of my songs (from my music solo project R Talin) in the movie!
Was there a specific film from Noel that enticed you to work with him?
The previous ‘Bedtime Stories’ are some of my favourites. I love seeing the chemistry between two lovers, friends or fuck buddies: that intimacy that you can only build if you know someone well enough, and that you can rarely find on a Grindr hookup or one-night stand. So the answer is perfect synchronicity, I’d say.
What did you feel after reading the script?
I laughed a bit actually. I feel Noel captured exactly my personality in this role: the sarcasm, dark humour and cynicism I also carry in conversations with friends most of the time. At the moment I am also surrounded by people that strongly believe in these theses, so, it’s indeed a big part of my real life. Weirdly enough.
How comfortable did you feel acting with your scene partner in this film? Were there any specific challenges while shooting?
I can say that I feel pretty confident with my body for some years now, even if I don’t work out nor have abs, just from self-esteem work I’ve been doing naturally through years of sexual encounters, blind dates and social relations in general.
“It was a bit challenging at the beginning. The bright lights, the heat of the room, all the people with their camera… But I guess we nailed it.”
Yet, this was actually the first anal sex scene with full penetration and cumshot that I ever worked in, so it was a bit challenging at the beginning. The bright lights all pointed to you and the heat of the room, all the people staring at you with their camera while you’re fucking and having real sex… all my previous movies were more queer and soft-core, arthouse films or solo performances. But I guess we nailed it. (laughs)
Considering the amount of disinformation online, how are you navigating this time, and what are you doing to keep yourself informed and aware of what’s happening in the world?
I used to work for Microsoft News this year before my office closed down, fired and sacked everybody out of the blue. I was happy about it eventually because I don’t think it’s healthy to be exposed to bad news and current forecasts all the time. But of course, some blogs, articles online and friends still help me stay updated without fake news. As a musician and performer, I try to stay as positive as much as I can.
Your character, Clement, seems to feel somewhat tired regarding the opinions Daniel expresses, how do you deal with the disinformation online and the growing of conspiracy theories?
I find them super funny, to be honest. But I am surrounded by people that believe in them, also among the people that I love the most. So I just let them be and never actually start a conversation or a fight about it. Rather pointless, I’d say.
The escapism of psychedelics has grown a lot, but it was always a big staple of the gay community. Why do you think that is?
Because psychedelics are the best! (laughs)
“I don’t think it’s healthy to be exposed to bad news and current forecasts all the time. (…)As a musician and performer, I try to stay as positive as much as I can.”
What is your relationship with mainstream porn?
Actually mainstream, cheap and camp porn is my favourite when I just want to have a good wank. But I don’t think I would be suited nor excited to perform in one of them.
Can porn and erotica change the world for the better? How?
In my opinion, porn saved more lives than hospitals (laughs). From preserving the income of performers, crews and directors during isolation, to the escape of having a little moment for yourself, whether alone or with company. (smile)
Read more about After Cherries here