“Lovelace” Opens Friday: Life of the “Deep Throat” Porn Star [Video]

Amanda Seyfried Shines as Linda Lovelace

Porn Star Turned Activist

Opening Friday in limited release and on video-on-demand channels, “Lovelace” is essentially twin versions of one woman’s life. Filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman had to choose which contradictory point of view to employ for their new drama; so they chose both. The film starts with the rebellious adolescence of Linda Susan Boreman, played byAmanda Seyfried, who eventually marries Chuck Traynor, portrayed by Peter Sarsgaard.

Linda Susan Boreman, better known by her stage name Linda Lovelace, was an American pornographic actress who was famous for her performance in the enormously successful 1972 hardcore porn film “Deep Throat.” She later denounced her pornography career and became a spokeswoman for the anti-pornography movement.

Lovelace was the most famous porn star of all time. In the late 1960s, she began a relationship with Traynor who she married in 1971 and divorced three years later. According to Boreman, Traynor was violent and controlling. She said he forced her to move to New York, where he became her manager, pimp and husband. At Traynor’s urging, according to Boreman, she started acting in short adult films, or loops, before her oral sex skills lead her to star under the stage name Linda Lovelace in 1972’s “Deep Throat.”

In her lawsuit to divorce Traynor, she claimed that he forced her into pornography at gunpoint, and that in Deep Throat bruises from his beatings can be seen on her legs. She made the assertion that her husband “would force her to do these things by pointing an M-16 rifle at her head.” Boreman claimed in her autobiography that her marriage had been plagued by violence, rape, forced prostitution, and private pornography.

She wrote, “When in response to his suggestions I let him know I would not become involved in prostitution in any way and told him I intended to leave, [Traynor] beat me up physically and the constant mental abuse began. I literally became a prisoner, I was not allowed out of his sight, not even to use the bathroom, where he watched me through a hole in the door. He slept on top of me at night, he listened to my telephone calls with a .45 automatic eight shot pointed at me. I was beaten physically and suffered mental abuse each and every day thereafter. He undermined my ties with other people and forced me to marry him on advice from his lawyer.”

Linda goes on to say, “My initiation into prostitution was a gang rape by five men, arranged by Mr. Traynor. It was the turning point in my life. He threatened to shoot me with the pistol if I didn’t go through with it. I had never experienced anal sex before and it ripped me apart. They treated me like an inflatable plastic doll, picking me up and moving me here and there. They spread my legs this way and that, shoving their things at me and into me, they were playing musical chairs with parts of my body. I have never been so frightened and disgraced and humiliated in my life. I felt like garbage. I engaged in sex acts for pornography against my will to avoid being killed… The lives of my family were threatened.”

In 1974, Boreman married Larry Marchiano, a cable installer who later owned a dry wall business.

“There are probably elements of both accounts of her life that have some truth to them,” Friedman said. “But we take Linda at her word.” The filmmakers doubt that Marchiano was the true author of her first two autobiographies she wrote about her adult film work, “Inside Linda Lovelace” and “The Intimate Diary of Linda Lovelace.”

“That’s an element that interests us,” said Friedman. “We receive all this storytelling — from television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, the Internet — and we think we really know how people have lived their lives. But there are usually so many more levels and layers to it.”

In the first half, naive Florida go-go dancer Linda Boreman discovers love, porn and celebrity. After making Deep Throat the newly renamed Linda Lovelace advances quickly through the sexual revolution.

Then the filmmakers jump to Lovelace’s moment of truth; she’s hooked to a polygraph machine and questioned, in order to reassure the publisher of her revisionist 1980 memoir, Ordeal.

The movie then rewinds to tell a story that includes the harsh realities that Lovelace previously hadn’t revealed. The second version offers good reason for the porn star’s earlier lack of candor: her fear of husband and manager Chuck Traynor.

The re-creations of the era are artful, and the acting’s strong. Seyfried and Sarsgaard have a lot to play and attack the material fiercely and honestly. But “Lovelace” is a coldly compelling look at the surface of a woman, with little interest in the contradictions under the skin. This R-rated movie will open in limited release and on video-on-demand channels.

 

 

By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)

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