Performer-turned-director Kayden Kross is helping to redefine adult entertainment with tour-de-force releases like After Dark and Drive. We spend a little time getting inside the multi-talented beauty’s head to find out what makes her tick.
Film is its own language. But when you get past the technical jargon, there is always the same essential objective: to tell a story that people care about, that moves your audience and transports them into another world.
Kayden Kross makes films. Not hastily shot fuck scenes that end in a facial (no shade intended—to each their own), but actual works of art that rival the production value and payoff of most mainstream offerings. The dancer-turned-performer-turned-director is helping to redefine adult entertainment according to her vision with tour-de-force releases like the award-winning After Dark and the critically acclaimed Drive.
We spoke to AVN’s 2019 Director of the Year about her journey from one side of the lens to the other, and how “fake it till you make it” is the universal mantra that binds us.
HUSTLERMagazine.com: In your journey from performer to director, was there a pivotal moment or experience that put everything into focus for you?
Kayden Kross: I started directing because Manuel [Ferrara, her partner] came home one day—at the time he had a movie line with Evil Angel—and he said, “You do it, I’m tired.” So I’m like, “Okay!” And I made Misha Cross Wide Open [in which she co-stars], and that was the first thing that I really made. And it was in the editing bay when I was looking over my footage, seeing the story and seeing it come together, that I kind of got the bug for that. From there I did Carter Cruise Wide Open and started looking for a company that would let me direct for them.
A lot of people were resistant at first; I didn’t really have any experience or track record. But I just stuck with it and eventually put out [the website] TrenchcoatX [which she cofounded with adult performer Stoya], and the rest is history.