The Marquee Blog

Overheard on CNN.com: All-American success stories? Porn stars gone mainstream

[Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.]

After Bret Easton Ellis tweeted that he cast adult actor James Deen opposite Lindsay Lohan in an upcoming film, we wanted to learn about other adult movie stars who have transitioned into mainstream Hollywood.

James Deen, other porn stars who've gone mainstream

The discussion that followed, we're sure you're not surprised to find out, was quite interesting. Readers tried to reconcile these all-American success stories with feelings about the industry they represent.

Cleareye
"What a pitiful line-up of losers. None of them have done anything after porn, no one ever will. Audiences sense the degradation they have mistakenly chosen for themselves and instinctively turn away. A young person could hardly make a more serious error than doing porn and thinking it's cool."
William D. Perry

"The line has become pretty thin nowadays between porn and so much of the salacious junk that passes for mainstream entertainment. I frankly have seen some porn performers who seem more clean cut than druggies like Lohan or the trash on Jersey Shore."

There was also debate about what kind of ... talent, so to speak, is needed to make it in porn.

Thierry Taule
"[H]ow can these people get an award for taking it in the [expletive]. [That's] acting?"

John3445
"Do you know how hard it is to do a porn shoot? They have to make the right noises and have to say the right things. Movement and transitions must be flawless. ...  One shoot can take an entire day. It's not easy at all."

Our list featured adult stars like Sasha Grey (pictured above), Ron Jeremy and Jenna Jameson, which sparked lots of discussion about what qualifies as "going mainstream," and who should and should not have been listed.

cpc65
"Sasha Grey tries to come off as being intellectual and sophisticated but really, some of the 'toys' in her films were smarter than she is. There are adult film stars, past and present, that are also members of Mensa. RJ has both a bachelor's and a master's degree."

vincern2
"Really on this list Ron Jeremy is the only one that really did mainstream stuff. Ginger Lynn had one bit part in a mainstream series so maybe that counts. The rest did a couple projects that were not quite porn or maybe had bit parts in films failed to rise to the level of 'B movie.'"

Michael Hinman
"What I don't understand is that Brent Corrigan (under Sean Lockhart) has also been making the move to mainstream, and I think a little further than some of the choices above. He has already appeared in mainstream independent films, including 'Judas Kiss,' and has retired from the industry."

And there was also, of course, input from the fans:

mesohungy
"Porn is great! Just don't know how they perform in front of all those people filming and stuff."

Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.