When you think of thousands of women who have appeared in adult films over the years, Tori Black stands above all. Black, born Michelle Chapman in 1988, is the first – and only – woman to ever receive the prestigious Female Performer of the Year award more than once. Black, who has in more than 200 movies since she entered the adult film industry in 2007 and is represented by LA Direct Models, won the award in 2010 and 2011. The decision to start a family prevented Black, who gave birth to a boy in October, from attempting a three-peat.
How did you get into the business?
“I actually started my career out in Fort Lauderdale. I was in college. It was summer vacation, and I go back home with my parents. They were on me, as any parent would be, to get a job and quit being lazy. It gets on anybody’s nerves. I was looking for a go-go dancing job to see if I can go dance at a night club or something like that. Of course, they wouldn’t allow me to do anything like that unless I was 21, and I was only 18 at the time. I ended up bumping into an ad for an adult talent agency down in Florida. I sent in my pictures just to see what they would say. I was like, ‘Oh this is funny. Let me see if they accept me, and I’ll brag about it to my friends.’ They ended up saying yes. I considered it, and a week later I was down in Florida.”
You were the first woman to be named the Female Performer of the Year twice at the prestigious AVN Awards. What did that accomplishment mean to you?
“I take it as a more of a personal character reference than anything else. There are a lot of beautiful women out there. There are a lot of phenomenal performers and girls that are extremely heightened in their sexuality. I think the reason I was awarded those awards is because of my personality, who I am and what I stand for. I think, for me, it was more of a personal accomplishment in that regard. It’s an honor. It’s nice to feel appreciated. It’s nice to feel celebrated. Of course I was humbled by it. I didn’t expect it at all.”
You also walked away with an unprecedented seven AVN Awards in 2010. Can you describe what your emotions were like that night?
“I actually got four of the awards when I was backstage. Half of the awards they give out and they have you come up on stage. To make the night go shorter and quicker and smoother, the second half of the show they really just announce the winners and move onto the next award. I accepted three up on stage. I wouldn’t say it was embarrassing, but it was exciting because I never won anything before. It was a proud moment for sure.”
In 2010, you appeared in ‘Batman XXX: A Porn Parody’ as the Catwoman. Were you a fan of superhero movies before that?
“There are a wave of comic book movies coming out, Iron Man and the Hulk. I kind of watched all those. But before that, I was never really a big comic book person. I think I got into it now that they brought it back and made it more of a mainstream thing. I watched the old Batman cartoon, so I had actually already seen it before I played the role, which helped me out a little bit because it is definitely an over-acting role.”
Several adult stars have crossed over to mainstream media in the past. Would you eventually like to attempt the switch and what’s next along your career path?
“I don’t know if I would necessarily call it a switch. I think I would just supplement, add some things from things from mainstream. I wouldn’t necessarily want to do a lot of mainstream. I don’t know if I want to be in the limelight that much. When I got into the industry, I didn’t really realize how much attention I’d be getting. I don’t mind being recognized, but I don’t want to be Sandra Bullock walking down the street and having people recognize you, literally everywhere, all the time, no matter what you’re doing or wearing. You can’t really hide. Of course, that’s a big jump from where I am, but that’s not really what I strive for. I’d like to acting in mainstream movies, but I guess I would do some, but not a lot.”
It sounds like you have a plan for the next stage of your career. What would you like to segue into?
“I’m going to be looking more toward the directing side and utilizing some of my more creative side. When you’re performing, you’re acting on instructions. People are telling you what to do. I’d like to get into the other side a little more and see what gifts I have and what I can bring to the table on my own.”
Is it difficult to find a meaningful personal relationship while working in this industry?
“Of course it’s difficult because it’s human nature to be curious. It’s human nature to question and jealousy, of course, is something you have to overcome. There has to be an understanding. There has to be something that you two have that you don’t allow anybody else to have. Otherwise, what’s the difference between what the performer is getting and what your significant other is getting. They’re going to say, ‘What makes me, the person you love, any different?’ There’s got to be something that you keep to your self, that you keep personal and private. It takes a lot of work. I’m not going to lie. It takes a lot of work. But it takes a lot of work any way. Look at our divorce rate.”
You had a baby in October. Was it a planned pregnancy?
“It was planned. I was taking a little break. I took December off from performing. It’s the holidays, and I work like a dog anyway. I decided I wanted to have a little bit of a break. We decided I was going to stop taking birth control. In January, we went to host the AVN show. That’s where I ended up getting pregnant. I had been off birth control. We kind of said if it happens, it happens, and we would be excited. We had talked about it. It wasn’t necessarily that we were absolutely trying. We were not avoiding being pregnant.”
Did you worry about the career ramifications of the pregnancy?
“My family is number one above career any day. I got pregnant. It really didn’t matter if there were ramifications or there was any negative reaction, than so be it because having a baby is the most important thing. If people were going to react negatively to it or if my body doesn’t bounce back or whatever, than so be it. The most important thing to me is my family and being a good mother. Really, it didn’t matter.”
Do you have any fond memories of your past visits to Miami?
“Most of my trips down there have been all for work. The unfortunate part is I see so many beautiful beaches and all these different night clubs and all this stuff. I haven’t gotten a chance to really explore it yet. I’m hoping that one of these days I’ll get out there and be able to just let my hair down and enjoy Miami.”
In addition to appearing at Exxxotica, what do you anticipate doing while you’re in Miami for the show?
“Usually, I sign and I have a gig at night. We’re setting that up right now. So there’s actually a gig that I’m going to be doing while I’m out there.”