X-Rated

Jenny McCarthy, Cameron Diaz, More Stars Who Started in Porn (PHOTOS)

From ‘Descendants’ director Alexander Payne to Sylvester Stallone, see who began their career in porn.

The View has announced that the void left by longtime co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck will be filled by another blonde beauty, Jenny McCarthy. From a game show to writing and now a daytime talk show, McCarthy’s career trajectory is unusual for someone who got her start in pornography. From Michael Bay’s Playboy video to Cameron Diaz’s bondage fiasco, see other Hollywood heavyweights who got their start in porn.

Christopher Polk/Getty

Jenny McCarthy

Playboy: College Girls (1993)

Playboy Wet & Wild: The Locker Room (1994)

Playboy Video Centerfold: Playmate of the Year Jenny McCarthy (1994)

Recently Jenny McCarthy has been grabbing headlines for her contentious views on vaccines and autism, but it wasn’t so long ago that she was controversial for grabbing something else. Before her books, before the talk-show appearances, and before her sitcom Jenny, McCarthy first got in bed with Playboy, doing both nude pictorials and appearing in several videos. The first two videos she participated in were soft-core porn anthology movies made up of short vignettes of nude, frolicking Playboy girls. When asked about her new gig at The View McCarthy said, “I look forward to helping make hot topics a little bit hotter, and showing my mom that my interrupting skills have finally paid off.”

Evan Agostini / AP Photo

Alexander Payne

Inside Out I (1992)

Since his 1996 debut feature, Citizen Ruth, a biting satire about the abortion debate, Alexander Payne has established himself as one of the finest voices in American cinema. He often chooses to examine the male midlife crisis, in films like Election, Sideways—for which he won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay—and most recently, The Descendants, which is receiving some of the best reviews of the year. Four years before his debut feature, however, Payne explored more risqué fare in the 1992 direct-to-video film Inside Out I—a series of nine erotic shorts. The vignette My Secret Moments, directed by Payne and co-written by his frequent collaborator Jim Taylor, centered on a woman’s (Chana Jael Chiesa) masturbation fantasy involving a great number of men. Interestingly enough, other future Hollywood names participated in Inside Out I, including Payne’s composer, Rolfe Kent, Weinstein Co. executive Tim Clawson, and Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight).

Markus Schreiber / AP Photo

Michael Bay

Playboy Video Centerfold: Kerri Kendall (1990)

OK, given his penchant for objectifying women in his blockbuster films, this one isn’t that surprising. Before he became summer’s explosion-happy cash-cow filmmaker, with theTransformers movies, Armageddon,The Rock, and more, and before he directed the music video for Vanilla Ice’s “I Love You”, Michael Bay’s first movie was the 1990 erotic documentary Playboy Video Centerfold: Kerri Kendall. The movie, starring Playboy magazine centerfold Kerri Kendall, is billed as “one woman’s erotic, imaginative adventure,” which we’ll just assume is more captivating than The Island on principle.

Dan Steinberg / AP Photo

Jackie Chan

All in the Family (1975)

Yes, before he was this generation’s Mr. Miyagi to Jaden Smith in 2010’s remake of The Karate Kid, Jackie Chan starred in an “adult comedy” (read: soft-core porn) called All in the Family. In the film, released in 1975, Chan plays a rickshaw driver. and while there aren’t any of his signature fight scenes, he does have a pretty steamy sex scene. “I had to do anything I could to make a living 31 years ago, but I don’t think it’s a big deal, even Marlon Brando used to be exposed in his movies," Chan said in a 2006 interview with Hong Kong’s Information Times.

Charles Sykes / AP Photo

Sylvester Stallone

Italian Stallion (1970)

In 1970, six years before his underdog boxing drama Rocky would win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Sylvester Stallone made his acting debut in The Party at Kitty and Stud’s—later renamed Italian Stallion to cash in on his post-Rocky fame. In the soft-core porn, Stallone plays Stud, the boyfriend of a sex-crazed New York woman named Kitty. In the film’s finale, Stud has group sex with a room full of women. In a 1978 interview with Playboy, Stallone said, “It was either do that movie or rob someone because I was at the end—at the very end—of my rope. Instead of doing something desperate, I worked two days for $200 and got myself out of the bus station.”

Misha Japaridze / AP Photo

Cameron Diaz

Bondage/S&M (1992)

Before she made her feature-film debut opposite Jim Carrey in 1994’s The Mask, and became an A-list star following 1998’s There’s Something About Mary, Cameron Diaz was a 19-year-old fashion model and struggling actress. In 1992, she posed in several topless bondage-themed photos—along with an accompanying video of the photo shoot—set in a junkyard. After she became famous, the shoot’s photographer, John Rutter, would later attempt to blackmail Diaz for $3 million in exchange for the bondage footage. Rutter was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for the crime.

Evan Agostini / AP Photo

Francis Ford Coppola

Tonight for Sure (1962)

One of the greatest filmmakers of all time, responsible for classics like The Godfather films, The Conversation, and Apocalypse Now, and nominated for 14 Academy Awards—winning five—started in porn. Coppola’s 1962 feature-film directorial debut, Tonight for Sure, was marketed with the tagline: “The Wild, Wild West has never been wilder ... Beautiful babes ... bashful cowboys!” and centers on two men who share sordid tales of sex while taking in a risqué burlesque show on the Las Vegas Strip. Coppola reportedly shot the film in just two days, 236 days less than it took for him to complete principal photography on Apocalypse Now. I guess they gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Matt Sayles / AP Photo

Roger Ebert

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

OK, it was the ’70s. But before he became, with apologies to Pauline Kael, arguably the most famous movie critic in history, bringing film criticism to TV with his weekly show Siskel and Ebert At the Movies—best known for its infamous “thumbs up,” “thumbs down” ratings system, Pulitzer Prize–winning film critic Roger Ebert was a young writer for the Chicago Sun-Times who dabbled in screenwriting. He eventually co-wrote the 1970 Russ Meyer film, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a psychedelic travesty of a film that features a male character named Z-Man—with female breasts—who goes on a killing spree. Later, he co-wrote the 1979 sequel Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens.

AP Photo

Joan Crawford

Porn Rumors (1920s)

Before she became one of Hollywood’s legendary film stars, winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for her dazzling performance in 1945’s Mildred Pierce, and before the cycle of physical and emotional abuse described by her daughter, Christina, in the tell-all memoir Mommie Dearest, Joan Crawford was rumored to have earned some extra money on the side during her early years serving as a movie extra by starring in pornographic films, according to author Shaun Considine’s 1989 book, Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud.

Mark Mainz / AP Photo

Antoine Fuqua

Inside Out IV (1992)

The Playboy soft-core short film series Inside Out launched quite a few film careers. Not only did Alexander Payne get started in the first direct-to-video film, but Antoine Fuqua, who would later direct Denzel Washington to a Best Actor Oscar win in 2001’s Training Day, as well as helm the underrated 1998 action film The Replacement Killers, directed a short for Inside Out IV. Titled “The Thief,” the erotic episode concerns a lonely woman who’s taught what it feels like to be wanted by a suave thief. Today Fuqua is filming a documentary on former rap mogul Suge Knight and in pre-production on a biopic of Pablo Escobar.

Carlo Allegri / AP Photo

Mark Romanek

Inside Out IV (1992)

Antoine Fuqua wasn’t the only Hollywood filmmaker to work on Inside Out IV. Paul Rachman, who directed the acclaimed 2006 punk documentary American Hardcore, as well as Richard Shepard, who helmed the films The Matador and The Hunting Party, also got in on the fun—as did Mark Romanek. After becoming a music-video-directing legend for Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” and Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson’s “Scream,” among many others, Romanek transitioned into feature films, first with the creepy 2002 movie One Hour Photo, which starred Robin Williams as a photo-processing employee who stalks families, and then with the captivating—and criminally overlooked—2010 film Never Let Me Go, starring Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, and Keira Knightley. Romanek wrote the segment “My Cyberian Rhapsody,” about an ex-convict who purchases a cybersex game that goes completely haywire.