Porn star Sasha Grey gets a mainstream role

Oscar-winning writer-director Steven Soderbergh isn't coy about his motive for casting Sasha Grey in his low-budget indie drama "The Girlfriend Experience." In a movie entirely populated by nonprofessional actors, who better to portray a $2,000-an-hour Manhattan call-girl than one of the most prolific and in-demand adult film stars working the so-called San Pornando Valley?

Still, he cops to a certain degree of exploitation. Soderbergh gave Grey the lead role in the film (which opens Friday) fully intending to milk her X-rated fame for all it is worth. "I was very much counting on the fact that the interest in her would be greater than the interest in the movie," Soderbergh said. "We would be drafting off her notoriety rather than vice versa. I needed her. That's no different than getting Brad Pitt to be in your movie, albeit in a different context."

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