Sasha Grey: The Erotic Enigma

Sasha Grey’s Dissatisfied Early Years

Sasha Grey, born Marina Ann Hantzis on March 18, 1988, grew up in the Sacramento part of North Highlands, CA. She described her hometown as a a “disenfranchised, lower-to-middle class neighborhood. I never allowed myself to be a negative product of that environment. I used it as a source of inspiration to challenge myself”.


Sasha’s mother worked for the state of California, while her father is a mechanic. At the age of five, her parents divorced and she was raised by her mother. Grey attended four high schools, among them Highlands High, before graduating. Despite being dissatisfied with her education, she was able to graduate a year early at seventeen. In August of 2005, she began taking film, dance and acting classes at junior college. She also waited tables at a steakhouse until March of 2006, where she saved $7,000 for a move to Los Angeles.

Sasha Grey Becomes The Dirtiest Girl in the World


On April 17th, 2006, Grey moved to LA, got tested at AIM and found an agent. She performed her first sex scene on May 1st, 2006 in The Fashionistas 2 with Rocco Siffredi, shortly after turning eighteen. Originally, Grey liked the name Anna Karina, taken after the French New Wave actress, before settling on her present name. “Sasha” was taken from Sascha Konietzko of the band KMFDM, and “Grey” represents Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.

With her smirk-like smile and “the extremity of what she is willing to do and an unusual degree of intellectual seriousness about doing it” Sasha quickly made a name for herself in the adult film business. Grey was featured in the November 2006 edition of Los Angeles where she was named as a potential major star, even the next Jenna Jameson.

Within a year, Sasha was the recipient of several industry awards and was named Penthouse’s Pet of the Month for July of 2007. In 2008, she became the youngest person to win the AVN “Female Performer of the Year”. Grey’s popularity lead her to appearances on the Tyra Banks Show and being profiled in the Rolling Stone “Hot Issue” in December 2008 edition, where she was called “the dirtiest girl in the world”.

In 2011, CNBC listed her as one of the twelve most popular stars in porn. CNBC noted that, while she is no longer acting in porn films, her current mainstream roles have kept interest in her earlier porn work high, and several companies continue to release compilations of her earlier work. On April 8, 2011, she officially announced her retirement from adult films on Facebook.

During her adult film industry career, Grey starred in 224 films and won the following awards:

  • 2007 AVN Award for Best Three-Way Sex Scene – F*ck Slaves (with Sandra Romain and Manuel Ferrara)
  • 2007 AVN Award for Best Group Sex Scene – Fashionistas Safado: The Challenge
  • 2007 XRCO Award for Best New Starlet
  • 2007 Adultcon Top 20 Adult Actresses
  • 2008 AVN Award for Best Oral Sex Scene, Video – Babysitters
  • 2008 AVN Award for Female Performer of the Year
  • 2008 XRCO Award for Female Performer of the Year
  • 2009 XRCO Award for Mainstream Adult Favorite
  • 2009 Genesis Number One Pornstar of The Year
  • 2010 AVN Award for Best Anal Sex Scene – Anal Cavity Search 6
  • 2010 AVN Award for Best Oral Sex Scene – Throat: A Cautionary Tale
  • 2010 AVN Award for The Jenna Jameson Crossover Star of the Year
  • 2010 XBIZ Award for Crossover Star of the Year
  • 2010 XRCO Award for Mainstream Adult Media Favorite
  • 2010 F.A.M.E. Award – Favorite Oral Starlet

Sasha Grey is a Renaissance Woman


Even before her retirement from adult films, Sasha began crossing over into more mainstream forms.

For example, has done numerous modeling campaigns that have included one with French fashion designer Max Azria’s ready to wear line Manoukian, Italian footwear brand Forfex, and American Apparel. She has also modeled for Richard Kern, as a part of Vice magazine’s anti-fashion layout, and the 25th anniversary reprint of Terry Richardson’s Terryworld. She has also appeared in Playboy Magazine twice, a December 2009 pictorial, and the cover feature in October 2010.

Sasha has also enjoyed numerous television and films roles before and after her retirement.

Her early non-pornographic roles have been in an episode of James Gunn’s PG Porn, a cameo in the independent film Quit, and a starring role in the 2009 Canadian low-budget black comedy/horror film Smash Cut. In March 2010, Grey was cast as an anti-sex Christian in the horror film Hallows.

She was given the lead role, “Chelsea”, in Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh’s film The Girlfriend Experience. Grey was also cast for the seventh season of the HBO series Entourage, where she played a fictionalized version of herself. She then went on to co-star alongside Thomas Jane, Carla Gugino, Jeremy Piven, and Rob Lowe in the thriller I Melt With You, which had it’s Sundance Film Festival premiere in January 2011. Since then, she has starred in the Indonesian film Shrouded Corpse Bathing While Hip-Shaking, the French film Life, and The Girl From the Naked Eye.

Sasha has also voiced the character Viola in the 2011 video game Saints Row: The Third, which was released in November 2011 and has appeared in the music videos for Eminem’s song “Space Bound,” “Birthday Girl” by The Roots and The Smashing Pumpkins “Superchrist”.

Sasha Grey is also a musician, began an industrial music collaboration, called aTelecine, with Pablo St. Francis in 2008. Their first EP, aVigillant Carpark, was released in 2009 and on August 9, 2011, aTelecine’s first full length album, The Falcon and the Pod, was released. She has also contributed vocals to the Current 93 album Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain and regularly performs as a DJ in the US and Canada.

She’s even an author after releasing her first photo book, Neü Sex, on March 29, 2011.

Sasha Grey Behind the Cameras


The ancestry for this 5 ft. 6 in. beauty includes Greek, Irish, English, and Polish and she identifies herself as a bisexual.

She also supports PETA, after appearing nude in an ad campaign for PETA advocating animal birth control in January of 2010. A month later she stated in a PETA interview, “I think spaying and neutering is incredibly important. … [I]t keeps the animals out of the shelters, and there’s too many unwanted animals out there already”.

Since Grey has almost conquered the entire entertainment world, it shouldn’t be a surprise that she’s been working on a documentary. Since 2006, she has been developing an autobiographical documentary, which will capture her experiences from the ages of 18 to 21.

In a 2009 Rolling Stone interview it was reported that she is engaged to filmmaker Ian Cinnamon.

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