Anal Queen Belladonna Makes It Mainstream in ‘Inherent Vice’

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From bats in her butt to pregnancy porn, former porn star Belladonna, aka Michelle Sinclair, goes mainstream in Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice.' (© p.michele/Retna Ltd./Retna Ltd./Corbis photo)
From bats in her butt to pregnancy porn, former porn star Belladonna, aka Michelle Sinclair, goes mainstream in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice.’ (© p.michele/Retna Ltd./Retna Ltd./Corbis photo)

The web of hardcore pornography is deep, and specialties are endless, but what’s left after you’ve mastered the world of fisting and double fisting? Anal and double anal? More to the point, is it possible to leave the world of adult entertainment for its Hollywood counterpart? The answer is complicated, but in short, yes, it’s possible. Is it easy? It’s thorny. Is it common? Not really.

But exceptions do exist. There’s ex-porn stars Sasha Grey, who had a stint on HBO’s “Entourage,” and Traci Lords who made it into films like “Blade,” “Cry-Baby,” and “Zack and Miri Make a Porno.” Now, Michelle Sinclair, aka “Belladonna,” is making her way into the Hollywood circuit.

Sinclair rose to fame as one of the biggest “anal queens” in the world (her words, not mine). In fact, some of her on-screen stunts involved taking a baseball bat up the rear, getting tied up to a tree and gangbanged — even performing scenes while pregnant. It’s pretty serious stuff, but it’s this material she can thank for helping build her empire. After teaming up with porn director Aiden Riley (whom she later married), Sinclair formed “Belladonna Entertainment.” The two have made millions off the gig.

Just some background: Sinclair was born in 1981 in a military hospital on Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss. Real Southern territory. While the family moved around a bit due to her father’s military career, they eventually settled in northern Utah, which is, admittedly, not the best place for a future porn star (or is it the best place for a future porn star?). According to her official site, Sinclair was raised Mormon until she “lost interest” in religion around 12 years old.

She took a break from performing onscreen in 2007 after she discovered a herpes rash on her butt, a virus she had contracted during her time in the porn industry. Until that point, Sinclair had only experienced outbreaks on her labia, and she worried about the virus spreading to her mouth, her eyes and other parts of her body. At the time she wrote on her MySpace page, “This is a really big decision for me and it hurts in some ways, but the way I look at … it’s time to let me body relax. I just don’t want to risk getting Herpes all over my body, or in my eyes.”

After the outbreak, Sinclair only agreed to appear onscreen as Belladonna for solo/masturbation scenes. But in 2012, 13 years and 330 adult films after she first entered the porn scene, Sinclair her official retirement. She would no longer perform in pornographic films. She would, however, continue direct.

So two sticky subjects come up when “Belladonna” is mentioned. The first, and more obvious fact, is that she is a hardcore porn star. And “hardcore” should be emphasized here (you did read the part about the baseball bat, right?). The second is her very public discussion about the herpes virus, a topic for which the public discourse is muted, at best. That leaves us with a herpes-ridden, ex-anal queen. Those are the facts, and not a lot of people are going to read that title and walk away with positive associations.

But fortunately for Sinclair, her fans and other adult actresses out there, there is a place for her outside of pornography. Like with Oscar-nominated director Paul Thomas Anderson.

Sinclair will appear in Anderson’s upcoming “Inherent Vice,” where she acts alongside the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, Benicio Del Toro, Jena Malone and Anderson’s partner, Maya Rudolph. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sinclair actually gets more screen time than all four actors listed. The publication adds that Sinclair “more than holds her own” onscreen.

309431id1h_InherentVice_Teaser_27x40_1Sheet_6C.inddIt’s not really so surprising that Sinclair made it onto the Hollywood scene. She is, after all, beautiful with a great body, big eyes, pouty lips. And apart from fitting the more superficial standards of beauty, there’s something really likable about her. Maybe we can call it charisma. Maybe it’s the way she rocks her adorable gap tooth. Or maybe it’s just the fact that she wasn’t scared to talk about having herpes to the press. In any case, she’s camera-ready, she’s bold, and she’s a savvy business woman. In that sense, she seems a lot more prepared for Hollywood than other more-seasoned actresses out there.

In an interview with , Sinclair explains, “I was really excited about just the idea of being a part of a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, because I’ve seen so many of his films, and I just feel like he’s very talented. But then once I was speaking with the casting director about the role, there were some things that I was not interested in doing anymore,” . “They wanted to cast me in a sex scene, and I just was like, ‘You know what, I’m done with that—I’ve done that, it’s not something I’m interested in anymore. I want something different or at least not that.’ So I actually almost said no. I was basically like, ‘No, I’m not interested in that, but if there’s something else get back to me.’ And she got back in touch with me after she talked to Paul, and he was kind of like, ‘Are you crazy?’ He was kind of shocked.”

A biography section is listed on the Belladonna Entertainment website. Under a section titled “The future of Belladonna?” she writes, “Nobody really knows what the future will hold, but I do have a lot of fun doing what I do for a living and I plan on continuing my success in adult as well as experimenting outside of adult with acting, singing and anything else that comes my way.”

It looks like she’s done just that.

“Inherent Vice” opened in select theaters Friday, Dec. 12 and will have a wide release Friday, Jan. 9. Thriller/Drama. 148 minutes. 

Watch the trailer:

Carrie Weisman is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine

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