Porn star Ashley Ryder is well known for his work with the likes of Eurocreme, UK Naked Men and a host of other adult movie companies. His cute, twinkish looks and his insatiable bum have made him a firm favourite bottom for many of these titles and he’s won several European Gay Porn Awards for his stellar performances. Recently, he moved from porn into ‘mainstream’ movie making when he co-starred in a low budget, but well received, production called Uncle David. Not only did this tale of the relationship between the nephew (Ashley) and his Uncle David (David Hoyle) win the award as ‘Best Film’, the two stars also received a joint ‘Best Actor’ award at a film festival in Paris. It also proved that young Mr Ryder is more than a desirable bottom… he’s a talent to be reckoned with. Bent met up with Ashley to find out how this collaboration came about.
I met David at a performance arts event about 3 years ago and he wanted me to work with him at his Royal Vauxhall Tavern shows but I wasn’t available. After a couple of years I was able to do something and we constructed this piece where I played his nephew and we stayed in character, adlibbing our way through the performance. The director was in the audience and liked our chemistry and, after a couple of pilots for TV, we spent about 8 months getting the film together. Whenever we met or had a conversation we stayed in character, Uncle David and Nephew Ashley, all the time so when the storyline of the film was decided we were able to ad-lib the entire ‘script’. The entire 95 minute film was shot on two cameras and every scene was in one take and in real time.
The movie was shot over three days with both actors improvising their lines, which gives the whole work an edginess, heightened by the atmosphere of an out-of-season caravan-park on the Isle of Sheppey. The banalities of conversation between uncle and nephew are thrown into the realms of the utterly unconventional when we realise that not only are they involved in a sexual relationship but there is a sinister reason for their holiday.
What was the downside of filming in an offseason caravan park?
The cold. I spent a lot of time lying around naked on the beach at the end of October. Also, there were eight of us living in the caravan that is featured. It was designed for 3 people but we had eight and all the film equipment that had to be moved around as we got the angles right for a take. It was quite hectic but a great atmosphere. Before I met David I didn’t have a voice. In the porn industry it wasn’t needed so it was nice to step away from that and into the acting, cinema world.
How did you find that move?
Well, with David as my mentor and Gary (the director) overseeing the work I was lucky I had a strong team behind me. It was challenging and I can’t say it wasn’t scary but it was fun.
Is this something you are pursuing, have there been further offers after this?
Yes, hopefully I’ll be doing another film next year and I’ve just finished a comedy sketch info-video for GMFA who are promoting a new service via social networks for those who are a bit scared of going and getting results from a clinic. I’ve also started reading the news for Pink 60 News (www.pinksixtynews.tv/ ) where two or three times a week I’m in the newsroom in central London reading the latest gay news.
What did you do before you became a porn star?
Well… I wanted to be a roller-coaster designer when I was a kid but eventually went into fashion designing and did A-levels then went to St Martins to do a degree. I didn’t finish my course. I worked for Prowler in retail and then on to Vivienne Westwood in the retail side of things and from there into the porn industry.
So how did that work?
I’d been asked by a few companies to go to castings but I kept turning them down but eventually I became comfortable with my body. Then I was asked by someone from ‘Freshwave’ to do a shoot with them and I spent two days filming one called The Apprentice, which I’m not sure if it’s still out on DVD, but that was the first porn film I ever did. I really loved it. It felt a really natural thing for me to do… it was fun as well. Then I did some work for a new website a mate of mine was setting up, went over to New York to promote it and did a live show there and when I got back, Eurocreme had seen what I did and liked it… so I ended up working with them.
How were you on the first day on set?
It was February in the UK and cold… the scene was outside so we had to rush back inside to get warm in front of a heater then nip out again to do the scene. It was good though and fun.
Did you have any nerves at all?
A little bit but you just get into it and I enjoyed my screen partner, it was fun and we just got on with it. A little bit of the exhibitionist comes out as well, especially when the crew are praising what you do and telling you how good you are… you get a bit more confidence through that as well.
What do your mum and dad think of you taking your clothes off for a living ?
They’re happy if I’m happy. They are quite supportive of it all. My mum said that as long as I can make it a career and some money out of it then perfect.
What do you like most about doing porn?
The people you meet. The situations you get to have sex in. Sometimes the storylines you have to play can be quite funny. I’ve just done one for UK Naked Men… a doctor scene where I play the patient which has got some sort of Carry On comedy lines and some classic lines at the start of the scene (Emergency Ward 10”). It’s just the fun really.
What’s the worst thing about the job?
It’s the assumptions people make about you straight away. They think you’re not very intelligent, not got much to offer, but it’s not true. There are some in the industry that have other jobs, do intense artwork, photographers… all that kind of thing.
Do you have to pursue a rigorous diet or work out at the gym or are you naturally toned?
No. I was big and spotty as a kid so I do go to the gym but it’s not intense. I’m not known for muscles or a ripped body… for me it more about sexual chemistry on film.
The videos I’ve seen… you always seem to be enjoying what’s happening to you…
You seem to have moved into other areas of entertainment if I’m not mistaken… wrestling?
I am involved in a weekly event called Grapple 101, supported by www.spandex-party.com/ It’s basically a night for guys who like to wrestle and we have an open mat area for guys who want to try it. I encourage participants to enjoy themselves through wrestling… from learners to those who know a few moves.
Do you wrestle yourself?
Yes, I wrestle every week. I enjoy it and it’s something I’ve been doing since the club was started. It was tricky to get into it at the beginning but now I know a few more moves, and submission holds… it’s a lot easier.
Is it the wrestling or the spandex you like?
I like both aspects (laughs). We get a lot of people who come down just because they like to wear spandex, which is great, and we have those who like to wrestle and the spandex is part of that. We are more into grappling, submissions etc. rather than the acrobatic, showbiz WWE style.
You just like to get to grips with a guy?
Exactly. I also have a Tuesday night at the Eagle in London called Ashley Ryder’s Strip Academy www.ashleyryder.co.uk/blog where guys can enter an amateur strip competition to win £100 every week. There’s a panel of celeb judges who decide on the best new stripper.
With the prospect of a follow up to the Uncle David film and a possible musical of it… are you now destined to leave your porn career behind you?
No I’d still like to do some more. At the end of the day there are still people I’d like to be on screen with?
Who would be your ideal?
Harley Everett and Wilfried Knight… I’d love to be in a scene with both of them.
Two fantastic hunks of men…that sounds good.
Yeah… that sounds really good.
(He was licking his lips at the prospect)
UNCLE DAVID DVD is released: 4th December – Peccadillo Pictures