STRIPPED

DNA Magazine - - THE SEX ISSUE - Pho­tog­ra­phy by Ven­field8

Chris Sal­va­tore had a fairy tale en­try into Hol­ly­wood. At 24 he was cast in his first fea­ture film, 2009’s Eat­ing Out: All You Can Eat. He went on to ap­pear in an­other two se­quels of the sex­u­ally pro­gres­sive gay com­edy series.

The Eat­ing Out films and many oth­ers such as An­other Gay Movie, Shel­ter, Adam And Steve, Sum­mer Storm and Slutty Sum­mer were part of a gay sub-genre of in­de­pen­dent films pro­duced in the late

’90s and 2000s that were made by gay ac­tors and film mak­ers in an un­apolo­getic style for a gay au­di­ence. In the days be­fore sub­scrip­tion TV they were dis­trib­uted via DVD and screened at fes­ti­vals.

Chris re­leased his mu­si­cal de­but, Af­ter All Is Said And Done in 2008 and has con­tin­ued record­ing EPs, al­bums and sin­gles since.

In 2017 he popped up in a sur­prise cameo in the gay re­al­ity series, Fire Is­land, and his next project sees him shar­ing the screen with RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Alaska Thun­der­fuck and Katya Zamolod­chikova in the su­per­nat­u­ral hor­ror flick, The Quiet Room.

Now 33, Chris still mod­els and re­cently shot with Los An­ge­les based edge­push­ing pho­tog­ra­pher Ven­field8 for this series of retro-styled art nudes.

Chris spoke with An­drew M Potts about mod­el­ling naked, a book he’s writ­ing on his el­derly neigh­bour, and what hap­pened to the in­die gay film scene of the 2000s.

DNA: Hol­ly­wood stu­dios have started pro­duc­ing LGBT-themed projects, made for a wider au­di­ence, and dis­tribut­ing through stream­ing ser­vices. They’re cre­at­ing their own LGBT con­tent more and pro­vid­ing less of a plat­form for in­de­pen­dent film mak­ers. Are we see­ing the pass­ing of that era of “gay-made-for­gay” cin­ema?

Chris Sal­va­tore: I think there will al­ways be space for in­de­pen­dent film­mak­ers to cre­ate gay con­tent. The more Hol­ly­wood stu­dios pro­duce LGBT movies and films the more it helps all of us. I wish in­de­pen­dent film­mak­ers, as well as the big stu­dios, would cre­ate even more gay cin­ema, be­cause there sim­ply is not enough. We’re mak­ing progress but there’s much more that could be made. Are you still in touch with any of the cast from the Eat­ing Out movies and would you be in­ter­ested in work­ing with them again?

Yes, I’m still in touch with Daniel Skel­ton who plays Casey on the movies. I’ve al­ways said that I would love to do an­other Eat­ing Out movie.

So much on-screen gay en­ter­tain­ment

I’ve done nude art pho­tog­ra­phy be­fore. It’s very em­pow­er­ing to shoot this way. To strip down and sim­ply just be.

now is re­al­ity tele­vi­sion – Fire Is­land, Drag Race, Queer Eye come to mind. Does that make it hard for the gay ac­tors in Hol­ly­wood who are look­ing for act­ing roles, not re­al­ity spots?

I say the more on-screen gay en­ter­tain­ment there is the bet­ter.

It all helps by open­ing the doors to con­ver­sa­tions about the LGBT com­mu­nity and breaks down walls.

You next ap­pear in the hor­ror film The Quiet Room along­side Alaska Thun­der­fuck and Katya Zamolod­chikova. What was it like work­ing with them and are there any other Drag Race alumni you’d like to ap­pear with in the fu­ture?

I’m such a Drag Race fan that I was a lit­tle star struck when I met Alaska. Un­for­tu­nately, I didn’t work on the same days at Katya, but Alaska was su­per pro­fes­sional and su­per pa­tient with the hours it took to get her into the spe­cial ef­fects make-up. I was very im­pressed. Af­ter she was in make-up it was hard to look at her be­cause she was so scary look­ing. It def­i­nitely helped me and my co-stars get into char­ac­ter and stay scared as we ran through the halls of this aban­don vet­eri­nar­ian clinic.

What’s next for Chris Sal­va­tore?

Right now, I’m work­ing on a book about the time I spent car­ing for my 89-yearold neigh­bour, Norma. She was my best friend and helped me so much dur­ing the last five years that I knew her. I want to share my story about my strug­gle with men­tal health and how car­ing for Norma was a big part of my heal­ing process. Can we ex­pect to hear any new mu­sic from you soon?

As far as mu­sic goes, it’s been a while, but I’m fi­nally begin­ning to work on some new tunes. I took a break to heal and fi­nally feel the creative juices flow­ing again. I hope to have new mu­sic out by the end of the sum­mer.

Ven­field8 has a rep­u­ta­tion as an art pho­tog­ra­pher who pushes the en­ve­lope. What was it like shoot­ing with him? Shoot­ing with Ven­field8 was a great ex­pe­ri­ence. He has very calm en­ergy and knows ex­actly what he wants to cap­ture. I felt com­pletely com­fort­able the whole time and it was a lot of fun. We shot at a beau­ti­ful house in the Hol­ly­wood hills. Had you pre­vi­ously mod­elled for nude art pho­tog­ra­phy be­fore this shoot?

Yes, I have done nude art pho­tog­ra­phy be­fore. I think the nude body should be cel­e­brated. It’s also very em­pow­er­ing to shoot this way. To strip down and sim­ply just be. It can be very ther­a­peu­tic.

This is­sue of DNA is themed sex and sleep­wear. What do you sleep in?

I just wear boxer briefs to bed.

My 89-yearold neigh­bour, Norma, was my best friend and helped me so much dur­ing the last five years that I knew her.

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