Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media

One In a Million: An Interview with Tyffany Million
Interview by Dan Taylor

Tyffany Million: One in a MillionThis interview originally appeared in the pages of Carbon 14 magazine.

How did you get involved with the adult film business? Was it a result of being a GLOW Girl?
That has nothing to do with me getting into porn. People all the time ask me in interviews, "How did you decide to make the transition from wrestling to pornography?" Well, there was no transition. I left GLOW in February or March of 1989 and I started doing X-rated movies in 1992.

What was your "character" in GLOW?
Tiffany Mellon – I was one of the "Park Avenue Knockouts," and I opened every show with a gossip column kind of comedy sketch.

What did you do between those gigs?
Before I did GLOW I did B-movies and tv shows. I was in regular movies and tv, then I did GLOW – which is also regular tv – left GLOW and started doing B-movies and television again.

What were some of the movies you did?
One called BODY OF INFLUENCE that's on HBO all the time. CAGED FURY, THE SLEEPING CAR, PRIME TARGET with Tony Curtis, AMERICAN ANGELS which is a woman's wrestling movie. KILL, KILL, OVERKILL. DEMON WIND...there's some real winners in there. I think the best things to see me in would be CAGED FURY and BODY OF INFLUENCE. Other than that I did a movie with Eric Estrada called SPIRITS which is out all the time. It has the B-movie queen, not Linnea Quigley, but the dark-haired one.

Michelle Bauer?
No, not Michelle Bauer, the other one. There's three of them...anyway.

Did you ever work with Fred Olen Ray?
I know Fred. [He] has a very, very good friend named Don Jackson, and Don did HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN and he did GRUNT! THE WRESTLING MOVIE. Well, Don's a very close friend of mine, too and he did KILL, KILL, OVERKILL which is where we met. In fact, the movie SPIRITS is a Fred Olen Ray movie.

Anyway, so I left GLOW and I went back to making B-movies and stuff. It's kind of a funny thing how it happened. When I was doing B-movies before GLOW I was not doing too well because I had just started. GLOW really bumped me up – my notoriety. Then, after I got out of GLOW and I started doing B-movies [again], I was making a good living. And I had a car accident that summer, and financially it was going to just wipe me out. I didn't know what to do, I didn't have that kind of money saved. So I called some old wrestling contacts and said, "Look, I've got to make some fast money. Do you have any wrestling gigs?"

Well, my girlfriend who was from GLOW said, "Well, there's this guy that's doing these mud wrestling shows." And I used to do mud wrestling before I was in GLOW – at night time I'd be a mud wrestler and I stripped in lesbian bars. And I said, "Well, I used to do it years ago, I could just do it for a month, pay off my insurance bill and I won't do it anymore."

While I was doing that I met a guy who was like the MC/referee of the mud wrestling shows and we kinda fell in love. And I was sick of doing B-movies and the money was actually better doing mud wrestling. So I said, I'll take a break and this guy did a traveling show and he asked me if I wanted to go with him. I said, "What the hell, I'll take a couple months and go with you and we'll do mud wrestling – it'll be great."

So I took off on the road – this is about November of 1989. March to November I was doing B-movies. We took off, did some mud wrestling, went on the road for a while. I got back around April or May and we decided that we really wanted to be together and were eventually going to get married. So, we saved all our money while we were on the road to put a down-payment on a house in Bakersfield, which is an hour and ten minutes north of LA. I was going to work with him in the business, just give up acting.

BlurbWe moved up there, and I got pregnant about 4 months later. And I figured, well, I'm pregnant now, I can't mud wrestle, I can't strip, what else can I do. I'm smart, I know, I'll get my real estate license. So I got my real estate license, sold real estate for a while, had the baby.

During the course of the pregnancy, he turned from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. He just flipped on me, started doing drugs, started cheating on me, was abusive...it got real ugly. When the baby was six months old – this is December of 1991 – I left him and came back to LA and I started making contact with all my old contacts.But, it'd been so long that I'd been out of B-movies that it just wasn't happening for me. It was going to take a long time, so I needed to do something in the meantime.

Years ago – before I moved to LA – I used to work at the World Famous Mitchell Brother's O'Farrell Theatre in San Francisco. One of my girlfriends was working there. I worked there from 1985 to 1989 off and on; I used to tell her about it – she was a secretary [at the time] – and now she was working there. After I left Ted and I moved back to LA I was having money woes, stripping here and there and doing little bit parts.

My girlfriend said, "Why don't you come back to work here? We can be a team – we could do the girl-girl shows together. And my babysitter could watch your daughter." That'd be great, that'd pull me out of my financial hole. So I do the O'Farrell a couple months and while I was there I met a girl who also flew up from LA to work. She said, "You know, there's a new club opening down there, near where you live. If you're going to dance here on the weekends, you could dance there during the week." I started dancing there and met a guy who became a really good friend of mine. I've always tended to make really good friend with guys. We started buddying around; he wanted to be with me, but I just wanted to be friends with him. It was kind of causing friction.

This whole time – when I was with my daughter's father all the way until I met this guy – I had started to become a fan of porno movies. My daughter's father worked in a strip club and had a store. On the weekends, we would rent porn movies and have sex. And I thought, "these girls don't take care of their bodies and they can't act." I said, "If I did this I'd be a fucking superstar." And he said, "You're not doing that shit!" and I kind of put it out of my mind.

All of a sudden, it occurred to me for some reason. I'm sitting with this guy Steve, I'm working one night at this club and I thought, "Wait a minute! I'm in LA, I'm not with any guys, I could do porn movies." I said, "Hey Steve, do you know anybody in the porn business?" And where the club was located was porn central – Chadsworth, CA – so he must know somebody. So he says, "Yeah, I know some people in the business. Are you thinking about doing that?" I said, "Yeah, it's always been a fantasy to do it, and I could be way better than any of those chicks. Do you think I'm too old?" At the time I was 25. He said, "Oh no, you take good care of yourself."

Steve introduced me to a few people – this is about February or March of 1992 – and the rest is history. I went straight to the pros, I didn't make any amateurs at all. Most of the girls start off [that way]. Because I came from GLOW I had a name, something to build on, and from that I built a name so quickly [that] I just shot right to the top.

That was in 1992 and you just finished up your last adult feature?
About six months ago.

And you've done how many films in four years?
A little over 100 if you include my foreign releases. I've done about 90 domestic and 15 or 20 foreign that aren't shown here. And all the compilations and everything...about 100.

That's quite a career. Now that you're retired or semi-retired from adult films...
I am completely retired from films.

The information on your last film said you might do some girl-girl stuff in the future.
Possibly, but it's looking pretty slim right now because my mainstream career is pretty much taking off.

Are you doing a lot of dancing?
I'm not dancing much. I'm doing one gig a month, probably just for the summer. I'll probably just do one or two clubs a month because in August I'm doing a film shooting in Vancouver. It's a crossover vehicle for me and I hope I won't have to dance anymore. It's a sexy murder mystery.

Let me ask you something. There's a lot of turnover in the female adult film star ranks, but lots of men seem to stay around forever. What's the story there?
These are really two separate issues. The reason that the guys stay around is actually pretty simple. Every guy in the world thinks he can do what these guys do on-screen. But I'm telling you – 99 out of 100, we get 'em out there in front of the cameras and they can't perform. There's a lot of anxiety on the sets for the guys...there are a lot of people watching you, and the temperature isn't really comfortable, the girl doesn't really want to be there, the director's in a bad mood, people are talking, people are walking around...it's hard to do what they do.

So, when we finally find a guy that can do it and perform regularly and is halfway decent looking like John Doe or Stephen St. Croix, Tom Byron – depending on how big his tummy is these days. You're seeing a lot of good guys these days who are really, really handsome.

That's one reason why you see the same guys all the time – it's a performance issue. It's a really hard thing to do and it's a special guy that can do what they do. Also, the movies aren't about the guy. If you think about it, when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers do their thing – who are your eyes glued to? Ginger Rogers – even the women are watching [her]. He's just there to make her look good – he's a prop.

Sex is – and I'm sure a lot of men would argue with me about this – is about the woman's experience. I think it's because a woman's sexuality is a much more mysterious thing than a man's. We all know that men, when the wind blows the right way on their pee-pee, can spew. Women are very complex creatures, their sexuality is complex, their organs are a mystery because they're both internal and external.

The reason that there's a high turnover for the females? Do you notice in mainstream movies that the more movies Demi Moore does, the more the public wants them, the more money they make? In our business it's the complete opposite. The more movies you do, eventually the less you're worth and the more the business doesn't want you anymore – and I'll tell you why.

In mainstream movies, you make a connection with the person. You get to know their whole being. You get to know who they are inside, and I mean the character they're playing. You feel compassion, you're empathetic to the character, you identify with this character.

In pornographic movies, the purpose s to focus on the genital pleasure, the giving and receiving. So you never get a feeling for these people. All they are is the sum of their parts. If all you're doing is focusing on the parts and you have no feeling for the person involved - it's like a one-night stand after another, after another, after another. And that's exactly what it is -- once the guys have seen Jenna Jameson's pussy six or seven times, they're going to want to see a different pussy. 'Cause they could care less about Jenna Jameson. All they care about is looking at her snatch. But that's okay -- that's what we're here for. There is room for that. But, I think a lot of the girls, as well as the guys, as well as the viewing audience fail to realize this. They fault the industry for that. "Well, you know, all it's about is fucking, and how come nobody make any movies that have emotion?" You know what? We try and they don't sell, because that's not what pornography is about. Pornography is about the stimulation of the genitals. It's purely about the sexual experience.

Are you concerned about government involvement in the censorship of web sites?
Absolutely. In fact, I have a very good friend who's going to be working as the producer on my radio show. She's working right now for a temporary job on the "Montel Williams Show." They were going to have Donna Rice go head-to-head with me a few weeks ago and do a whole show on this Decency on the 'Net Act. [She] is the one that lobbied to get this bill passed and I'm the owner of the type of web site that she's attacking. I really wanted to go head-to-head with this fucking broad, and then she backed out. [Tyffany's web site can be found @ www.tyffany.com]

So is Donna a big feminist and activist these days, trying to "protect the children of America"?
I think Donna Rice is feeling a lot of shame and guilt over what she did with Gary Hart. It's her way of...

Clearing her name?
Exactly. It's a personal issue for her, she has a hidden agenda. I don't think that anybody has the right to be the gate keeper to morality for anybody else. I think that anything that is consensual activity between two human beings – whether one is a child and one is an adult, or both of 'em are adults – is nobody else's business. That includes sexual activity, that includes drugs, whatever it may be – sadomasochism, I don't care.

You spoke earlier about your Catholic upbringing. Were you an ugly duckling that blossomed later in life?
Right around seven or eight years old I started to get really ugly. I was really homely. My two front teeth grew in with a gap in between them, my nose was kinda thick, and I have puppy-dog eyes. They're tilted down, so they look kind of sad.

I think I went through an ugly phase for many years until I got to be about 14, and then I started getting really pretty. I started developing into a woman. And then when I was about 17 or 18, zoom, right back into homely.

When I was about 19 I had a really bad nervous breakdown...anxiety attacks and all that. I decided I needed something to lift me out of that. So, I chose working out as a focus, 'cause I knew I needed to survive and have something to focus on other than my problems. So I started working out and getting really tight and really lean. At that point, I figured out that I could not only take control of the way that my body looked, but I could take control of the rest of my life.

When I was a little kid – 8, 9, 10 years old we had this little school magazine that came out once a month. And there was an article on Cher. And [she] talked about how she was a homely kid and her mother always used to tell her that you can make yourself more beautiful, you can be what you want to be. You don't have to be the way you are – with hair and makeup and costumes you can make yourself prettier.

So, I thought about that – started getting the boobs done, I'm working out out, I'm looking good. Got my nose done – I started saying, "Wow, this is great!" Since then I've had a lot of plastic surgery. If I don't like something, I just change it. It's done wonders for my confidence.

Is there any guy who rejected you back in high school?
Only one – I've only been left by a guy once in my life. I've always been the dump-er; I've only been the dump-ee once. And it hurt.

What was the reason?
He didn't give me a reason, but the girl he started dating after [me], she went to my school, too. She came up to me in the schoolyard one day and she said, "You just better stay away from my Billy. You know, he told me the reason he broke up with you is because you're really weird!"

My entire growing up years, I was the one that everybody – in public – wouldn't claim to be friends with, but all wanted to be friends with behind everyone else's back. They all wanted to know me and hang out with me, but they didn't want anybody else to know.

I was always very different and kind of – ahead of my time.

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