Race Cooper :: Porn’s new superstar, just don’t call him a thug
Well-spoken, intelligent, great body, handsome, man of color, and porn star are a few words that describe RaceCooper. Notice that porn star was the last descriptive used since there is so much more to the man than his video romps in the hay (literally) and his well endowed appendage.
The Canadian born Cooper, who holds a college degree in film, has quite the resume from his days in Toronto. From producing and directing a morning show and commercials to starring in his own travel show, Race has much experience behind and in from of the camera in the less provocative arena of television and film.
So why porn? Well, I got a chance to ask the ever in demand adult film star that question, as well as why black thug porn films are not his cup of tea (and more) when I caught up with him parking his car in a vacant lot (and that is not metaphor speak for fucking).
What he did for love
BB: I didn’t realize you were Canadian before doing this interview. What brought you from Canada to the States?
Race:: I moved for love!
BB: That’s always a risky thing to do.
Race:: It is a risky thing to do, but I had my head on straight. We did long distance for about a year-and-a-half before I moved down.
BB: You have quite the learned resume in film and photography don’t you?
Race:: I went to a university in Toronto majoring in image arts which was film, video and digital photography. And directly from that, actually before I even graduated, I started working for a major television station doing odd jobs behind the camera and slowly worked my way up shortly after graduation to be assistant director. Then a year after being there, moved up to story segment producer and director and moved from there to producing and directing commercials and music videos. I’ve also done some live television directing a morning news show.
Don’t call him a thug
BB: What got you from behind the camera to in front of it?
Race:: Because I had so much experience behind the camera with directing and coaching hosts and models, some of my assistants started saying I needed to be in front of the camera because my personality was so big. I coincidentally landed a background thing on Queer As Folk, and for some reason, that connection led me to being a gay travel host for a gay travel show called Bump.
BB: So with all that experience in what we will call legit film and television work, why porn?
Race:: (laughing) So, what happened with porn is I came to San Francisco and immediately started looking for work in my field, the field of media. And there is just not a lot of television and film jobs in San Francisco. So, I started my own company, but there just wasn’t enough call for a production company in San Francisco. There were lot more ties and connections in the industry down in L.A. Also since I started my company just as the economy dropped, it just was not a good time for a new business like that. Advertising is one of the first things to go in a recession.
So, I had very few options of what I could do, and I hung out with a lot of porn stars and friends who were directing them, and they have always wanted me to go in front of the camera. I was kind of hesitant for a long, long time. But I basically started believing that there are very few options for me to work in the city if I want to stay in San Francisco, and more than that, my education and my background is film within this realm so if I can learn a little bit about it as model, then I can start producing content as well. That’s kind of how it went.
BB: Do you remember your first porn film?
Race:: Steve Cruz was the first to cast me in the Mustang film XXX. I wasn’t going into it that it would become notorious in any kind of way. I was just went into it for the experience, and to look into whatever my options were to producing or connecting with people outside of it in some way.
BB: But, of course XXX did well.
Race:: It was well received. I was surprised to see my face (that ain’t all, honey) on the box cover right away, people giving me attention, and bloggers writing about me. Yeah, it was really cool.
BB: I have had an opportunity to watch a few pieces in your body of work....
Race:: How was that for you (laughing)?
BB: Now, who’s doing the interviewing? But anyway, I find it interesting how you have been portrayed in most of the work. Being a black actor in any genre of film, it is difficult to get roles where you are not portrayed as the thug, which we see a lot in the porn industry with black porn models. That doesn’t seem to be the direction the current company you are with, Raging Stallion Studios, is taking you.
Race:: That was a conscious effort on my part from the get go. I knew that based on the color of my skin that people would want to pigeonhole me in one direction or another, especially after doing research on what previous men of color had done in this industry. You are either becoming a pig bottom for black guys or becoming this kind of machismo thug-type as a top. There was no kind of in between where I can be both bottom and top. It seemed very cookie cutter.
So from the get go when I saw myself getting cast along those lines, I would have to take a step back and evaluate them situation-by-situation. With that kind of conscious effort I ultimately wanted to bring my own personality into it in a way and reach a larger demographic of black people or people of color that are neither one of those things (thug or pig bottom). There are more interesting things about their sexuality when it comes to men of color than just thug.
All about Brutal
BB: Is that how Edger9.com, your website, which has been nominated this year for a CyberSocket Web award, came about?
Race:: What happened was that I’d only been doing porn for maybe a couple of months before a friend of mine, who’s a porn director, approached me and said you are all over the internet. Everybody loves you. We need to capitalize on this right a way. I’m like, okaaaay!
And we started pitching around me having my own website which I thought would be a cool idea because it gave me the opportunity to be more than just a model... that I can produce and write content and do a lot of things, and I want to be seen in that way. If I am ale to do that almost right out of the gate, then people are definitely going to sit up and take notice. So we hashed out the idea of Edger9 after looking at a lot of websites and discovered no one has done any kind of car theme whatsoever. And we started shooting and putting up stuff right away.
BB: You very quickly became an exclusive with Raging Stallions Studios.
Race:: I think so. I didn’t think it was that quick, but when I found out some models have been doing porn for 5 and 10 years without an exclusive contract. From the time me starting porn to the point of me getting an exclusive (contract), it’s been a year and a half in total. That was kind of unexpected, but I guess in a way, I was always working toward that.
BB: I’ve always admired the quality of films that Raging Stallions puts out there, and you must have a similar view since signing with them?
Race:: Raging Stallions has pretty much have left it up to me to decide what projects I want to or not be involved with. Plus they give me the room to work on my website, Edger9.com. We now worked out a deal where Raging Stallion will be the distributor for the DVD line for that. So it helps that I am able to showcase my acting talents in my own regard and my writing talents with my Edger9 website, and at the same time, I can do different roles with Raging Stallions and none of those roles have anything to o with the color of my skin.
BB: Tell me a little about your current promoted project with Raging Stallion’s new video Brutal. What makes Brutal so brutal?
Race:: Brutal is our blockbuster of the year (2010). I just started working on casting for that almost immediately after I got hired as the Casting Director for Raging Stallions. It was really like a crazy experience because there were so many factors, logistically, that went into making this production happen. We had shoots from Florida to San Francisco, we a number of amazing models to choose from, but the director was a stickler that he really wanted to get models with fighting experience. As soon as Tony DiMarco, the director, told me the idea of it, I immediately started going to kick-boxing and the like to get the experience just so I could do this project. We’ve got so many amazing fight scenes on it. The dialogue and the fight scenes are some of the best stuff I’ve seen anywhere.
BB: did you come out of it without any bruised ribs or broken bones?
Race:: No, every single one of us has bruises (laughs). We all got some sprains, a few worse than others. You start to gain a pain tolerance for this when you are doing so much fighting that you definitely have to keep your mind sharp.
BB: And you are really fit. I know you put a lot of effort into your personal fitness to the point that I think I read others have tried to get you to do a fitness video, but you seem to shy away from that idea.
Race:: I think for me I don’t have a lot of training experience. I feel if you are going to do some kind of tutorial to help others you need to have some really strong education behind you, and I don’t really have that. I feel that any kind of video I would do (in fitness) I would be kind of just promoting myself more than really helping people. I don’t think that’s the direction I’d like to go.
BB: After a year and a half in the adult film biz, you have put together quite a body of work together as a model. What would like to explore in porn that you haven’t done already?
Race:: The only thing I can think I haven’t done in porn that I would like to try is a three way with like a guy and a girl.
BB: I’m sure we have a lot takers that can help you with that.
Race:: I’ve been really lucky because I’ve done a variety of scenes already. I’ve water sports. I’ve done fisting. I’ve done BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism, masochism) and regular lovey-type stuff. I’ve done public sex kind of stuff. I’ve done car sex. There isn’t very much I haven’t done.
BB: So then what’s next for you?
Race:: I think the next step for me, more than being behind the camera, I still think there is a direction for a Race Cooper product to come further down the line. Some things I have kind of been focusing on is to bring my story or a fictional character based on the porn world which would be brought to mainstream whether it’s a book, a television series or something like that.
BB: Something else you have done before becoming a porn star is your involvement with non-profit organizations and fundraising. How important is volunteering and lending your name to you?
Race:: Very important. I don’t know if it is because I am Canadian, but I think volunteering is sort of normal. I grew up in downtown Toronto around a lot of homeless people, hookers, and drug addicts, and it was a very normal experience for us to volunteer on a regular basis in kitchens and the like as we were growing up. If you are receiving so much from a city in its convenience, its excitement, and entertainment and its allowance for you to be tolerated and independent in a lot ways, you should be able to give back in some regard to that city. That’s always been my mentality around it (volunteering).
BB: Now you are going to be featured at Andre Shannon’s Pornstar party on January 22 along side with your studio mate Ricky Sinz. What type of performance can we expect?
Race:: Definitely a lot of crazy raunchy acting. Andre has kind of given me room to do what I want to which is great. He knows my background as a dancer, so I’m definitely going to be tearin’ it up a bit, and definitely some sexual performance between me and Ricky Sinz.
BB: Have you and Ricky performed together on film before.
Race:: No we haven’t. But I think we would be good together. We are totally pals.
BB: I am gonna make that one of my New Year’s resolutions to see you two sexually in a film together. Hot!
Race:: I agree.
BB: If we were to have another interview a year from now in 2012, what would you say you would have accomplished in 2011?
Race:: Let’s see. Hopefully Edger9 will be more successful. That I will have been more involved in production at Raging Stallion. I am hoping that I will be able to direct a film or two. That’s really it. That essentially would make me happy.
BB: Well, then so it shall be Mr. Race: Cooper.
Race Cooper can be seen January 22 as a featured performer at Pornstar at Club 8. www.clubeight.com and www.aspornstar.com
As an actress, BeBe was introduced to film with a lead role in the independent film "Under One Sun" with her character dealing with religious, racial and gender issues. Additionally, she appeared in the campy musical "Devious, Inc" (Australian Film Festival, San Francisco Short Film Fest) also adding additional vocals to the musical soundtrack. Both of these performances led to her selection for a lead role in Aisha Media’s next short film series, "Con-tin.u.um" to be released in 2012.