Q&A: Tanya Tate Discusses Career, Directorial Ambitions
LOS ANGELES — British bombshell Tanya Tate weaves a cosplaying patchwork of foxy fighters like She-Ra and Catwoman, but only her trademark Lady Titan persona truly embodies her stature as an adult industry titan.
The international star's storied career stretches from the foggy shores of Merseyside, England to the glitzy grime of Los Angeles. Playfully passionate, Tate anchors her otherworldly mystique with the familiar warmth of a tavern courtesan, hawking those bewitching wares in 240 titles.
She was named 2013 XBIZ MILF Performer of the Year and has directed more than a dozen movies like the “Lesbian Family Affair” (Filly Films) series, which was nominated for 2016 XBIZ All-Girl Release of the Year and All-Girl Series of the Year.
Riding at a hard gallop, Tate holds the reins to multiple revenue streams, blogging about comic book pop culture at JustALottaTanya.com, selling custom figurines at MyHeroToys.com, writing regularly as a columnist for Delirium Magazine and HotMovies.com, camming on TanyaTate.com and appearing weekly for "The Tanya Tate Show" on Vivid Radio. She also commands legions of fanatical “Tanya Taters” on Twitter, who love to #WankForTanyaTate.
XBIZ spoke with Tate about her bawdy misadventures and directorial dreams.
XBIZ: Tell us about your career change from office work to award-winning adult performer. When did you realize it was something you wanted to seriously pursue?
TANYA TATE: I had recently finished a relationship and was watching a porn movie with a male friend. I thought to myself that I could do that. It was as simple as that, like a flash of clarity I knew that was what I wanted to pursue. I spent some time researching the industry, had some photos taken and applied to some of the U.K. production companies. I was invited to London and once I shot my first scene I knew this was something I could fully commit myself to.
I have always been a hard worker, but I had the work experience that continues to benefit me and help me grow my brand as a performer and director. I love the industry. It's provided me so many opportunities; personally and professionally. I never thought that one day I would have won awards, walked on red carpets and end up featured on the cover of magazines. It's been incredible.
XBIZ: How does the U.K. adult industry differ from the U.S. in your experience? What were some of the unique challenges making the leap across the pond?
TATE: The U.K. is a small version of the U.S. industry. The budgets and crews tend to be smaller in the U.K. I went from the U.K. to shoot in the U.S. and it was like starting again as a brand new talent. Since I’ve stopped living in the U.K., a lot more regulations have been introduced by the government that make it more difficult for companies to shoot certain things. These include spanking, dirty talk and age roleplaying, all of which I enjoy having in the movies I direct. I made sure I kept my hand in the U.K industry by traveling back and still shooting there with my U.K. friends.
XBIZ: What inspired you to become a cosplayer extraordinaire and dive headlong into comic book geekdom, with your Lady Titan persona and MyHeroToys.com vinyl figures?
TATE: It was a hobby. I was still living in England when I happened to witness San Diego Comic Con. Coincidentally, I was in the city for a shoot and I saw how geekdom took over — it was brilliant. I was always a closet geek. Some of my fondest memories are watching “The Incredible Hulk” as a child and being sad listening to the music that would play as David Banner walked alone at the end of every episode or “Superman II” when he fought the villains from Krypton. When I saw how open people were with their admiration of the genre I made plans to go the following year and in 2010, I jumped in and had a blast.
Afterwards, I just started a little blog about my cosplaying, not really tying it in to my adult work, and it caught on. Since then, I have just been having fun with it. It was never meant to be a business, but it turned into that. Now, I have a column in Delirium Magazine writing about toys. I talk about my love of collectibles on my YouTube channel, which led to me creating a line of figures.
My Lady Titan character was spun from the hobby becoming a business. I would go to conventions wearing costumes like Catwoman or She-Ra, and people would take loads of pictures. My images would appear on sites like Getty and all sorts of media outlets. But, I don’t own the rights to those characters. I would rather be photographed as a character I own. Of course, I still cosplay for fun, but if I am doing a signing, I’ll wear my character.
XBIZ: What was it like getting your very own Fleshlight and can we expect other sex toys in the future?
TATE: I remember my first trip to the U.S. and seeing a magazine with a big promotion for Fleshlight. I thought, “Wow, them girls look amazing.” Then, to be offered the chance to become a Fleshlight girl and also the first U.K. star was one of those pinch me moments. I am happy to know that my fans can have a very intimate moment with me. I know my fans wank over my movies and webcam. Not only can they see me and hear me, but now they can feel me too. It’s like Tanya Tate 4D, or should I say 34DD? Lol! I am about to announce a new partnership that will enable fans to make their Fleshlight interactive. It will allow me and the end user to feel each other’s touch from anywhere in the world. I also had a mold done of my mouth and bumhole at the Fleshlight offices, so who knows what Tanya Tate sex toy will come next?
XBIZ: Give us the lowdown on “The Tanya Tate Show” on Vivid Radio. What can newcomers and long-time fans alike expect to hear?
TATE: “The Tanya Tate Show”… I also call it “The Tanya Tate Wank Show” and use the hashtag #WankForTanyaTate. I have been doing my show every week on Vivid Radio for over a year. I encourage guys and girls to call me and talk about the weekly topic. It can range from simple roleplay to full on fantasy. I recently invited listeners to come into Nurse Tanya's surgery so I could help them with their “ailments.” I often get carried away with the fantasy and introduce my dirty talk. I always have a lot of fun for callers both new and devoted. They just need to know to be ready to get horny.
XBIZ: Tell us about your company’s public relations arm Star Factory PR. How has it evolved since its launch?
TATE: It’s really grown as a company as far as international reach. Alexander Raymond and Mike Moz started star Factory PR, and I took over when they both went to Digital Playground. They started it because at the time, freelance talent didn’t really have publicists; it was mainly the contract stars. Of course, that has changed now and so has the industry. While they were doing absolutely phenomenal work, when I took over I worked on strengthening our international media contacts. That has helped our clients tremendously. The focus has always been on mainstream media placement, but I think now — because the environment has changed and there are more people jumping into this sector of the industry — our skills have been getting sharper.
XBIZ: Tell us about pivoting from performing to the director’s chair. What led you to take on directing for Filly Films?
TATE: Filly Films approached me and asked if I wanted to direct a movie for them. I had shot many casting couch videos for my TanyaTate.com membership website but I had never produced content for another company. My first movie was “Tanya Tate’s The MILF Masseuse” — the story involved me getting to massage the bodies of hot women then give them and me a happy ending. Since then, I have made 12 movies, which can be seen at FillyFilms.com/Video/Tanya-Tate. Several of them have received XBIZ Award nominations, including my series “Tanya Tate's Lesbian Family Affair.”
XBIZ: Will you continue focusing on directing lesbian-themed projects or are there other genres you wish to explore?
TATE: I think some of both. I love working with Filly Films and directing lesbian movies for them — predominantly because of the creative control I have. I’m able to cast the talent I want, set the scenarios and oversee the entire production. But I would also like to explore different genres. I have a few parody movies in mind. With my “geek” background I know there are some movies that my fans would love to see. The awesome thing is, because I have the publicity company, I can create awareness of the movies.
XBIZ: What more can we expect from you this year?
TATE: I will keep performing in lesbian movies, but I want to further explore my directing hand this coming year. I am open to new opportunities from companies to direct and invite them to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be more geek adventures, appearances, plenty of keeping in touch with my fans via texting, phone chat and webcam, plus more naughty movies on TanyaTate.com. Keep watching and wanking for Tanya Tate, you just never know what is next.