Q&A: Nikki Benz Slays All Comers
LOS ANGELES — Dangerously amused, Nikki Benz is a porn empress, wreathed in radiant darkness. Her midnight hair frames regal cheekbones, flowing deeply into cleavage that definitely cleaves. She has hauntingly fair skin and when she steeples her hands in contemplation, silence reigns.
For 13 years, Benz has journeyed far into the wilderness of adult entertainment, bending its landscape utterly to her will. In that time she has become timeless. She has dined with countless suitors in nearly 300 titles, allowing them to devour her, yet ultimately devouring them.
Her alpha mafiosa status is undeniable, with more than 800,000 Twitter followers and over 1 million Instagram worshipers swelling the ranks of the #BenzMafia.
The 2015 XBIZ Crossover Star of the Year once pursued a mayoral candidacy in Toronto, Canada, seizing mainstream headlines before casting them aside disdainfully. She has graced major theatrical productions like “Pain and Gain," donned a pixelated likeness in the video game “Saints Row: The Third” for their Penthouse Pack and infused FOX Sports’ “Cubed” show with hilarious hijinks.
She may not be a platinum blonde anymore, but she is absolutely still platinum, as evidenced by the spectacle and glory of her official website NikkiBenz.com. Benz also lavishes praise on the newer generation of talent, expressing her deepest admiration for 2016 XBIZ Performer of the Year Dani Daniels and 2016 XBIZ Best New Starlet Abella Danger. They, in turn, exalt her.
XBIZ sat down with the Doña of the #BenzMafia, to learn what deliciously wicked schemes she has concocted for 2016.
XBIZ: You’ve had an incredible career, spanning some 13 years. How have you evolved professionally from those early days to the present?
NIKKI BENZ: I think currently in the present time I’m more aware of what I’m doing. I’m also more in control of my career, which I love. And I’m just older and wiser, so I just sort of have my hands on what I’m doing. And also as a performer, I’m just better now than I have ever been in my entire career… my career spanning, like you said, 13 years. So, I evolved, became a better performer, you know... gained more control... and I think I love my career now more than I ever have in my past.
XBIZ: Of all your mainstream cameos, ranging from the “Pain and Gain” movie to the “Saints Row” video game, which made you the most proud? What are your mainstream aspirations?
BENZ: Do I have to pick just one? I know that I’m proud of all of it because my cameo in "Pain and Gain," even though it was a long day of shooting, in the actual movie I’m only there for like six seconds. But I’m still proud of it. I got to meet Michael Bay and I got directed by Michael Bay, which not a lot of people can say in the adult industry. "Saints Row" the video game was just so much fun to do and I was sort of immortalized, so it’s just cool to look at myself in the video game and it looks like me… with smaller boobs though, that’s okay, I forgave them for that. So, I’m proud of all of it.
Also, I worked with FOX Sports for three years, I had a contract with them which I didn’t really want to publicize too much because they were that mainstream, but I did work for them for three years for a show called "Cubed" and then it got picked up by Fuse TV, which I was really proud of that. Met a lot of great friends at FOX Sports because of that. And, I think one of the coolest moments I remember — I went to a sports bar and they were playing an episode that I was in of "Cubed" on this giant big-screen TV and I was like oh my God, it’s me, with my clothes on, it’s so different! So, it was fun. I’m proud of every single thing I’ve done.
XBIZ: As a former mayoral candidate for the Canadian city of Toronto in 2014, you earned the 2015 XBIZ Award for Crossover Star of the Year. What are your thoughts on the current election season and will you ever run for political office again?
BENZ: Thoughts on the current election season? You know, I don’t really like to discuss politics too much. So, my Toronto mayoral run, all I can say about that is would I do it again? Yes. And am I ever going to get into politics again? You never know. The reason I withdrew from the Toronto race is simply because I’m a California resident. It just didn’t make sense for me to do it, but initially it did, then I realized it wasn’t what I want, and I pulled out. And, I just want to make it very clear I was never denied my application which Wikipedia states, that’s false, I just literally pulled out. Not trying to make it a pun, because I’m a porn star, but pulling out is good sometimes.
XBIZ: How have you achieved such a massive social media following, with more than 800,000 followers on Twitter and over 1 million on Instagram? What inspired the theme of #BenzMafia?
BENZ: I’m going to start with Benz Mafia. Back in the Myspace.com days — I don’t know if you remember Myspace — there was a group that got started by a fan and he came up with that name Benz Mafia, sort of for all of my fans to call themselves that. It was a fan club of sorts and ever since then the fans started calling themselves Benz Mafia and it sort of coincides with the fact that I love mobster movies and I just absolutely love the name. I approved of it, that was the birth of Benz Mafia. And as far as social media goes, I don’t know why I have so many followers. Just my career, I’ve been in the industry for a long time and I’m very social media savvy. It’s work, but it’s fun work and I know what to post, I know what works and what doesn’t work. And I don’t know, I just want to thank my fans for definitely following me and giving me such a big presence on social media.
I mean I don’t have a special strategy when it comes with social media, at least at the beginning, it was just organic. I have to say, there's other girls that have been in this industry longer and they don’t have as much of a social media following, and I don’t know what it is, I just have a certain appeal with the fans, but I also interact with the fans. They love that, I post pictures and videos and my info on there. It’s a way for me to connect with them. I’m sure they appreciate it so they follow me. I don’t know what to say beyond that. It’s just something about me they like. I do want to mention this — I am verified on all forms of social media, from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram. I think that helps me as well in terms of they know that’s really my account.
XBIZ: Tell us about your NikkiBenz.com website, which relaunched on the VNA Network in January. What led you to partner with VNA and what can fans expect to see from you?
BENZ: Well, I’m very proud of it. I was involved in every step of my design for my site, from my logo to the way it looks to the color scheme. You know I was looking for a good webmaster and Vicky [Vette] from VNA just, she was the best choice for me. I like how they treat their girls, I like how they run their stuff. And they’re very honest, which is important to me.
XBIZ: You’ve had a close working relationship with Brazzers for years now. How did your collaboration develop?
BENZ: Brazzers. You know what’s funny about that, I remember in 2007 when I had just got out of another contract, cause I’ve always been under contract and I just wanted to freelance. And I remember them wanting to book me and I was like what’s Brazzers? I don’t want to work for you, I don’t know who you are. I wanted to work for Vivid and Wicked and all those companies, right, because Brazzers was just starting out. And I did shoot for them and I loved working for them and back then they were mainly concentrating on big boobs and I think I qualified and they loved my scene. The fans responded really well to my performance. And ever since then, just over the years, I think they like that I’m professional and that my scenes sell well on their website. There’ll be more stuff coming out from Brazzers and I.
XBIZ: What inspired your topless Times Square walk with Alexis Texas last fall? As someone who champions gender equality, what do you think the biggest hurdles to overcome are?
BENZ: So Alexis approached me and she had asked me if I would be interested in doing this walk and I said absolutely, and I have the tits for it so let’s do it. So we flew out to New York, we promoted heavily and on radio and social media and we took the plunge and did it. I was definitely nervous, but the turnout was really great and what was really awesome was, yes we might’ve scared a few people with our naked breasts, but there were a lot of women that were like, you go girl! Do it! And we were just inspired by the fact that right now, in New York, to go topless in Times Square is legal and they’re trying to make it illegal again. So before they do that, we said hey, let’s prove a point to say look, wherever the men are allowed to go topless, nipples are nipples, let us go topless.
I don’t expect to be allowed to go topless at a bank or a restaurant, but neither are you, the men. But if you’re allowed to go topless in this office, let me go topless in this office. But yah, I think we have a lot of hurdles to overcome when it comes to gender equality, one of the biggest ones is equal pay. You know? A lot of… not to go into it, because I don’t like getting really political… but a lot of females will get paid a lot less for the same job that a male gets paid. So, I don’t know what the numbers are, but I just read an article where a male graduate with a C average will get paid the same amount as a female that’s an A student. So I hope that gets fixed, I think that’s the biggest hurdle — I would love to see equal pay.
XBIZ: What was it like being crowned a Fleshlight Girl? How did your fans react to the product launch?
BENZ: My fans loved it. They’ve been asking me on Twitter for the longest time, when am I going to get my own Fleshlight and I could never give them an answer. And then when Fleshlight contacted me, I had to keep quiet about me, which killed me inside because I really wanted to let them know. I hate keeping secrets. And it was definitely a big honor. I’ve always wanted to be a Fleshlight Girl just because they definitely know how to select their talent. And I feel like it’s, if I could compare it to the mainstream world, it would be like an athlete getting a shoe deal.
So I got my own pussy deal. And it’s just a great way to even further expand your brand as a performer, for myself, and now... everybody that wanted to fuck Nikki Benz, can buy my vagina and fuck it. And my ass. And I love the names they picked out, they named my vagina MVP — Most Valuable Pussy — and they named my ass Reign and the whole photo shoot was me on a throne with my crown, so I loved it. So thank you Fleshlight for that, they’re totally awesome and I love it. Thank you. And I just look forward to collaborating and doing more projects with them and promoting my toy.
XBIZ: Do your ambitions include directing and producing, or will you continue focusing mainly on performing?
BENZ: With the relaunch of my site, I directed and produced a movie called “Girls Love Nikki” and that was challenging and exciting and it was really cool to see all of my ideas that I wrote down come to fruition. And so yes, to answer your question, I’m very much interested in directing and producing. I absolutely love producing, I’m very good at organizing stuff and making things happen. And it’s just an exciting feeling, my adrenaline kicks in and I go to work. So as of now I’m only going to produce and direct for NikkiBenz.com.
In the future, who knows? But, I will still be performing and I will be performing a lot so yes I will also be very much concentrating on my career as a performer as well. So, I’m not going to stop that anytime soon. Every time I tweet something like oh I directed a scene today, a lot of concerned fans come out of the woodworks and say, oh no, are you quitting porn? So I just want to reassure them that, no I’m not quitting porn, not becoming a nun. Although I want to do that as a prank, I want to call around and see if they would take me in. Do you really have to be a virgin, though? Because someone wrote that on Twitter and I was like I don’t know about that, I’ll have to look into it.
XBIZ: What’s on the horizon this year for you? Any long-term career aspirations or milestones you’re angling to achieve?
BENZ: There’s a lot on the horizon. I’m going to have some exciting stuff come out. I feel like I sort of did talk about this, because I did tweet about this. I’ve never done a DP scene in my entire career and I feel like it’s something that I want to do. I’ve always fantasized about it, and I think I’m ready to take the plunge but I’m not going to tell you who it’s going to be for, or with, just yet. But I think that’s something that I need to do, for my own satisfaction. And, I have so much going on. More feature dancing, more producing, performing and of course some tricks up my sleeve that you will know soon.