Q&A: AJ Applegate Revels in Her Royal Derrière
LOS ANGELES — AJ Applegate is an apple bottom gateway to deliciously original sin, her spritely delights an alternative Eden, wherein Eve tempts serpents with naked genesis, bedeviling devils.
Blessedly, she is not a forbidden fruit.
To taste her perky berries, moonlit plum and fuzzy peach is to devour knowledge of the righteous and the wicked… ArchAngel and Evil Angel… “Booty Queen” and “SquirtQueen.” Twice crowned by such studio royalty, she now sits that magnificent derrière on generous thrones, smiling faces and kingly scepters alike.
Even when she kneels before her subjects, it is truly they who kneel before a monarch, for she absolutely rules. In fact, her purple-robed disrobing has prolifically spanned more than 300 titles, garnering her XBIZ Award nominations for Best New Starlet in 2014 and Female Performer of the Year in 2016, to name a few.
Now, the endlessly-in-demand performer is keen to direct, especially after whetting her appetite alongside ArchAngel mastermind MimeFreak, with whom she co-directed her superlative “AJ’s Angels” showcase.
XBIZ arranged a courtly audience with Applegate, to etch her likeness in the scrollwork of magazine heraldry. The highborn hedonist laid it all out — her past travails, present marvels and future vistas — with gilded grace and vivacious verve.
XBIZ: In the past four years, you’ve amassed more than 300 performer credits and various XBIZ Award nominations. Compared to your earliest days in porn, how have you grown as a person, professionally and personally?
AJ Applegate: Well, when I first started I definitely had trouble getting bookings and getting my name out there. My goal was to get nominated for awards and I didn’t want to just blend in with everybody else, I wanted to stand out a little bit. Then, once I started doing more hardcore stuff like anal scenes, I noticed I got a lot more bookings and more people knew who I was. I was growing a larger fan base.
Professionally, I’m pretty much the same as I was in the beginning. I just have a bigger name now — I feel more appreciated and more supported by people, companies and directors. I’ve grown a lot sexually, more than anything, because I realized what really turns me on the most. As a result, there’s a difference in my performances. I put more of “me” into a scene, instead of just doing what I think other people might like. I want them to like my stuff because it’s actually me. Also, I take time to learn about the other person I’m performing with before the scene.
I ask them what they like and don’t like. Then, I take what turns them on, compare it to what I like and if I’m turning somebody else on, it turns me on even more. So, as long as I know that they’re comfortable and they’re into it, it makes me excited to make a great scene. I think women are a little more specific with what they want compared to men, but it’s harder with women too.
I’ve noticed a lot of women are... not insecure necessarily… but they just don’t really realize what exactly they want. It’s harder for women to let their guard down. But, if I just show them “I’m really passionate towards you” and “I want to make you feel good,” that’s when I notice they start to relax and open up about what they like. Guys, well, they’re just guys!
XBIZ: Who has been most influential in your adult film career, be they fellow performers or behind-the-scenes folks?
AJ Applegate: When I think about this question, Mason stands out in my head — I definitely look up to her. She knows how to push you and really get that dirty nasty side out of you and she makes you feel so comfortable. After I started shooting with her, I definitely noticed a change in me. The way she shoots, how beautiful her work is, definitely inspires me to direct more.
Performing for her makes you want to show her how passionate you are. I don’t know what it is, but she just brings out this side of you. I think it’s also because she’s a girl, so she kind of understands you already and knows. She’s been doing this for a long time obviously. She does it all — the way she sets up a shoot, how she talks to you before the scene. And, she doesn’t ever tell you what she wants, because she wants it to be you and be real. I really love that about her, and I get excited when I get to shoot for her, because I know it’s going to come out being just… well… me!
It’s not going to be like “say this and that, and do this and that.” For example, a couple DPs ago that I did for “DP Me,” I hadn’t done one in a while, so I was really excited. And, in the background, she’ll just be like “I want you to come, please come for me, come come, make her come guys, please make her come!” And she gets so into it, and she starts saying that stuff and you’re like “yah, make me come!” No other directors do that, in that way. It’s just her presence and how excited she is, and how much she loves her job, that really makes you excited. It’s different.
I look up to Dani Daniels too. I think it’s awesome how much she brands herself, and how much she does on her own. The same with Alexis Texas, she’s just really powerful and independent. And Nikki Benz too, she’s just “boss lady” awesome, the Empress of Porn, as you called her. I definitely look up to girls like that. They stay relevant and hot and they’re not all “shot out.” They can still do their own thing.
XBIZ: How do you divide your time between shoots, feature dancing and other revenue streams? Which is most lucrative for you and which seems to expand your fan base the most?
AJ Applegate: Well, I do shoots, I feature dance and I used to have a website, but it was more like a store, not a content website. I was selling Snapchat, and then lingerie, shoes, DVDs. I took it down for a little while because I tend to spread myself way too thin all the time. It was just getting to the point where I couldn’t keep up with it on my own and I was like, I need to take this down and fix it, so that there’s a different way I can do it… where I can actually handle it and everything else. So, I was doing that for a while, and hopefully it’ll be back up soon.
Feature dancing I try to do twice a month, but sometimes that can even get too much with traveling and Spiegler getting upset, like… “When are you going to be here for shoots?” So, usually he’ll let you do one a month, and sometimes he’ll let you do two a month. I probably shoot three to four times a week. I just try to have time for everything but sometimes it can get too much. I mean, I don’t really cam, because I feel like I wouldn’t have time for that.
XBIZ: Tell us about your relationship with ArchAngel.
AJ Applegate: It started with MimeFreak, who was actually a PA I met on an Evil Angel set. Right away, he was like “this girl’s kind of special, there’s something interesting about her.” And then, he was shooting for Elegant a little bit, before he went to ArchAngel. In his mind, he was like “this is the opportunity for me to bring in AJ and start doing stuff on her that I’ve been wanting to do and haven’t been able to.” So, I met with Gabe and we all got along right away, and we were talking about doing a showcase, and I was like we should do something like the “Booty Queen.”
And they really liked the idea, but they went with Jada Stevens first, which was fine. After that, they said they wanted me to do it the next year. And they were just so appreciative of how much I actually put out there and was promoting them, and actually making time to complete my contract. A lot of the girls that they sign, they had trouble getting all the scenes in, because they’re busy or didn’t make time for it. They were like “you are the first girl that actually finished out their contract!”
ArchAngel has just been so amazing. It feels so good to have a family like that, that you know you can go to and ask about anything, and come to them with an idea and they’re like “yah, let’s try that.” I kept telling MimeFreak how much I wanted to direct and then he said, “Well, maybe we should do a girl/girl movie with you, and since I don’t really do girl/girl that much, maybe you could just co-direct it with me.” And I was like “that would be fucking awesome!” And then Gabe loved the idea, and that’s how the second showcase came about.
Now, we’re going to have to find a new “Booty Queen,” because it’s going to be time for me to pass it on. So, I think we’re going to have a contest or something — we’re going to just have a bunch of girls... I guess they already have a list… and then we’re going to do a fan-based contest thing. And that’s how they’re going to figure out who is the next one. Because, they like to do a lot of fan-based stuff, which is I think the best way to go. It’s so awesome over there at ArchAngel, you don’t really see a lot like that, where a company has all these fans that make a team, like their #FreakyCrew. I mean, they even come in sometimes and PA on set. They get to meet us. So yah, it’s cool! They’re just good people.
XBIZ: You’ve had a number of showcase titles, like ArchAngel’s “The Booty Queen 2,” Evil Angel’s “SquirtQueen” and ArchAngel’s “AJ’s Angels.” What distinguishes your showcase titles from the ones other starlets do?
AJ Applegate: Well, “AJ’s Angels” is the title I got to co-direct. I got to hold the camera and do the girls’ teases, which was… oh my god… I had so much fun with this. I got all the outfits, I told them what kind of locations I wanted and exactly how I wanted the scenes to be shot.
I kind of had to give them some leeway with the sex because it’s hard to tell someone your vision, because they can’t see it. And I know MimeFreak’s good, so I wanted to give him some space too for his mind to go wherever he wants. But with the teases, I was like “can I have the camera?” And he was like “of course, you can do anything you want.” So that was a really cool experience and that really showed me that, wow, I really want to do more of this. I want to just do other girls and not even be in it, so I can do everything behind-the-scenes.
And then, with Evil Angel’s “SquirtQueen,” Toni Ribas was really cool about it, and we mixed our ideas together. I think that movie’s awesome because there’s nothing like that really out there, except maybe “Squirtwoman.”
It’s pretty cool that Toni said, “Oh, I want to do a squirt movie with you.” And it was funny because he was like “I want to name it ‘SquirtQueen’” and I’m like “you know I’m the ‘Booty Queen’ right?” And he’s like “of course you’re the booty queen” and I’m like “no, that’s a movie title that I’m in!” So, me and MimeFreak were laughing about that, like fine Toni, you can have that name — we were messing with him and Toni was like “okay fine, maybe I should name it something else!” And we’re like “no, we’re just kidding, it’s cool!” I didn’t want it to be like drama or anything, haha. I think the squirt niche is really big right now, so it was really cool that he wanted to do something like that.
And the “Booty Queen,” I mean, that had a couple firsts in there for me, and I came up with that name originally… I invented the title. Then, they wanted to give it to Jada because she’s been coming in and out of the industry. They wanted to do something with her, which I totally understand. Plus, that year, I felt like I didn’t have an explosive year, so it was like “I don’t want to do this shit until next year, when I can really just kill it.” And then, I ended up doing two more showcases. I didn’t even expect any more showcases after “Booty Queen.” I was like, this is my last time I’m going to be able to get a showcase, because I’m going to be all out of firsts, and then Toni came up to me, and I was like “whoa okay, wow!”
XBIZ: What’s next for the “AJ Applegate” brand? Give us a glimpse of your ambitions for the next 5 years.
AJ Applegate: I’m just going to keep consistently, hopefully getting booked and shooting like I have been. I would really, really love to start directing soon, maybe if it’s just one title or something that I get to do regularly, I would love that. That’s definitely my goal. So, I’m not going anywhere. And I’ll still be feature dancing, but I’m probably just going to stay with how I’ve been doing it — one or two a month, because it does get physically draining. Hopefully, I can get my website together again, put it back up. I’ve been thinking about maybe doing something with content creation for it, but it’s just so hard right now, with how porn is… everything’s free. So, is it worth it? I don’t know. We’ll have to see. But, that’s why I’d like to direct for somebody and create content that way!