This superstar performer turned director is a gay adult erotica legend. Just last year he was inducted onto the Grabby Wall of Fame. He’s performed in over 50 Raging Stallion scenes, is fast approaching his 100th directorial accomplishment and just released the 25th movie from Hard Friction (the video line he launched with his partner Bruno Bond) with the newest feature from that line Want It Now.
His versatile style is unquestionably intense, and he builds releases around modern situations complete with pop culture references. Add to that an innate ability to pair models that have blazing chemistry and connection, and you get some of the best video coming out of the all-male porn genre.
Steve’s biggest accomplishments as a performer are taking home the 2008 Grabby for Best Newcomer, 2009 Performer of the Year Grabby, 2010 GayVN Award for Best Supporting Actor, 2011 Cybersocket Award for Performer of the Year, and being inducted onto the Grabby Wall of Fame in 2012.
Cruz is as comfortable behind the camera as he was in front of it.
Lately he’s pumping out 15-20 new releases a year, and continuing to create top-notch hits while changing up the mood based on the line he’s working on. He shows his versatility by keeping it fresh and modern while staying true to the line’s voice, whether it’s Raging Stallion, Monster Bang, Falcon or his own Hard Friction. Steve received multiple Grabby nominations for his recent Raging Stallion hit Timberwolves, directed the 2013 blockbuster Open Road, Part 1 and Open Road, Part 2 and just returned from Spain where he shot a spectacular new feature, The Tourist, for Raging Stallion.
With these big milestones in his career, we took a few moments to chat with Steve about his work and his passion:
HUNT: You’ve directed or contributed to directing nearly 100 features. Quite an accomplishment. What keeps you going and inspired?
Steve Cruz: Really! Time flies while you’re having fun I guess. Wow!
The men keep me going. Being around beautiful men all the time makes it fun. The hot sex was the reason I started performing and the reason I wanted to direct. Six years ago the sheer excitement drove me. I never stop striving to be better. This pushes me forward.
Tales of the Arabian Nights, his final performance for Raging Stallion.
HUNT: What was it like making the transition from performer to director? There was a time when you were doing both; when did you decide to become a full-time director and did you have any specific reason for finishing up your performing career?
SC: It wasn’t easy. You have so much to learn; you have to be willing to make the project the star. Being a performer came naturally. This is work!
If I am successful it’s because I had endless energy to burn and a thick skin against critics. So why leave performing? I had more to give, more to be… so while my career was at a peak I decided to stop performing and start the next adventure!
HUNT: What’s your approach to gay erotic filmmaking?
SC: I was trained to put the action— the sex— first. If anything comes before the sex, the point is lost. Most of my films are of the ‘All-Sex’ genre for that reason. It’s impossible to manufacture, but if you get the opportunity to cast a project the right way, you can make a scene that has that perfect chemistry the fans want to see. My biggest hurdle is getting casting right and infusing natural erotic connection between our men into the many, many projects I direct each year.
HUNT: Hard Friction celebrates its silver anniversary with the 25th release from the line. Tell us a little bit more about why you think it’s been so successful.
SC: It’s a good, reliable brand. Bruno and I cast the guys we want to see. Its straight forward sex without the distraction of directorial flights of fancy. If you want a good hard fuck between guys who are into each other, Hard Friction is the best bet.
HUNT: What was your favorite thing about performing and what is your favorite thing about directing? Anything about either you could do without?
SC: My favorite thing about performing was having great sex with the hottest guys we could find and filming it. It’s really the same thing I enjoy as a director with the added advantage that I call the shots.
The thing I could do without applies to both. That is the negativity that clouds any entertainment business. I’ve grown from an open person to a private one. I don’t read blogs. I center my heart and my mind only on the joy of the film making process and I let our amazing promotions department represent me in the media.
HUNT: What is your most celebrated achievement?
SC: I haven’t experienced it yet. It’s yet to be created.
HUNT: Tell us about some of your favorite projects as a director. What made them special?
SC: I loved working on Timberwolves. I went out on a limb attempting my version of a story driven feature. The actors made it a hit. They keep everything sexy, and they each brought a natural attraction to the screen with their partners while staying in their characters. I just wrapped on The Tourist. Working with Francesco D’Macho as a translating assistant was like being with family again. And Rogan Richards embodied everything physically and emotionally that I envisioned. He’s the full package. Brains, body, big dick and a talented actor.
Cruz on location shooting The Tourist in Madrid.
HUNT: What is it that you look for in performers?
SC: Willingness as well as beauty. I read an article recently about models who aren’t into their scene partners and how they have to check out just to get through it. That made me sad to read. While I know from experience as a model you won’t be into everyone on set… still, a true sexual performer is an elevated breed to me. So I hire and rehire the guys that work WITH me and trust me to bring something sexy but still human to a scene, not a vacated robot whose meter is running. Harsh? Maybe. And, please, if you’re a performer and you ever work for me, don’t ever ask me, “How long is this going to take?”
HUNT: Your skill at getting great performances out of gay porn actors is well-known; can you give us any insight into what you do to get these guys to deliver?
SC: That’s reassuring. I try to inspire, to be their cheerleader. That’s easier when things are going perfectly. You know, sometimes conditions are difficult on a set. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s just not a comfortable setting. But, chances are I’ve been in the position they have been in before. So I just try to relate and find what we all need to push through. It’s never a one man show.
HUNT: When you’re not making some of the hottest gay porn around, what are you doing? Do you have any other passions?
SC: Editing the hottest gay porn around. Kidding, not kidding. They keep me plenty busy. Honestly though, I have so many creative passions my regret is that there are only 24 hours to a day, 7 days a week.
I try to keep up with my painting as much as I can. I love to cook. I live for travel and playing with my cats. And if I can steal any more time from a day, I practice my bass guitar. Maybe in my next life I’ll discover the sport of power napping.
HUNT: Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences. How can fans keep up with current projects you’re working on?
SC: They can follow me on Twitter: @iamstevecruz and check the Falcon & Raging Stallion Blog or subscribe to HUNT.
For a Steve Cruz Performer Videography, visit his Falcon & Raging Stallion Store Model Profile.
Steve Cruz Director Videography –
Raging Stallion Features:
The Tourist (available soon)
Under My Skin, Part 1 (available soon)
Under My Skin, Part 2 (available soon)
Open Road, Part 2
Open Road, Part 1
In Yer Face!
Giants, Part 2
Giants, Part 1
When Men Fuck
Caught On Tape
Muscle & Ink
Hard Friction Features:
Want It Now
All The Way
So Into You
Need It Bad
Late Night Hit
Falcon Studios Features:
Tahoe – Snow Plowed
Tahoe – Snow Packed
Deep Inside, Part 2
Deep Inside, Part 1
I Want You
The Guys Next Door, Part 2
The Guys Next Door, Part 1
Monster Bang Features:
Hung Americans, Part 1
Hung Americans, Part 2
Stripped 1: Make It Rain
Stripped 2: Hard For The Money
Use Me Like A Tool
It Gets Bigger
Big Dick Revolution
He’s Got A Big Package
Mustang Studios Features:
Guys Like Us Features:
JOCKS Studios Features:
Fetish Force Features:
Suck My Cock: