The Life of Linda Lovelace: Spit or swallow?

February 16, 2012

Linda Lovelace

Two biopics of the infamous ex-porno star Linda Lovelace are scheduled for release in the next year. Amanda Seyfried and Malin Akerman have both secured the leading roles for the two films, Lovelace and Inferno, respectively. Why are there two biopics in production? What is it about Linda Lovelace that has intrigued credible directors and hot, young Hollywood starlets?

Linda Lovelace and her talent have been associated with the infamous film Deep Throat: a trailblazing pornographic production that created a wavelength of acceptance for an X-rated industry. Released in June of 1972, the film was Linda Susan Boreman’s claim to fame. Through her stage name, Linda Lovelace, she became infamous for her oral talents.

Deep Throat was the first adult film to make its way into the mainstream, not to mention the first X-rated film to feature a plot and soundtrack. It was a huge hit in the 70s, and even The New York Times reviewed it. Fans included Martin Scorsese, Truman Capote and Barbara Walters. Pornography was becoming ‘chic’ and Linda Lovelace became a symbol for the sexual revolution. That is, until the starlet testified before the Meese Commission, revealing stories of abuse and rape.

Linda Boreman claimed that her marriage to Chuck Traynor had been an abusive one with incidences of abuse, rape and forced prostitution. To the Toronto Sun on March 20th, 1981, she said, “It is a crime that movie is still showing; there was a gun to my head the entire time.” In one of the five biographies written about the ex-porn star, she states that the abuse and rape went back to the beginning of the marriage, claiming that her initiation into the pornography industry was a horrible gang rape arranged by Traynor.

A huge amount of controversy surrounded these allegations and many of her fellow actors condemned her for betraying the industry. Pornographer and writer Hart Williams even came up with the term “Linda Syndrome” to refer to women who leave pornography and try and justify their questionable past by condemning the industry. Linda Boreman began to speak out with the feminist anti-pornography movement and was joined by feminists such as Gloria Steinem, Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin.

The life and times of Linda Lovelace include two marriages, abuse, glamour, porn, fame, controversy, activism and tragedy. Her story was crying to be written into a script, and the fact that five biographies about her life exist may be proof enough that two adaptations can coexist. It’s no surprise that the planned films have sparked a fair share of media hype, with many stars, including Lindsay Lohan, Olivia Wilde and even Courtney Love, attracted to the role of the controversial porn star before Seyfried and Akerman were snatched up.

Do we really need two biopics of the ex-porn star? No. Do we mind? No. In the end, it’s a bit of healthy competition – Akerman vs. Seyfried. The two films will apparently be two completely different takes of Lovelace’s story. The two sets of cast, directors and writers are also so different that it’ll be interesting to see who will win the box office fight. Just be warned that whichever film you watch, It won’t be a Hollywood-budget remake of Deep Throat. Akerman herself articulated in an interview with MTV, “I’m not making a porn, I promise. No porn. You can go to the XXX stores for those.” Both films will be tackling the darker circumstances surrounding the infamous porno, Lovelace’s tumultuous relationship to Chuck Traynor and the star’s transition from porn star to Gloria Steinem’s best friend.

Amanda Seyfriend vs Malin Akerman

So, Team Lovelace or Team Inferno? Here’s a quick breakdown of the Linda Lovelace battle:

Lovelace

  • Directed by Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman (Howl)
  • Linda Lovelace – Amanda Seyfried
  • Chuck Traynor – Peter Sarsgaard
  • Harry Reems – Adam Brody
  • Gloria Steinem- Sarah Jessica Parker (previously Demi Moore)
  • Hugh Hefner – James Franco

Inferno

  • Directed by Matthew Wilder (Your Name Here)
  • Linda Lovelace – Malin Akerman (previously Lindsay Lohan)
  • Chuck Traynor – Matt Dillon
  • Harry Reems – Adam Goldberg

Once both films hit the box office, the choice will be up to you, dear reader!