Matthew Stephen Herrick is a professional and succesfull actor and model who has earned his stripes in theater as well as on TV and film. James Loy is a photographer known for his outstanding work in fashion, commerce and with many celebrities. Both men are public property, and know as no other what it is to be the center of attention and have the eyes of the world on them. But they are also human, with human thoughts, human interests and human fantasies.
James, you have made name for yourself being a commercial photographer in the area of fashion and celebrities, and Matthew, being a celebrity yourself… how did you guys come up with the concept of voyeurism and self made porn?
James: This concept has been in the back of my mind for a while and after I worked with Matthew on another photo shoot, I approached him with the idea. Matthew was very excited about it and when he told me about his part in an upcoming play the whole tie in was great. I talked with Matthew more about the concept, dealing with the look and feel of the images and what we both wanted from it.
Matthew: James had come to me with the idea originally. When he ran it past me I was all for it because I recently booked a lead in a play here in Los Angeles called ‘Nuns Against Porn’. It was funny because all the work I had been doing really had this very sexual voyeuristic feel to it. Of course it was at every end of the spectrum. The play is a over the top tasteless comedy that takes jabs to the Catholic church. My character is a goofy over energetic aspiring porn star who doesn’t exactly succeed at his goals. Everything just seemed to fit into the overall theme of sex, power, personalities and being completely free both sexually and mentally. We toyed with ideas for a while on the setting and ascetics of the shoot. We wanted to do something that would engage the viewer. The series gives the you the feeling that you are a part of what you see - the outside looking in or a fly on the wall. There’s something really sexy to be able to see someone release all their inhibitions when they think no one is watching. You get to see what so many of us hide.
The concept of the shoot: a gentleman indulging himself in the private fantasy of filming his most intimate dreams, expresses a certain duality in the human mind. How much of this concept reflects your own personality?
Matthew: Well I wont have a sex tape floating around anytime soon haha! I put myself out there all the time with my work. The entertainment industry is a very judgmental place. Everything you do is under a microscope. I guess expressing yourself whether it be sexually or through what you say do or look like is very freeing. You let all reservations go when you share in a intimate moment as you do when you get on stage and perform. People share in my intimate moments and dreams when they watch a film of mine or they look at photos of me or they hear the thoughts and opinions I have. Letting all inhibitions go is very much part of my life. I have no choice in the matter as I’m here to entertain.
James: For me as a photographer my images always reflect some personal side. From commercial work to my personal work.
Matthew, we will soon be able to see you starring in the upcoming gay oriented film Role/Play. Can you tell us more about this movie?
Matthew: The movie is focused on the media coverage that surrounds a public figure after they are outed to the world. Celebrities are sometimes forced to share very private information to the public. The media tends to twist and focus on these type of situations and it can inevitably destroy someones career. Role/Play delves into the process that one man goes through after he is exposed by the media that he is gay. In the film I play a man named Parker Ryland. He is a very successful soap opera actor that is tied to the scandal of a sex tape being released depicting both himself and Graham Windsor (Steve Callahan), another successful soap actor, sharing an intimate moment. The problem is Parker is suspected to be the one to leak the tape. I think this film is hitting at the right time as more and more celebrities are being forced to come out or the gossip blogs are outing them. The backlash of this is so interesting to me because it really raises a lot of questions. I mean, look at all thèse celebrities that have been coming out or the recent uproar of the Newsweek article that said no gay man could ever play a straight man, specifically attacking certain actors that are phenomenal performers. Why is this still such a huge stigma in society? It’s bizarre BUT it gets people talking and questioning. This film allows you to see what happens behind the glitz and glamour of hollywood and see how people are affected by the media.
Being gay yourself, has this in any way influenced your career?
James: I am good at photographing men.
Have you ever had – and considered - offers to participate in erotic of pornographic films?
James: Only as a stand in ☺
Matthew: LOL. I have been contacted quite a few times by places I will not name. They are relentless man! They are just no bullshit and put it all out on the table. I respect that but I would never do porn or consider it. Sex is very personal to me. I am very much a connection type guy when when it comes down to it. I don’t talk to others about my sexual ventures I keep that for myself and the person I am spending the time with. So having sex on camera for money will never be my thing. It’s too personal for me.
James, looking at your work, and specially your personal projects, we recognize a great sense of sexual sensation and suggestive scenes. Thinking about the concept of this particular shoot, what are your professional limitations in photography. How far would you go?
James: Limitations, what’s that? (Laughing) When I am photographing a model I prefer no limits, images can be edited out, so don’t hold back.
James: I will never tell, you want to find out in person how far I will go? (Laughing)
You published a book, Overture, that displays short photographic stories. We have come to know you are currently working on a second book. What can you tell us about that project?
James: The concept for my next book will be a photographic series of short stories exploring more of the sexual darker side of people and what happens behind closed doors.
Matthew, James, the work you do as photographer and as actor made you a public figure. How do you feel about voyeurism and, related to that, exhibitionism?
Matthew: I totally get it. There’s something very exciting and freeing about it all. I would say I'm more of an exhibitionist than a voyeuristic type. There’s something stimulating and sexy knowing that you can turn someone on with your body and movement as they watch from a distance.
James: By nature photography is voyeurism. So I am more a voyeur then an exhibitionist, but I prefer to be the ringleader.
Being a photographer James, and Matthew, being an actor you doubtless get intimate proposals. How do you deal with this? Or, in other words, how do you keep your most private experiences out of the public eye?
Matthew: It’s funny because my friends and agent tell me to never respond to any emails or any sort of sexual advances from people offering things for my time. I mean I get the fact I am an actor/model so that sort of makes me a prostitute to a certain degree right? LOL! We pimp ourselves out constantly. In all honesty though, I’m a huge dork and I respond to people all the time. I thank them for their email etc but unfortunately that it is not going to happen. I know I should just leave it alone but I was raised to be polite no matter what. Haha!
My personal life is very important to me. Working in the Entertainment industry you put yourself out there all the time. You need to have something for yourself. I don’t like to get too involved with the whole song and dance of wanting to be front and center all the time, the way a lot of these celebrities do. I understand it’s part of the territory when it comes to this industry and what we do but there has to be some sort of line that you have to draw. I always want the focus to be on my work.
James: What happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors. I never kiss and tell, unless you get me drunk (laughing) -B-
MATTHEW STEPHEN HERRICK | BEAUTIFULMAG
JAMES LOY | BEAUTIFULMAG