Katsuni Publishes Autobiography; Action Movie Hits Netflix

LOS ANGELES—Katsuni goes in depth about her award-winning porn career in her new autobiography that was published in her native France earlier this year.

The AVN Hall of Fame performer, now known as Celine Tran, says the book examines her life from childhood until present day with numerous anecdotes about her experiences in the adult industry.

Published by Fayard Editions in March, the French title of the book is “Ne dis pas que tu aimes ça,” which translated means “Don’t tell you like it.”

“Every day I receive really nice comments not only from the readers, but also the press,” Tran tells AVN from her home in Paris. “I’m very happy to have reached my goal, which was absolutely not to write a success story.

“Most of all I wanted to share a path—an intimate experience from my childhood to today.”

Tran started her adult film career in 2002, performing in more than 400 adult films before retiring in 2013 to focus on her mainstream entertainment career. The ex-Digital Playground contract star bowed out as one of the winningest female performers of all time with more than two dozen international awards.

She is the only three-time winner of AVN Female Foreign Performer of the Year, capturing the award three consecutive times from 2005-07.

“Porn is of course a big part of the book but most of all I’m talking about my relationship to my body, to men, how I used sexuality as a language to discover myself, how I built my identity and expressed my freedom,” Trans explains. “Sexual energy is at the center of my life. Today I’m using it to express myself in different ways and not only through sex!”

She says she chose the title “Don’t tell you like it” because that was what a publicist told her right before she was a guest on a French TV show years ago.

“[She said], ‘Be careful! Don’t tell you like it!’ It’s not politically correct,” Tran recalls. “Most of the young women who do porn find an excuse to speak about it and journalists love it. This way, they don’t feel guilty. They think that the audience will feel safer if, for example, a girl from the adult industry says, ‘I didn’t really choose this job. I was r***d when I was a kid. I hate it. I regret it. Or I do it with my boyfriend only’ (which would mean I’m not a slut.)

“Or also, ‘I’m a feminist’ (which would mean, I respect myself and I’m not really a slut either).”

Tran continues, “If you say you ‘like it,’ the French audience has some issues to accept it. We speak a lot about sex, but it doesn’t mean we are comfortable about it. Money is also a taboo. So you can imagine how porn is still considered something obscene.”

Tran says that is the reason why her book is blister-packaged and not recommended to anyone under the age of 18. According to French law, Tran notes, speaking about porn in a positive way can be considered as an “incitement to indecency.”

“To me, it’s always been insane to think this way,” she adds. “My speech has always been simple and clear: I chose this job because I liked it. I enjoyed having sex on camera, having different partners, discovering different sexual practices, and being paid for that.

“Yes, I might’ve experienced some painful moments in my professional and personal life, but all these moments are a part of this choice. They belong to me. They made me who I am today. And today I’m happy. I know myself. I’m free.”

Tran says at its core her autobiography is about “sexuality, identity and making choices fully.”

“It’s about the pleasure and the necessity of taking risks,” she says. “In order to know yourself, to learn, to grow up and share and to give yourself the chance to start over.

“It’s also about my new life. So many people here in France still have some negative judgments against porn actresses. Many times I heard, ‘Give up, you won’t succeed. You’re always going be Katsuni the slut. Nobody cares about Celine, nobody wants to hear you or see you with your clothes on.’

“I smile. And I just keep doing what I feel is right for me. I keep learning and pushing my limits. And guess what? It works.”

Tran already is working on her next books—a guide to sexuality and a work of fiction. She is collaborating with an association in France called “OPEN” about improving communication between teens and their parents about being responsible when it comes to adult entertainment.

“My goal always is to invite people to stop judging themselves and others and instead connect to their body and intimacy so they can be happy in their sexual life,” Tran says. “Performance is just a technique, and it’s also a marketing tool. But we shouldn’t miss the real goal of having sex: to feel good!”

“Don’t tell you like it” is only available in French for now, but Tran says her goal is to produce an English version, too.

Tran at post time was also starting a new job as Director of Collection at Glenat, one of the largest publishers of comic books in France.

“We are launching a new collection in September called ‘Porn & Pop’ dedicated to sexuality in comics,” she reveals.

Meanwhile, she recently took another step in her mainstream acting career when the movie Jailbreak, which she had a prominent role in two years ago, became available worldwide on Netflix.

Tran starred in the martial arts action thriller that made the rounds on the international film festival circuit in 2017. She played Madame, the sword-wielding gang leader of “The Butterflies,” in the NC-15 film produced by Kongchak Pictures.

Shot in Cambodia, the movie follows a group of four special task f***e officers who are sent to a maximum security prison to escort a recently arrested mobster named Playboy (Savin Philip).

Tran’s Madame Butterfly was betrayed by Playboy, who might give up inside info on her gang, so she goes on a mission to catch and stop him by any means necessary. Chaos ensues as the prisoners take over the grounds.

“This movie is a very low budget but represents a real event in Khmer history,” Tran says. “The country is rebuilding itself since a few years, its movie industry almost doesn’t exist.”

Khmer people are a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Cambodia.

With its elaborate martial arts sequences, Jailbreak played in movie theaters in several Asian countries and also had its own game on mobile phones in both the Asian and European markets.

“It’s a good entertainment for the audience who loves martial arts,” says Tran, who recently earned her 1st Dan (black belt) in Taekwondo. “The script is very simple, the acting is not stunning and it really responds to the Khmer culture with its own codes and sense of humor. But if you want to see great fighters in action and see me speaking Khmer, don’t hesitate!”

Tran badly injured her ankle while training a few days before she began shooting the film.

“I didn’t want to cancel, so I still did the fight,” she reveals. “Of course, nobody has a stunt double on this production. Everybody trained and did their own fights. That’s one of the main points of this project: everybody invested themselves and took their own risks.”

She continues, “There was not enough budget to book studios. We shot in real abandoned buildings. One location was destroyed by a storm, so the production had to build a new set for the fake jail at the last minute.

“… There was not enough protections for everyone either. Some of the stunt performers (who learned to do stunts for this movie as they were initially real fighters) had only some cardboard pads to protect themselves. No smoke-machine, only incense!

“And of course, you can imagine there was no air conditioner. That was the toughest part: training and fighting with this intense heat. I can tell you that shooting porn (in the USA) was much easier! But I’m glad I could take part in it. It’s been an exciting challenge and I have now some more projects as an actress.”

The film premiered in Cambodia in late January of 2017 before landing at Hong Kong’s Filmart and then the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, in April of last year. Jailbreak also screened in Switzerland at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea and made its North American premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal.

The French-Vietnamese actress says she secured the role in Jailbreak after a meeting at Filmart in Hong Kong in 2015 when casting director Mike Leeder introduced her to Kongchak Pictures.

She had already been training for two years on her own with a crew of stunt performers and choreographers. Tran’s character appears in the movie from beginning to end; she spent 10 days training and about a week shooting under the direction of Italian filmmaker Jimmy Henderson.

Madame Butterfly speaks in French, English and Khmer, the official language of Cambodia.

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Written by: Dan Miller

Originally published on: https://avn.com/business/articles/video/katsuni-writes-autobiography-in-france-action-movie-hits-netflix-783066.html

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