Retrostuds of the Past: The Inimitable, Luminous George Payne

While going through the Bijou Video file cabinets in search of inspiration, George Payne of Centurians of Rome fame (and one of my initial gay porn crushes, ah, those “mesmerizing dark eyes”) reveals all in an absolutely fabulous 1979 interview with Mandate magazine, called “The Pleasure Payne Principle.” 

George Payne

Digging deeper into his inimitable sex appeal, which a previous interview inMandate defined as luminosity, George is definitely clear about his physicality: I'm not a muscle man … I'm only five feet, seven inches tall, and weight one-hundred-fifty-five pounds.” Big things come in small packages. He always seems tall to me; perhaps it is his carriage, reminding me of another small person who filled the screen, my gay icon, Joan Crawford. 

And his diet, which has obviously worked, consists of one meal a day, a lot of coffee, and too many cigarettes. Again, he seems to be channeling Joan; that was her diet, especially in the early days of MGM. 

And there's another parallel to Joan (not the porn! Joan did not make any porn loops). George was on his own since he was fifteen. Yes, he's totally self-made. He had to drop out of college to care for a sick relative, but he was always self-supporting. Early gigs before his porn career included singing at the Big Top, a porno theater in a take-off of the soap opera spoof, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. He even did imitations of Bela Lugosi! 

Another interesting tidbit about George. He never stripped live on stage, and he also never played a heavy leather guy (my heart faints when I imagine him in full leather), because, he says, “I always leave alone in films – meaning I live alone – which is something I do in my private life.” 

George Payne - The Pleasure Payne Principle interview continued

It's like he understood, like Joan, the whole royal “daylight and magic” dichotomy; he entices the most by always leaving the viewer (and his captors in Centurians of Rome) hungering for more, beginning with that stargaze that says silently: “I dare you to want me. And if I do take you, or let you take me, it will be more than you ever dared.” 

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