Anita Rinaldi is a porn industry Jill-of-all-trades. Once a red-hot starlet in her own right in Europe, the beautiful blonde has now turned her attention to working behind the camera as a director, producer and casting agent. She runs her own production agency, seductively titled the Touch Me Agency, and jet sets between Europe and the United States, where her boyfriend, director Paul Thomas, resides.
"If I'm the John Cassavetes (A Woman Under the Influence) of porn, she's more like the Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction, Jacob’s Ladder) of porn," says a smitten Thomas. And he's not far off the mark. One look at Rinaldi’s imagery and surreal storytelling devices and it becomes evident that she has a vision far more artistic than many of her porn peers.
Born in Italy, Rinaldi spent her formative years in Budapest, Hungary where she began modeling. In 1993, she made the jump from magazines to adult videos, starring in a slew of Euro-titles before finally appearing in some tapes that made it Stateside. Some of her more memorable early domestic roles were in Seymore Butts: My Travels With The Tramp, the Midnight Express parody Midnight Obsession, and her turn with Rocco Siffredi in 1996's Miss Liberty.
"In Europe it's so different," Rinaldi tells AVN. "We don't have clubs to dance, we can't appear anywhere because we have no places to appear. I didn't feel comfortable being in front of the camera anymore but I really liked being behind the camera and creating the whole thing."
By 1997 Rinaldi stepped out from in front of the camera to helm the ambitious feature Planet Sexxx. Since her well-received directorial debut, Rinaldi has directed a number of projects, including Visions (Sin City), Necklace (Vivid), and many others.
"I had these great visual ideas," she explains, "and I thought why should I be giving them away to others for their films? So I put up the money and started to shoot myself." Yes, it's just that easy... if you happen to be a drop dead gorgeous blonde with a career in steamy sex.
"She's very, very visual," agrees Thomas, who met Rinaldi on the European set of his Jekyll & Hyde. "I like to work with people who are inspired enough to come up with a really good, original idea. It's like a gift. Anita's product speaks for itself and she's really good."
These days Rinaldi spends her time running her agency in Hungary, where she still resides and works, and America, where she just shot her first exclusively U.S.-based video, The Stable, for Vivid.
"The story is about a fetish club that looks like a stable," Rinaldi explains on the production’s set. "Savanna Samson is a journalist who is investigating the club and finds out that her editor is the owner. This is my first time shooting in the U.S., and I'm amazed. When the talent comes on the set, they know their lines, they are prepared, they love to act and perform."
"Porn is all about sex," she continues, "so defining the story and finding reasons to have sex is always a problem. Originally I was supposed to shoot this movie in Europe with my European talent who speak no English at all. But after we decided to make it here is became easier. Now it has more story and more dialogue. I can create more."
One love that Rinaldi has been able to pursue while bringing her artistic and sexual fantasies to the screen is interior design. On the set of The Stable, Rinaldi was overseeing the set design, eyeing every detail of a massive undertaking, turning a deserted downtown Los Angeles loft into a stable-themed fetish club.
"This was an empty spot before and we created the whole thing," she says while surveying the construction. "I designed the whole thing and gave it to the set builder and he built it. That was the most fun for me, to design it. I always do art direction for my movies because I'm very anal about details."
With a slew of new titles on the way, several AVN Award nominations under her belt and a number of deals on the table, Rinaldi looks to have a big year in 2003, right?
"Well, I have to do a movie for Erotic Media in Switzerland and one for the Germans, too," she reports. "I'm also talking to Adam & Eve about something, too. These days I'm very busy so I just go one-by-one."
Movies Anita Rinaldi Directed
The Bride (1999) Anita Rinaldi
Fetish Underground (2003) Anita Rinaldi
Lonesome Night (1998) Anita Rinaldi
Necklace (2002) Anita Rinaldi
Planet Sex (2003) Anita Rinaldi
Private Black Label 42 (2005) Anita Rinaldi
Private Movies College Girl Revenge (2005) Anita Rinaldi
Thieves of Love (1999) Anita Rinaldi
Visions (2002) Anita Rinaldi