Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Former Penthouse Pet Chanel Preston has made more than 200 adult films since entering the XXX-rated movie industry in 2010. A year later, she was voted New Starlet of the Year, and two years ago she presented the trophies at the 2012 AVN Awards.
Last year here at the Hard Rock Hotel, Chanel introduced the red carpet parade of pulchritude, and now this year she’s co-hosting the 31st annual porn awards alongside Samantha Saint.
In her world, it’s a giddy and rapid climb to the top for the girl who fled the cold of Alaska for the warmth of Hawaii before jumping into the adult-entertainment world.
Chanel and I chatted before she flew here this week for the 2014 AVN/Adult Entertainment Expo and prepping for Saturday’s awards marathon.
So the first question will obviously be the easiest one, which is are you looking forward to being an awards host? Is this the first time you’ve been a host of the show?
This is the first time, and I’m very excited! I really enjoy doing hosting work like interviewing people and being onstage. I can add this to a long list of experiences on my resume.
And then the second silly question is have you picked out yet what you’re wearing, and how many outfits are you wearing?
I haven’t picked everything out. I’m wearing three, but I’ve picked out only one at this point. I’m going to have to really get on it that week before Las Vegas. My red carpet dress is sleek, black and low cut, very simple, but very sexy.
They want the last one to be shorter and fun vs. elegant because it will be the one I wear out afterward to the party. The second one I’ll mostly be onstage with, so I want it to be sparkly and glittery.
In addition to hosting the show, have you been nominated for awards?
I am; I have nine nominations — Performer of the Year, Supporting Actress and the other ones I can’t tell you because you’d never be able print them! The Performer of the Year is an overall thing for all the movies I made the past 12 months, not for anything specific. The supporting actress is for my role of Laverne in the parody of “Laverne & Shirley.”
How long have you been in the adult-film business?
Almost 4 years as of the end of this month. I’m originally from Alaska. I was born and raised in Alaska, but a lot of people mistake me being from Hawaii because I lived there when I first got into the industry. It just sort of happened that you seek the warmth instead of the cold.
Were you a rebel as a kid?
Not really; I went through my stage as a teenager, for sure, but I wouldn’t really say overall I was a rebel. I was full on throwing myself into this business. I was a little nervous that first day, but I jumped right into the deep end. It’s not that there is really a way of working into it!
Despite 10 nominations, I didn’t win any awards last year, but I did host the red carpet. They were able to really see how I worked. I’d like to think maybe that was my test. I think generally they choose people who can speak well and represent themselves and the industry well.
It’s really an honor because there are some really amazing performers in our industry, but not all of them can really compose themselves up onstage in front of a big group of people or on national television.
What do you think you’ll bring to the show that’s different from what it’s been in the past? Your humor? Your constant wit?
I think it is my personality. When I’m in front of the camera, I tend to be very fun and lively and funny and witty, so I think that will really complement my co-host Samantha Saint. She’s very lively, as well, but also very composed; she’s a total beauty queen, so I think it will be a really nice dynamic.
I like to think we’ll make it a little sassier, more sparkling than it’s been in the past. I’m hoping that I have more freedom than maybe they’ve given some girls previously. I won’t know fully until I get to Las Vegas to start meeting about it, but I would love to add some pizzazz to it. We’ll see.
Why does this award show mean so much to the people in your industry?
It’s the most put-together award show. It’s the biggest one and right after the AEE convention where all the fans are. You get a whole week of being really excited about the award show because the fans are really involved. This one is definitely the most glamorous one, the one where people dress up the most. It’s the biggest production, and it’s aired on TV.
It’s a big week for Las Vegas and you, but do you enjoy our city when you don’t have the pressures of a 3-hour live show?
Las Vegas is definitely a strange escape from your life. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s this really fun place where you feel like you go on this really hardcore vacation for a week. I mostly come there to work. I’ve been a couple of times on vacation, but most of the time, I’m there to work. The best thing is that when you go there to work, you always get to play a little bit. Even if you’re sitting at the airport, you can still gamble. I’m not a huge gambler or risk taker unless it’s someone else’s money. I’m usually there filming.
How is the industry here in Las Vegas?
It’s small, so far, but there are a few big companies out there like Naughty America who recently moved out there, and Brazzers directors have been out, too. I don’t really know if I can determine how busy it is. I just come out when I’m asked to.
I have some projects I’m working on now, so I’m really trying to branch out this year, even though I’m remaining in the industry. I’m going to try to put my feelers out there and see what I can do beyond adult. I’m creating an episode series that will launch this month, so I’ll talk that up while I’m in Las Vegas.
They’re not XXX-rated. It’s going to be more of a social commentary. It’s going to address social issues today surrounding sexuality. It’s going to be a way for people to feel more comfortable about sexuality and be exposed to the issues around them and how it affects them.
Any final thoughts on Saturday’s show?
The highlight for me will definitely be hosting and being up there onstage. I’m nervous, but excited about it. They told me several months ago that I would be doing it, so I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. The best is just being a part of the entire AVN experience. I promise you that it will be different, and everybody will have a hot, fun time with us.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Arguably one the coolest joints in town, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino houses some of Vegas' best entertainment, restaurants and nightlife.
At Hard Rock, it's all about the music. From the light fixtures made out of drum cymbals and guitar shaped door handles to stage costumes and tools of the trade of legendary musicians displayed on the walls, the hotel screams rock and roll. The Hard Rock's Joint has hosted some the biggest names in music — from The Who to Bob Dylan to hometown heroes, The Killers.Aside from the music venues, the pool at the Hard Rock is one of its biggest attractions. Spread out over 4.7 acres, the pool area features swim-up blackjack, a bar and grill, private cabanas, a bevy of secluded nooks, a waterfall and an extensive live music venue with a dance floor. During the summer, the pool transforms into the Rehab club on Sunday afternoons.
The resident nightclub Body English fuses European elegance with a rock star bachelor pad and it often a hot spot for visiting celebs and popular DJs. Vintage rock memorabilia lines the walls at Wasted Space, Hard Rock's anti-club.
Restaurants at Hard Rock are just as hip as the rest of the casino. Pink Taco serves up Mexican dishes, as well as a Central American and Caribbean menu. Nobu, one of five worldwide Japanese-specialty restaurants from famed Nobu Matsuhisa, satisfies a different taste. For round-the-clock cuisine, Mr. Lucky's 24/7, is sure to ease your appetite even after a Vegas-all-nighter.