Ivory-skinned beauty Misha Cross and “Game Of Thrones” actress Samantha Bentley bring their intense love affair to a desperate crescendo in the concluding chapter of filmmaker John Stagliano’s sophisticated, extreme new Sapphic epic. “Hard In Love 2” premieres May 27 at EvilAngel.com, and on June 6 Evil Angel will release the sequel on DVD and VOD.
Evil Angel has been promoting the “Hard In Love” movies with a social media campaign. Bentley, Cross and Stagliano interacted with fans in a series of live Periscope broadcasts, and when the two stars took over Evil Angel’s Twitter account for a day, their tweets about “Hard In Love” resulted in nearly 166,000 impressions, a traffic increase of about 38 percent.
Accomplished XXX thespians Bentley and Cross, who wrote the entire “Hard In Love” project, turn in exquisite performances, embodying love at its most dark and psychotic. Each installment runs about four hours and includes an additional half-hour of behind-the-scenes footage — available in all formats — showing the writing process and Stagliano’s on-set direction. Trailers for “Hard In Love 2” and “Hard In Love” at EvilAngelVideo.com show real, messy, hard fetish domination motivated by the story’s erotic betrayal and vengeance.
Stagliano explains the genesis of the project: “Somehow I found myself escorting Ms. Bentley and Ms. Cross to a party at Insomnia in Berlin. I realized I was in the presence of two very talented women. We talked about love, and falling hard. I soon realized I was out of my league trying to create a story about female emotional drama. Samantha and Misha are much more intuitively equipped. We connected with regard to the type of sex I wanted to shoot and they loved to do. ‘Hard In Love’ was born.”
Evil Angel Domestic Sales Manager Justin Rich says the first “Hard In Love” has been getting a good response from distributors. “John’s big, ambitious features — like ‘The Fashionistas’ and ‘Voracious’ — have always done well. And this new one has incredibly marketable talent. Misha is the 2016 AVN Female Foreign Performer Of The Year, after X-Biz named her the Foreign Female Performer Of The Year in 2015. And Samantha does big-time, mainstream drama, appearing in multiple episodes of HBO’s ‘Game Of Thrones.’”
Stagliano found Bentley and Cross truly compelling. He observes, “Samantha can go from thoughtful and intelligent, in our script discussions, to a demon-driven psycho, seamlessly, believably and intensely. This is the second time I have edited a movie she was in for me, where I find the material we have created to be too disturbingly real for me to watch, at first.”
The director considers some of the movie’s best acting to be in a scene where Bentley must watch provocative video of Cross. Says Stagliano, “Misha is a driven bitch who says to Samantha, ‘When you watch this, I hope your head explodes.’ Misha’s body looks like a teen, but her face and emotion are sophisticated and depraved.”
A major presence in “Hard In Love” is striking, towering Angel Long, who like Bentley is British. “Samantha recommended I hire Angel to dominate her,” recalls Stagliano. “I was a fan of Angel’s when she did scenes in the early 2000s. Today she is a dom, and is obsessive about working out. Her flaming red hair and powerful, sexy, English-accented voice really work for me. The Brits always sound smarter and more depraved than Americans. Angel is the catalyst that ignites this jealousy-driven story of revenge and psycho depravity. She’s like Rocco in a boy-girl movie to me. She drives scenes.”
Stagliano shot “Hard In Love” in some favorite locations, with the help of reliable friends. “Rocco Siffredi offered me the use of his studio in Budapest. Things always go better for me when Rocco is around. And we shot in Berlin! Dominique, the owner of Insomnia, offered to let me shoot at her club. Insomnia is where I shot my ‘Fashionistas Safado’ movies, and is my favorite club in the world.”
It all comes down to two intense, gorgeously made up young women: Cross filling her void, finding her love; Bentley the psycho Sappho, sexual savant, dominated. Both of them falling hard. “I had the girls’ demented imagination to save me,” says Stagliano. “As with so much of this movie, the ending was a surprise to me and my narrow thinking.”