From Porn to Shakespeare

Gay-porn actor Colby Keller modeled nude for Vivienne Westwood’s spring campaign, shot by Juergen Teller. Now, in another surprise move, he’s doing Shakespeare, starring in a short film for Grindr inspired by the playwright’s The Seven Ages of Man, aka All the World’s a Stage.


“I play each of the Seven Ages,” Keller told Paper, “and there’s one other person who plays a soldier I carry off the battlefield — this beautiful man with a crazy body. But all the other stages of man are played by me. It was a lot of fun and I think it will be really beautiful…Grindr has a big audience and they use it specifically for one thing, which is meeting other men for sex. There’s a lot of potential for them to provide a space for gay men to learn more about fashion, art, and music. I think they wanted to reach more into that space where sex and art have a relationship, and that’s an area I’m also interested in.”


“The Seven Ages of Man is one of the most iconic stanzas in [Shakespeare’s] canon,” said director and Grindr’s VP of Marketing, Landis Smithers. “We wanted to commission a piece that took this timeless exploration and updated it to a modern gay man’s experience. In so many ways, our community faces these stages not just over the course of their life, but over and over again in their day-to-day existence.”

Finding inspiration in the starkness of Richard Avedon and the boldness of Herb Ritts, Smithers saw Keller as embodying a new masculinity. “While physically, [Colby] is an idol for many, emotionally he is raw, able to broadcast a beautiful range of interests … He isn’t afraid of expression on all fronts. That’s someone we wanted on film.”


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