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Ginger Lynn Allen Redefines Herself

The former porn star looks for different acting roles than she’s used to

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She calls it the G Room. It’s a cozy little spot in her Culver City, Calif., home where Ginger Lynn Allen keeps mementos from the old days — posters, awards, clothes — along with her knitting and 300-strong troll collection. The 31-year-old former adult-film star delights in the seeming contradiction of the room, a place where her on-screen past and her domestic nature merge — Donna Reed Does Dallas.

”She was sweet like the girl next door, but she did everything the girl next door wouldn’t do,” says Allen’s agent, Charles Clay. During her two-year porn career, the Rockford, Ill., native made — no joke, she insists — 69 movies, with such titles as New Wave Hookers and On Golden Blonde. Since 1986, Allen has been leading her fans to a different section of the video store, acting in a string of straight-to-video movies (including Bound and Gagged: A Love Story and Buried Alive) and a few mainstream features (Young Guns II, Whore). She also recently wrapped Wing Commander III, an interactive film for CD-ROM, and her latest release, the self-explanatory Ginger Lynn Allen’s Lingerie Gallery, is currently No. 7 on Billboard‘s video sales chart.

”If I hadn’t come from where I came from, I’d be in that whole group of blue-eyed blonds in L.A., only I’d be 31, not 18, and there’s a lot of competition,” explains the perky Allen as she stirs a pan of turkey meatballs in her kitchen. ”I think I did some of my best acting in [porn] films. I was known for being natural and seeming to enjoy myself.”

Allen’s career began in 1983 when she answered an ad for figure models, secured a Penthouse shoot the same day, and was soon approached about working in adult films. ”Ginger showed up in the right place at the right time. She was the first video queen,” says William Margold, a porn actor and filmmaker and founder of F.O.X.E. (Fans of X-Rated Entertainment). Twenty-seven months later, Allen threw in the teddy. ”I didn’t feel good about it,” she says. ”I started doing a lot of drugs, stopped answering my phone, and would go to the mall and spend $10,000.” She then enrolled in acting classes, and in 1987 got her first break from a former adult-film director in the action flick Wild Man. ”I’m horrible in it, but that led to Vice Academy 1, 2, and 3, which put me into the direct-to-video arena, and brought me a whole new group of B-movie fans.”

Allen had returned to her video roots, only this time in the ”straight” section. ”I got my SAG card doing Skin Deep,” she says. ”Blake Edwards summoned me from a crowd of extras. He said he and his wife [Julie Andrews] enjoyed my work. Imagine! Mary Poppins liked my work!”

Now she hopes to get beyond the hooker and stripper roles she’s often offered and on to ”Meg Ryan-type” parts. ”I hope people at least give me a chance,” she says. ”The difference between me and most people is that all my closet doors are open. I don’t pull any punches. I did it. I liked it. So what?”