Porn. The Devil On Your Back.

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A look at retired porn star Tinslee Reagan now known as Emily Cheree, one of the star actresses in the upcoming indie feature film, NOWHERELAND.

Chew ‘em up and spit them out. Retired at 21. The porn biz.

Due to the risqué subject matter of my first feature film NOWHERELAND, which explores underage prostitution and the societal tragedy of sexual abuse, my initial thought when casting the film was to look for a young “adult star” to cast in one of the leading roles.

Certainly a “porn star” wouldn’t be frightened by the idea of playing a role riddled with nudity and simulated sex.

When I made the announcement that I was searching for a porn actress for one of the leads in the film I was not so surprisingly met with some resistance.

“Are you out of your mind?”

“People will think you’re shooting a porno if you use a porn girl.”

“No one will take your film seriously. The acting will be terrible.”

My response was always the same, “Anyone who knows me well, would never expect anything less from me.” I seek realism and truth in my writing and when translating this truth for the screen, I only wanted the real deal.

With that, I ignored the naysayers and went on my quest for the perfect “adult actress” to play the role of “Bridgette”, an underage prostitute, in NOWHERELAND.

Enter Tinslee Reagan — the anti “Hollywood” stereotype from that of the typical blonde, silicone injected Barbie doll porn star.

Tinslee Reagan is a bi-racial, natural beauty with a spattering of freckles across her nose, big brown eyes, a warm smile and sunny disposition that lights up any room.  She is the perfect mix of worldly street smarts and youthful innocence. Tinslee was also the perfect actress for NOWHERELAND.

Having taken an immediate liking to this young woman, I now had to make sure she was capable of handling the role.  We spent some time reading the material together and I watched as someone with no formal acting training was able to seamlessly bring this character to life.

I wondered about this person. To meet Tinslee, one would never suspect a hardcore background from such a sweet, unassuming young girl. I began to ask her about her past. She had been coerced into the industry after being the victim of an underage sex trafficking ring that took her from her home state of Minnesota and landed her brainwashed, confused and alone at the age of 18 in San Jose, California and eventually Hollywood.

And so the next couple years were filled with Triple X movies and illicit affairs with paying suitors.

As the writer and director of a film surrounding the plight of abused girls who work in the sex industry, I had the genuine article right before my eyes. I offered Tinslee the role and within a few months we were shooting NOWHERELAND.

Not only did Tinslee deliver the raw, real and fearless performance I was seeking for from her, she was the consummate professional on the set and I was thrilled.

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When I set out to make this movie, my intentions were multi-dimensional. 1st and foremost I wanted to make the best film I could that would reflect who I am as an artist, 2nd I wanted to make sure my voice was strong and the message clear by depicting the truth about an uncomfortable subject and lastly my hope is always to inspire others to be their best, to speak the truth and as a female director in a male dominated business, to show young women that anything is possible if you work hard and never give up.

Shortly after completion of production, I noticed that Tinslee Reagan’s Twitter page was no longer active. Initially concerned, I contacted her immediately to check up on her and make sure everything was okay. What she had to say to me was nothing short of incredible…

Tinslee was no longer Tinslee. She had made the decision to leave the porn world behind and start fresh. Emily Cheree is this extraordinary young woman’s birth name and the only name she will answer to from here on out.

What had caused such a drastic change? During the shooting of the film, she was still active in the adult industry.

“I felt under appreciated and taken advantage of. No one had my back. ” Says Emily Cheree.

In regards to working on NOWHERELAND, her first mainstream feature film, Emily had this to say… “I felt like it was a part of my life. I truly believe it was meant for me to be in the movie and it gave me ambition to do so much more. “

While I realize that Emily’s exit from the porn world is due to many factors, the idea that one of those factors was her involvement in NOWHERELAND is truly humbling for me to know.

Emily Cheree has made several miraculous changes since shooting the film. She is working towards her masters degree in psychology with the ambition of opening her own clinic for women who have suffered from trauma and abuse. Emily is also the founder of an online group called The Skyscraper Project, which is designed for her to get her story out and is additionally a safe place for women and girls to discuss their own hardships due to sexual exploitation.

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If NOWHERELAND was able to lend this kind of inspiration to one person, then the movie is already a success even before it is released. I am sincerely touched and proud to be a part of this impressive life transition and to call Miss Emily Cheree a friend.

Look for NOWHERELAND to premiere in 2016.

Robin Bain

About Robin Bain

Writer, director and producer, ROBIN BAIN holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater from the University of Southern California. Bain began her career behind the camera in commercial production working as a freelance production coordinator for multi-million dollar TV commercials. Bain went on to direct and produce music videos, most notably for members of the winners of NBC’s “AMERICA’S NEXT BAND,” SON’S OF SYLVIA and for the lead singer of heavy metal band, IN THIS MOMENT. Robin Bain has written, directed and produced five short films that have screened at film festivals worldwide. Her short film, PAPER DOLL received nominations for BEST DIRECTOR, BEST ACTRESS and a win for BEST SHORT at the SMMASH FILM FESTIVAL. In 2013, Bain was credited as a writer on the feature film, POP STAR, which premiered on the LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK. Bain wrote, directed and produced her first feature film NOWHERELAND in 2015.