Papi Chulo's BLOG proudly presents an exclusive interview series titled "In Bed with Papi Chulo." This series will feature the hottest stars in mainstream and adult media.
Charles Dera (Born: December 21, 1978) started his career in the entertainment industry as a model. He graced the covers of fitness magazines and modeled various underwear brands. Dera began dancing at Chippendales in Las Vegas at the end of his modeling career. It was his move to Vegas that saw him focus on dancing and mixed martial arts.
The 30-year-old performer got his big break in the adult industry after being told by several people that he should try it out. Dera has since become a fan favorite. He has starred for a variety of the biggest production companies in the adult industry (such as: Playgirl, Wicked Pictures, Digital Playground and Vivid Entertainment).
Charles Dera appeared on the cover of Playgirl magazine twice. Dera was chosen as the magazine's Man of the Year in 2005.
I sat down with Charles to chat about how he got into the adult industry ... his work in the mainstream modeling industry ... and his love for mixed martial arts ...
Charles Dera: Two years.
PC: How did you get into the adult industry?
CD: I was referred to it by about fifteen people at once ... all at the same time. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
PC: How did you come up with your porn name?
CD: It's my real name.
PC: What was your first day on a porn set like?
CD: It's hard to say. I was excited that I got paid to have sex with a girl. I think I came four times during the scene.
PC: Prior to your work in porn you were a fashion model ... How long were you in the modeling industry?
PC: How did you get your big break in the biz?
CD: I'm originally from Philadelphia, PA. I was clothes shopping on South Street. I went into a high fashion store called Vizuri. I think I was 20 at the time. A man by the name Darryl said I should be a model. He made some calls to people in New York City and that was it.
PC: What was your first modeling job?
PC: In your opinion ... What are the positives and negatives of the modeling world?
CD: Positives: It's better than having a real job. (LOL) You see a lot of the world because I traveled a bit. It kept me out of jail. It was a positive way to make money.
Negatives: You never know when you're going to get paid. Agents take most of your money. There's quite a bit of rejection. Even when you're a supermodel, you go to about 100 castings and you get booked for 10.
PC: You have been featured in a variety of print and television commercials ... Did you enjoy doing commercials?
CD: It's cool. It's a job. (LOL) Like I said ... it beat my alternatives. To be quite honest most of the commercials I was in were national. So I made residuals. You get paid for one day, but you keep making money for years and years to come. That's the best thing about running a national commercial. So, if it was up to me, I would do national commercials all day. But, I kind of shot that down by doing porn.
PC: What was it like to see yourself in a magazine for the first time?
CD: I was pretty excited. I felt like I was making a difference. Doing something. Most of my friends were blue-collar workers, working their ass off. I found out I could actually be something else. I went against the odds. Everyone said that if I didn't do what they did, I wouldn't survive and last. I spent the last decade making money out of enjoying life. I didn't have to work a 9-to-5 or bust my ass all day.
PC: You also worked in film and television ... What might your fans have seen you in?
CD: I did an episode of Saturday Night Live with Alec Baldwin. I had some "under five lines" on Guiding Light. I did some small independent horror films back in Philadelphia. And I've done a whole bunch of work for "Skinemax."
PC: You have an impressive physique ... Has fitness always been a major part of your life?
CD: I'm pretty lazy. It's pretty much genetics. If I would work out, I would look the same. I always look the same no matter what I do. My last two years in porn, I went through a big depression. I didn't work out at all. I stayed on the couch and drank. About six months ago, I started fighting. So, now I'm working out again.
CD: I don't think I have any. My immune system sucks. I'm not that strong. I don't think I do anything better than anyone else. I'm average at everything.
PC: How often do you work out?
CD: I don't work out at all, but I fight train. I started six months ago. If I have a fight, I train three times a day. Without a fight, I train once or twice a day. But as far as weights and gym? I don't do any of that.
PC: How did you get involved with mixed martial arts?
CD: Back when I was younger, around 22, I completely destroyed my modeling career by thinking I could be a bodybuilder. I started working out and taking steroids. I also destroyed my joints and couldn't lift weights anymore. So, I had to channel my energy into something else.
I started training in Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. And that's when I fell in love with my real passion in life. The thing I could do best in the world. And that's fight.
PC: How long have you been a mixed martial artist?
CD: Since 2003.
CD: Used to. But once I hit that depression, I completely stopped everything.
PC: What led you to your depression?
CD: Break up with my wife. Divorce.
PC: Where do you see your mixed martial arts career going?
PC: When was your last fight?
PC: Something your fans might not know about you is that you were a Chippendales dancer ... How long were you a dancer with them?
CD: I worked for Chippendales for five years. I started working for Chippendales toward the end of my modeling career. I started when I moved to Vegas in 2003 and stopped bodybuilding and started fighting. I moved to Vegas for fighting and Chippendales. The day I quit Chippendales is the day I started in porn.
Another huge career mistake I made was when I canceled an appearance on the TV show Ultimate Fighter 1 because I had a full time job at Chippendales and I thought that would pay better.
PC: How and when did you lose your virginity?
CD: I was 18-years-old and I cried afterward. I thought I was going to get a STD and die. I was scared to death of getting a STD or a girl pregnant.
CD: Making love to a woman I'm in love with. That's the truth. That's the one thing that porn has taught me. To value making love instead of having sex with a total stranger.
PC: Do you get into any kinds of fetishes?
CD: No not at all. I'm extremely vanilla.
PC: Where is your favorite place to pop?
PC: Congratulations! Over the weekend you won the Unsung Male Performer of the Year at the AVNs ... How did it feel to win that honor?
CD: I didn't even know I was nominated. So I woke up in the morning, turned on my phone and had eight texts. So I was surprised I won. I had no idea. I didn't think that AVN recognized me whatsoever, because I really don't do any video work. All I do is the internet companies. I got three companies I work for in Los Angeles. So I was really surprised I won an award, or was nominated for anything. But, I'm honored. It's pretty cool. Thank you.
PC: Where do you see yourself in five years?
CD: Dead or homeless. (LOL) Or rich and famous. It's one of those three and that's a fact.
PC: Now I am going to ask you 7 questions that I like to call ... "Papi Chulo's LIST" ... These seven questions have been asked to all of my interview subjects ... What are your Top 5 favorite television shows?
CD: Sons of Anarchy. Family Guy. That's all I really watch.
PC: McDonald's Big Mac or Burger King's Whopper?
PC: What's your favorite color?
PC: What's your favorite sexual position?
PC: What's your favorite curse word?
PC: If you could be anywhere right now ... Where would you be?
PC: Well this brings us to the end of our interview ... Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
CD: Thank you. Sorry if I'm not as interesting as you thought.
Always follow your heart, never chase money. Because if you follow your heart, the money will come.