The trademark scalp tattoo, sculpted body and enviable cock made François Sagat an instant hit in most gay households.

But what sets this much lusted-after porn star apart from many who have gone before him, is his seemingly seemless move into mainstream films.

With very little fuss Sagat has taken roles in a string of films, expanding his fan base and earning a greater respect from his peers.

His first mainstream role in the 2007 nudity documentary La nudité toute nue set him on a path that would go on to include roles in Saw VI (2009), Bruce LaBruce’s LA Zombie (2010), and Homme au bain (Man in Bath). The latter is one of two pieces — the other being the documentary Sagat — starring the Frenchman screening at the Mardi Gras Film Festival and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

But while Sagat’s transition to arthouse film may look easy to an outsider, for the man himself there’s been a lot more work involved.

“It takes so much time and the process is so long in each project … I just live the evolution continually exploring every side of what’s possible to do,” he told the Star Observer.

“I really think I didn’t live the transition the way you guys saw it, and after all there is no specific transition in a matter of time.

“I never wanted to stop porn. My ‘big break’ was seen as retirement, but absolutely not.

“There were two new projects that were kind of big hits in terms of publicity and image — Bruce LaBruce and Christophe Honoré — but we were staying in something still very homoerotic. It was really no big deal for me, maybe for the press though, I agree.

“I just don’t see any reason to continue porn the same way nowadays. It is not interesting any more and I will give myself five more years doing porn.”

Francois Sagat will return to Australia this month. He’llperform at King Size at Sydney’s Oxford Hotel on March 10 and Melbourne’s Sircuit Bar on March 12.

Melbourne Queer Film Festival
Sagat and Man At Bath: Screen together Sat March 17, 10.15pm, Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Surprisingly, Sagat shies away from being tagged an artist. In fact he outright rejects the label.

“I’m just experimenting in life and I sell my image in different ways, he said. “Pretending to be an artist with such a weak background would be insulting for some of the people and creators I respect.

“The documentary (Sagat) suggested that a few aspects of my personality were hidden from before, a sensibility, and I agree. But art? I don’t see that.

“But so long as there is a camera, you always give something a little bit more controlled, even if you are trying to be as honest as you can.

“I think there is still too much of the glitter and porn aspect in this documentary, and that makes it a bit frustrating. But the energy and rhythm are very good.”

While Sagat hasn’t had a film offer since 2010, he is still optimistic about his future outside porn.

“I go with the wind. You’ll see very soon. In April I have something really good for the eyes and for the ears I will pull out of the box. It is very promising, well, I’m very happy with it,” he said.

“But outside of that, there’s no specific cinematographic project in preparation.”

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