Sean Paul Lockhart has achieved fame, courted controversy, fought with producers who took advantage of him, built a business, navigated a murder investigation, been the star witness at that trial, and starred in two feature films. His fans are fiercely loyal. His detractors are equally unrelenting.
And he is just 25.
Born on Halloween in 1986, he grew up in the Seattle area, where he learned to love two things: Movies and horses.
“I was always different,” Sean says, “and I’m not necessarily talking about my sexuality either. From a very young age I was mocked in school because of my near-obsession with horses.” And his move to San Diego as a teen brought him closer to his desire to be a filmmaker.
It’s his sexuality, however, that brought him the most attention. He burst onto the gay adult film scene in the guise of Brent Corrigan, a persona that electrified the fantasies of many. Popular as Corrigan quickly became, young Sean was just that — too young, at 17, an underage performer in a business that typically burned through its young models quickly.
Brent Corrigan was different. He became a commodity unsavory producers believed could be traded back and forth. He became the focus of competition and conflict that left one man dead and two in prison. Sean Lockhart, however, refused to be merely the sum of legal controversies over his underage performances and his role in a murder investigation.
“I had to weather a storm — more than one,” he says. “I was determined to emerge stronger, smarter and wanting more out of life.”
Through this period, he continued to perform as Brent Corrigan. Even in this world, he caught people’s attention, winning the industry’s greatest honors. He took the reins of his own career, spurning the control of others who didn’t put his interests first. He established his own websites, produced and directed his own adult films. With a relatively small number of appearances, he has grown one of the largest fanbases of any performer like him — 50,000 followers on Twitter, 100,000 friends on Facebook.
“I wanted people to see that I offer more than just the physical,” he says. “
On his blog, his articulate opinions and honest confessions about his difficult past, and his hopes for the future, connected with fans in a way that made them concerned less with Brent and more with the fate of Sean, a self-reliant young entrepreneur who aimed higher, for more than people told him gay adult stars were supposed to. Mainstream actor? Director? Businessman? Horseman? Author?
The number of adult performers who have successfully moved into the mainstream entertainment world can pretty much be counted on one hand. They are mostly straight, female, and their work obliquely refers to their porn past. Not Sean Lockhart.
His role as Stan the Merman in the hit comedy, Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!, was one of the most-talked about of the year, followed by an appearance in Gus Van Sant’s Oscar-winning Milk and Casper Andreas’ charming The Big Gay Musical. But 2011 proved to be Sean’s break out year with major roles in two feature films: Judas Kiss and Chillerama. In the latter, he stars in one of the horror anthology’s short, I Was a Teenage Werebear.
“They were two very different parts,” Sean observes about the roles, which he shot just a few weeks apart in 2010. “In Judas Kiss, I play a good guy in a serious drama — kind of a contrast to how people may think of me. In Werebear, I sing and dance in a horror comedy.”
A natural in front of the camera, Sean brings an earnest curiosity and growing set of skills to his film work. People are taking notice. One of the nation’s leading GLBT film festivals, Philadelphia’s QFest, awarded him their Rising Star Award, an honor that festival organizer Erick Schut wrote, recognizes him moving “so successfully to the mainstream world – and still embracing his roots.”
For Sean, the award symbolizes his ambition to exceed the expectations so many want to constrain him with. “As a little boy, did I picture myself making gay adult films? Not in the least. But now that I’ve done that, I’m not going to let this be all that I’ll ever become.”
Sean Lockhart was a private young man forced to become world-wise Brent Corrigan, a public figure forced to confront some grim realities far beyond those of his contemporaries. And, nearing the end of that part of his life’s path, he turns out to have a lot in common with Chris Wachowsky, his breakout role in Judas Kiss:
“Chris Wachowsky is a young filmmaker who is working to pay his dues,” Sean observes, “who’s willing to put in the time and make the effort, even though it’s not always easy.”
That same dedication guides his next big project, his memoir, “Incorrigible,” in which he is forcing himself to come to terms with the difficult past that has shaped the man he has become. Not by accident, that is also the theme of his film, Judas Kiss. So it’s no wonder the forthcoming book has already been optioned for production as a film. His latest success finds him in a position to reclaim his own destiny; a private man who cuts a dashing public figure.