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BTS picture from Seven Ages of Man Grindr Colby Keller
BTS picture from Seven Ages of ManCourtesy of Landis Smithers

Grindr casts pornstar Colby Keller in NSFW Shakespeare film

The app debuts a new film based on the ‘Seven Ages of Man’ speech from As You Like It – watch it exclusively here

Whether teaming up with J.W. Anderson to stream his AW16 fashion show or delivering texts to fleeing Syrian refugees about where to find safe houses, there’s a lot more to Grindr than you might realise. The app’s latest move is a testament this – they’ve developed a short Shakespeare-inspired film, where artist and pornstar Colby Keller acts out the famous “Seven Ages of Man” speech from comedy As You Like It. It’s all to celebrate their seventh birthday, with the film having been directed by Grindr’s VP of Marketing Landis Smithers – a photographer and the mastermind behind their recent foray into fashion.

“We wanted to reflect a bit on how much culture has changed since Grindr started, and what it might have meant to the very concept of gay life,” Smithers explained. “Did masculine roles evolve with the advent of connection on demand? Did information change people’s habits? And how could we mark this time with something that was a little...timeless.”

Shakespeare might seem like an unexpected reference point for a gay hookup and dating app, but as Smithers explains – his work was fundamentally about human nature. “We used one of his most epic stanzas from the ‘Seven Ages of Man’ because it oddly captures the arc of a gay man’s experience if read through the right vision,” he says. “There is so much to coming out (being born), exploring yourself (childhood), exploring the world (the lover), developing judgemental qualities based on life experiences (the justice), letting go of those judgements, and the decades of life and death implications that have been woven into the gay culture’s very sexual being.”

As for Keller, you might recognise him as the current face of Vivienne Westwood, having just been shot by Juergen Teller for the brand’s SS16 campaign in underwear and a pair of heeled boots. At the moment, he’s engaged in a crowdfunded project Colby Does America, where he’s attempting to film an art-porn clip in every US State (and some of Canada, because why not?). “I decided to make the best of the opportunity and create a travel-based project that confronted the duality of art and porn in my life,” he explains of the plan, which was sparked after a rent hike caused him to leave Baltimore. “I’ve used Grindr and to find many of the models, artists and friends that have helped me with Colby Does America along the way, so I was honoured that they would think of me to work on such a professional and creative project. I don’t want to be the first to claim that I’ve met someone off Grindr in every state, but I might be close.”

So, wondering what you can do to get your profile noticed by a pornstar? “A sense of humour is always good,” says Keller. “I love a visual pun. A reference to something that shows you’re curious and have something to talk about. I also appreciate photos that help to tell the story of the person as well. If you want to show me that you’re strong, post a picture of you winning an arm wrestling contest. Post-gym selfies (and I’m guilty of this) are pretty basic.” Take note.

Watch Seven Ages of Man below: