Katja Kean was born in Frederiksberg in Denmark, on 2 February 1968. She had an uneventful upbringing, although she did experiment sexually. "As a very young girl, I liked older guys." "I was about thirteen years old the first time. It was with a guy that was about 20. I was about 20 when I was with a girl the first time." In her early twenties she began working for a hotel chain that sent her to South Africa. She remained there for a year, and apparently also worked as an escort while living in Johannesburg. By 1996 she had married her boyfriend, but lost her job and soon found herself working as a waitress in Copenhagen.
One night in 1997 she was "looking at a porn movie, together with my husband. And at the end of the movie, there was an ad, looking for new talent. At that time I was a little bored with my job, so I decided to give it a try." "I wanted to try something totally new and different…. And also it's fun to meet people who choose to do things that society doesn't approve of, to do it despite what other people say. And it's never boring. You never know what to expect." Katja's older sister, Jeanette La Cour, was already a mainstream Danish model, and looks definitely ran in the family. “There was a guy that I knew and I gave him some pictures of myself. He went to Barcelona and met some people there, gave them my pictures and they gave me your [Pierre Woodman’s] phone number.”
Pierre Woodman had an eye for talent, and was already responsible for discovering Silver Forrest, Anita Blond, Anita Dark, Nikki Anderson and Tania Russof. In her first casting with him in July 1997, in Paris, Katja came across as very confident and sure of what she wanted to achieve. “My goal is to come into this business and to do a lot of work, and of course to make some money, and to have a good time.” While looking through a copy of Private Magazine she exclaimed: “It looks interesting – one girl and two guys. Privately I’ve done it. I liked it. I think that most girls like to be the centre of attention. I like girls as well. I’m bisexual. I’ve had a threesome with a guy and another girl. I like both kinds of threesomes. They’re different things. I don’t think you can compare them. It’s two good things. I’ve really done a lot of different things. I think my limits in sex are really hardcore spanking. Sadomasochism, with whips and all that! I like a little pain, but not too much. I like to be dominant, but I also like to be used. And I like to show off myself. I’m an exhibitionist. I like to show off my body… I love to give blowjobs, to lick and to suck. I love the taste of sperm… I like to piss on people. I don’t mind if they piss on me. It depends whether I’m feeling dominant or submissive… I’ve thought about maybe sucking off a horse. It’s a fantasy. Trouble is, I’m afraid of horses. I’d like to be with a lot of girls at the same time. And I think I’d like to try it with a black guy. I’ve never done that… How many guys have I slept with? I don’t know. Maybe 70.”
Woodman immediately cast her in his two-part film 'Fatal Orchid', which he shot in Thailand. Katja was nervous to begin with, but was pleasantly surprised with the experience. "To work for Private is like belonging to a large family. Everyone here knows each other, and they're all great friends. I expected a strange environment with strange people, but I found that everyone is affectionate with me. I love it. I'm doing things I never even imagined I could do, like anal sex or taking it up all my slits. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to do that and enjoy it at the same time. Fatal Orchid is paving the way for me in sex in a way that I couldn't even imagine."
The limitations of the local industry, however, meant she soon left Denmark. According to Katja the Danish films were "Too low budget. That's not fun. You want to have great make up, beautiful hair, and nice costumes and, you know, good lines." Over the next year she worked freelance for a number of European companies. One of the films she made was 'Constance' (1998). 'Constance' became the best selling porn film ever released in Denmark and transformed her overnight into a national star. After it's release she was interviewed on Swedish National TV3 where she explained her position on porn: "Many women feel adult stars are being used, but I can't take it very personally. The reason for watching porn movies is up to each individual. It can spice up the sex life, like many other things. It's one of the few jobs, where women make more money than men."
Apparently her husband was quite happy to see Katja become a famous porn star. "He's very open minded. He has no problem. He does not do scenes. He’s in insurance." Although less supportive, her family never confronted her about her occupation. "My family for sure knows what I'm doing. It's a little difficult to hide! Especially when you live in such a small country as Denmark. If they would approve, has never really been my concern. It's my life, and they would never dream of interfering." Nevertheless, Katja admitted her new lifestyle was not expected. "If someone would have said [five years ago], that I would be in this business, I would have said 'NO WAY!'" In 1999 success led her to California where she starred in a number of big budget releases, becoming one of the most popular European stars in the States.
Although Katja was openly bisexual she admitted a preference for men. "I could never live without men, I could never become a lesbian. I love women, I enjoy women, but I love men more. Especially two guys at the same time, because the more excited you are, the harder you can do it, and it's better. I like it a little rough, but not too rough. Medium. Basically you have to enjoy sex. You have to love it. The more you love it, the better it is. Men like deep throat, and if you swallow, that's good."
In 1999 Katja claimed: "I'm in the business for many reasons. Sex, money, travel and then I like to be in a profession where a lot of people still don't know what to think… If I wasn't in this business, I could have been doing anything else." This confidence in herself became evident in 2000 when her contract with US company Sin City expired. Katja divorced her husband, quit the porn industry and returned to Denmark. Within a year she had established herself as a mainstream Danish TV actress, starring in the successful series 'Langt Fra Las Vegas'. Later that year she also appeared on Dario Campeotto's album 'Love is in the Air' singing a duet with him on the song 'Save Your Love'. To prove that her vocals were not the result of some skilled producer's editing she even joined him on stage in Tivoli, the famous theme park of Copenhagen.
By 2002 her position as a Danish celebrity was such that she was forced to change her artistic name from Kean to K, after a court ruling. A real Kean family in Denmark was upset with being connected to a former adult film star! She remains the most successful porn star ever to emerge from Scandinavia, and one of the most successful crossover stories from porn to mainstream anywhere.
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