(CNN) -- Jostling a flip phone and dried apricots, Ron Jeremy frees a hand to shake before lifting his shirt to reveal a fading red scar that slices halfway down his chest.
"The worst is over," he says of the health crisis that nearly killed him in February. "But it was really spooky. I guess no heart problem comes at the right time, but this was just a big disaster.
"I had one of the worst things you could ever have. It really bugs me; it really actually bothers me because I don't smoke, I barely drink, I don't touch drugs. I had none of those horrible habits and I still got this horrendous heart problem: aortic dissection, or aortic aneurysm dissection. In my case, I had two: abdominal and thoracic. Two holes they had to sew up."
We're speaking on his first day back to work, filming "Jessica Drake's Guide to Wicked Sex: Legends."
In the instructional movie, director Drake asked four of the, ahem, biggest men in pornography for their secrets and tricks on how to please a woman. Evan Stone, Steven St. Croix and Sean Michaels answered interview questions and later demonstrated their techniques. At the end of Jeremy's interview, the camera pans out to reveal he's already getting some action.
Although he has shot more than 2,000 movies over his 30-plus year career, the 59-year-old Jeremy modestly cleared the room for his scene.
"I was nervous," he says. "Blood pressure medicine can affect the penis. I'm taking blood pressure medicine now and I was able to do it, but my scenes aren't as good as they used to be. I don't get the full massive. If I could be so specific, CNN, it bends a little. But it felt good being back in the saddle."
"I'm really grateful that Ron Jeremy could be here with us today," Drake says. "I'd like to pick his brain some more, but I wanted to go easy on him. I was really worried about having him on the set. When he was getting (oral sex), I was really watching; watching his breathing, watching his face. Everything."
With two operations, medication and successfully climbing the two flights of stairs required to green-light his return to work ("What'd I do? I walked up three just to prove a point"), doctors seem confident he'll be OK. Still, Jeremy now has to think about his performance above the belt, too.
"I look at exotic locations where I used to host shows, from Jamaica to Key West. I'm still planning on doing it, but it's scary," he says. "What if I'm on a plane and something happens? You can't say, 'is there a doctor in the house?' It has to be an aortic doctor. They told me to walk around the plane every hour and I said, great, I'm gonna be that guy. There's always a guy that bangs into your elbow, and we all hate that guy."
Whether it's the result of a brush with mortality or simply wanting credit where it's due, the entertainment industry veteran and guest star in many mainstream movies, TV shows and music videos, is keenly aware of his fame. He rattles off his name-check by Seth MacFarlane at the Academy Awards, Grammy parties he was scheduled to attend, press mentions from TMZ and Jay Leno and celebrity well-wishers like Gene Simmons and Macy Gray. In the hospital, he says he was thinking about the Rainbow Bar and Grill, an LA institution, where, incidentally, his rum is sold. "I thought, I can get in my car and drive over there. The doctors will be looking for me, but I really want to go because I can't stand it here anymore," he says. "They say I was hard to control."
Glory aside, he's grateful for the support. "People used to come up to me (and say), can I see your penis or God knows what I used to hear. Now it's, how's your rehab coming along? We're glad you're OK."
"Ron Jeremy is the hope for guys everywhere," Drake says of his enduring appeal. "They watch him and go, huh, Ron Jeremy's still (getting) chicks; I could do that too!"