Saltburn's bath scene is the 'sexiest thing I've ever seen' says director Emerald Fennell

3 January 2024, 14:49

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By Katie Louise Smith

"I think that scene is the sexiest thing I've ever seen in my life… And I'm saying that anyone else is safe to feel that."

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Saltburn's bathtub scene has well and truly been the main character on TikTok over the past few weeks and its grip on the internet is not letting up just yet.

Arguably Saltburn's most divisive moment, the scene featuring Barry Keoghan's Oliver drinking Felix's (Jacob Elordi) bathwater has sparked hundreds of mixed reactions. People are disgusted! People are repulsed! And some people are also apparently turned on by it.

If you weren't repulsed by it, and if you actually lowkey thought it was kind of...very weirdly hot (?), you're not alone. Director Emerald Fennell thinks it's the "sexiest thing" she's ever seen.

READ MORE: Saltburn director reveals alternative ending for Barry Keoghan's character

Emerald Fennell calls Saltburn&squot;s bathtub scene "sexiest thing" she&squot;s ever seen
Emerald Fennell calls Saltburn's bathtub scene "sexiest thing" she's ever seen. Picture: Prime Video

Lapping up someone's dirty bath water that also contains ejaculate doesn't sound sexy at all, not even a little bit. But speaking to PEOPLE, Emerald basically told any viewer that thought it was sexy, that it's ok to feel that way about the scene.

"What I'm saying with that scene," she said, "is I think that scene is the sexiest thing I've ever seen in my life… And I'm saying that anyone else is safe to feel that."

And, on the flip side, if you were shocked and appalled by it, that means the scene did its job. "I'm interested in how it makes you feel," she continued. "Did you feel something you've never felt before in a movie? And if that's the case, then the movie is effective, and it's worked, and that's what we wanted to do."

Saltburn sees Barry Keoghan's character Oliver lap up Felix's dirty bath water
Saltburn sees Barry Keoghan's character Oliver lap up Felix's dirty bath water. Picture: Amazon Prime Video

Emerald went on to explain that part of the reason why the scene is so effective in making one half of viewers think it's disgusting and the other half think it's hot is because of Barry Keoghan's willingness to go for it. The extreme close-up shot of Barry slurping the liquid around the drain is quite something...

"He sat down and he said, 'I'm Oliver.'" she said. "And I was like, 'I know. Me too.' Because we are. That's the thing, Oliver's my imaginary friend, he's me. Then I meet Barry and suddenly Barry's Oliver too."

"And then we have this thing where — and it's the same with all the characters — you can hold hands and know. That's what's so exciting, is then you are always pushing each other to be more interesting, more complicated, more difficult, more sticky, more sexy, all of it, because you are in it with them."

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