Saltburn bath scene

Here’s what Saltburn’s director has to say about THAT controversial bath scene

My eyes will never recover

If you’ve accidentally just watched the most divisive film of the year surrounded by your family this festive season, you may be left in a state of shock and dishevelment wondering what Saltburn’s sex scenes are actually all about. Apparently, nothing says Christmas like you and your grandma seeing Barry Keoghan get up close and personal with a grave.

But, undeniably, the plot point that went most astronomically viral from Saltburn’s myriad of mayhem moments was (spoiler) when Barry’s character Oliver sneaks into the bathroom after his best friend Felix (Jacob Elordi) is done wanking in the tub and slurps his semen out of the plug hole. Romance!

Love or hate Saltburn, it’s a lot to wrap your head around. So, in case you’re still confused by arguably the horniest/most horrifying plot point of 2023, here’s what the film’s director, Emerald Fennell has to say about Saltburn’s controversial bath scene:

Saltburn bath scene

When Saltburn’s bath tub scene first went viral when the film hit cinemas, Jacob Elordi merrily told Variety he was “very proud” to “have Barry Keoghan guzzling it like that”. And, to Barry, the act of lust from Oliver to Felix made total sense:

“The moment where he rubs his face along the plughole and wants to be in it, it’s sort of like, ‘I want to feel it, I want it to be part of me, I want it to change me,’” he told  The Ringer. “It’s a total obsession. He’s confused and lost. I don’t think he knows what he’s actually chasing.”

But for Saltburn’s director Emerald Fennell, the bath scene was just (sorry) plain thirsty: “To me the bathtub is just an incredibly erotic scene,” she told Time. “It is all the things that something stirring should be, which is funny and intimate and shocking and revolting and unbelievably sexy.

“What I was trying to make with this film was something that felt actually true about the nature of desire. For desire to really take you in its grip like it does in this movie, it has to be to a certain degree transgressive. It has to be something you wouldn’t necessarily want people to see.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Right, was Barry Keoghan wearing a prosthetic in THAT Saltburn final scene?

• Okay, this is why everyone’s accusing Jacob Elordi of ‘queerbaiting’ right now

• A-list stars and nepo babies: Inside Jacob Elordi’s long and winding relationship history

Featured image credit via Prime Video