Saltburn period scene

Here’s what Saltburn’s director had to say about THAT vampire scene

Apparently it’s actually very romantic

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 Happy New Year like you and your grandma seeing Barry Keoghan’s penis.

But, aside from the infamous grave and bath scenes, nothing has had everyone clutching their pearls like the moment Barry’s character Oliver goes down on Venetia (Alison Oliver) in the moonlight while she’s (“you’re lucky I’m a vampire”) on her period.

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

Saltburn period scene

According to Emerald, the whole of Saltburn is actually a “vampire movie” thanks to Oliver’s vulture like qualities, which see him suck everything he can out of the Catton family’s lives. 

But the period scene with Venetia is more about power: “So much of the dom-sub thing is about taking care of the person,” she told The Ringer. “We see him giving people what they want, and that’s just being a good acolyte. What turns him on … is having control of the situation.”

And after Elspeth (Rosamund Pike) tells Ollie her daughter is a masochist and has suffered with bulimia, he uses that information to his advantage. “That’s the information that he takes into the next scene,” Emerald explained to Time. “Telling Venetia that her body, rather than something disgusting, is in fact beautiful and arousing. 

“Menstrual blood still is something that people are squeamish about,” she adds. “But I think actually, it’s an incredibly effective sex scene because he’s worshipping her body, and everything that her body produces, and that’s not something that anyone has ever done for her before.”

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

Featured image credit via Prime Video