Barry Keoghan Explains How His NSFW Gravesite Masturbation Scene In Saltburn Came Together

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Written By Maya Cantina

Emerald Fennell’s latest twisted thriller Saltburn has become one of the most highly-discussed 2023 movie releases. The flick is generating a ton of buzz for its standout — and NSFW — scenes. One involves Barry Keoghan running nude through the titular mansion. Another notable moment involves the actor engaging in a provocative masturbation at a gravesite. In a recent red carpet interview, the Dunkirk star explained how the controversial scene game together. 

The rising star candidly discussed the gripping performance to Variety at the film’s Los Angeles premiere. The sequence, poised to be one of the most controversial, was a bold creative collaboration by Keoghan on the day of shooting. As the actor told it, the moment came out of an idea he had about the character.

The gravesite was sort of like a collaboration with me and Emerald. On the day, I was like, ‘Can I try something?’ I wanted to see what the next level of obsession was. So, I asked for a closed set. I wanted to see where it went. It could have gone completely wrong, but I think it moved the story.

The gravesite moment isn’t the only one where one of the actors gets handy with themselves. Another key sequence depicts The Banshees of Inisherin alum watching his onscreen pal Felix (played by Jacob Elordi) commence a solo act in a bathtub, followed by a unique twist. Keoghan is seen licking up Elordi’s semen around the tub’s drain. If the idea of the scene makes your stomach turn, you’re not alone. 

According to the movie director, the bathtub scene is “sexy,” but CinemaBlend’s own Jessica Rawden has seen the flick and has no idea what she’s talking about. This sexually explicit movie moment had early screening viewers walking out of screenings, which I can’t honestly blame them for, but it does sound like the sort of response the filmmaker was going for.

Emerald Fennell, the brilliant mind behind Promising Young Woman, said she is only interested in making movies that get under viewers’ skin. She told the outlet in the same red carpet interview: 

We just want to make something that makes people feel something. I want to make stuff that you go and sit in a dark room full of strangers, and you don’t know what you’re going to feel, and you don’t know where you’re going to be probed. And everyone has a different take on it. Some people are screaming, some people are squealing. Some people are turned on, some people are freaked out, and some are furious. Some people don’t really care. What you want is for people to spill out into the street and want to go and have a drink and talk about it.

Although the film wasn’t explicitly created to entice, it’s undoubtedly NSFW. When it lands on Amazon Prime on December 22, remember it is not a flick you’ll want to use your Amazon Prime subscription to view with your family over the holidays. Still, given that Fennell is one of the few directors to make a banger with their first movie, it’s poised to be one of Amazon’s best movies, and you’ll likely not want to miss it.

Be sure to check out our streaming schedule to see what other new movies are headed to a small screen near you.

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