Why everyone is still talking about *that* Saltburn scene.

Warning: This post contains spoilers.

The shocking bathtub scene in Saltburn has become the movie's biggest talking point. 

For a film dominated by shocking scenes, this is no easy feat. The scene is so controversial that some audience members left the cinema as it unfolded.

Most recently, Saltburn actor Rosamund Pike and producer Margot Robbie were asked to smell a candle at the 2024 Golden Globes inspired by Jacob Elordi's bathwater in that scene.

So what is this movie causing so much fuss? Saltburn is a twisted psychological thriller directed by Emerald Fennell, and starring Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, Carey Mulligan, and Rosamund Pike.

Watch the trailer for Saltburn. Post continues after video.

Video via LuckyChap Entertainment.

What is Saltburn about?

Beginning at Oxford University in the mid-'00s, scholarship student Oliver (Keoghan) develops an obsession with the charismatic, exceedingly wealthy and aristocratic Felix (Elordi). Oliver weaves his way into Felix's inner social circle and is invited to spend his summer break with Felix's eccentric family at their estate, a castle titled Saltburn. 

It's here that Oliver's obsession with Felix intensifies and that brings us to the scene that has simultaneously horrified and delighted the internet — depending on who you ask. 


What happens in the bathtub scene in Saltburn

Okay, let's set the scene. In Saltburn, Oliver and Felix are staying in nearby bedrooms that share a bathroom. And given Oliver's growing fixation on Felix, he's taken to peeking in when his friend is dressing. 

But in this scene, he watches on as Felix masturbates while bathing in a clawfoot bathtub in their shared bathroom. After Felix ejaculates and gets out of the tub, the water is draining when Oliver slips into the room. 

Then umm, yeah... it gets weird. 

Image: LuckyChap Entertainment.


Oliver steps inside the tub, kneels down, and starts lapping up the remnants of the bathwater which presumedly contains Felix’s semen. He presses his whole face against the drain as he drinks up every drop. It's... a lot! 

What has Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi and the director said about the bathtub scene in Saltburn?

The two young actors have taken the controversial scene in their stride — in fact, they have made it into a big joke. 

When Variety asked Jacob about the semen-sipping in the scene, he joked “I was like, ‘Thank God, it’s mine,’” Elordi responded. “I was very proud. I was very proud to have Barry Keoghan guzzling it like that.”

Elordi's hilarious response was relayed to Keoghan, who said “He doesn’t text me back or ring me back. It’s so weird. He’s pretending to like me. It’s weird, man.”

Saltburn's director and writer also shared enthusiastic sentiments about the bathtub scene.

“What I'm saying with that scene is I think that scene is the sexiest thing I've ever seen in my life," Emerald Fennell told PEOPLE.

"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.”

You can watch Saltburn now on Prime Video Australia.

Feature image: Entertainment Tonight/Etsy@luxecandlecorner

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