Saltburn spoilers follow.
Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn contains many a shocking scene, but its protagonist Barry Keoghan was mainly concerned about one specific dancing sequence.
The dark comedy from the writer-director of Promising Young Woman stars Keoghan (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Banshees of Inisherin) as Oxford scholarship student Ollie Quick.
During his first year, he develops an obsession for aristocrat Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi) and his family’s estate.
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In the film’s final moments, Ollie, who has managed to inherit Saltburn after decimating the Cattons, dances to Sophie Ellis Bextor’s ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ through the mansion’s exquisitely decorated salons and corridors. And he does so whilst completely naked.
“Without sounding cocky, it wasn’t the nudity. That was fine for me. It was the dancing,” Keoghan told Vanity Fair about what worried him the most.
“I don’t really dance, I don’t know how to move my hips certain ways and your body has to go in certain directions and stuff like that,” he added. “The dancing scared me. So once I was comfy with the dance, the rest was easy.”
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The actor also explained it helped that filming for that final sequence came towards the end of production, when his character had already participated in some pretty wild scenes, including a sperm-slurping session in the bathtub.
“I’d already fucked a grave and I’ve already done the thing in the bathtub and I’d quite broken a lot of [taboos] already,” Keoghan said. “The walking around nude was the most relatable there was — not that I relate to any of that prior stuff.”
Saltburn is out in cinemas now.