'It Sounded Like A Sex Injury:' Emerald Fennell Explains Why She Named Her Movie Saltburn

 Barry Keoghan as Oliver Quick in a suit outside of Saltburn. .
Barry Keoghan as Oliver Quick in a suit outside of Saltburn. .

What is in a name? Well, if you’re the director of the scandalous and well-reviewed satire Saltburn, you go for a good joke. Writer and director Emerald Fennell hilariously explained why she gave her movie its moniker. And, as you might expect from the cheeky filmmaker, it’s not for an obvious reason. To her, it sounded like a “sex injury" and, honestly, this is the perfect answer.

Since hitting theaters back in November 2023 and arriving on streaming in time for Christmas, Saltburn has had people talking. From its gratuitous nudity (no, Barry Keoghan did not use a double), the now infamous bathtub scene and a special graveyard grind session, the movie has been sparked some major chats. But if you were wondering what the title of the movie means, you aren't alone. In a video posted to the official Access Hollywood TikTok account, the filmmaker answered why her movie has its title, and her answer is funnier than you might imagine. She had this to say:

Somebody asked why it was called Saltburn, and I said, 'Well, because it's a real town in England.' And when I heard the name Saltburn, it sounded like a sex injury, but a really nice one. You know, like a sting, a pleasurable sting. And I think that's kind of what the film is really, isn't it?

I wouldn’t expect any other response from the same director who called Jacob Elordi and Barry Keoghan's bathtub scene "sexy." We just have to acknowledge that Emerald Fennell sees the world differently than the rest of us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You can check out the full TikTok video interview with the director, and Saltburn cast member Rosamund Pike embedded below. You won’t regret giving it a watch:

Saltburn is a movie about an Oxford University student who gets involved with a charming and aristocratic classmate. He's invited to spend the summer at his classmate's eccentric family estate, which is an unforgettable experience. Despite the wild discussions surrounding the movie, it made it to many people's list of the best movies of 2023. Eric Eisenberg from CinemaBlend gave the film 4.5 out of 5 stars, describing it as a "rich cinematic experience in every sense of the word" that proves Emerald Fennell is the real deal.

The director is no stranger to pushing the envelope from a cinematic standpoint. Her stunning directorial debut, the also heavily discussed Promising Young Woman, saw Carrie Mulligan star as said woman, who avenges the assault of her best friend by righting the wrongs of crooked men. So the actress-filmmaker is no stranger to stirring up scandalous conversations.

At present, the English actress, filmmaker and writer is not attached to any flicks on the 2024 movie schedule. Yet she has expressed interest in making an erotic take on Jurassic Park. Someone please give this woman all the money. I can't even picture what that would look like, but I want to see what she has in mind. Life finds a way and, if Fennell has her way, it will be very NSFW like her sex injury-sounding movie.

If you don’t have a weak constitution, Saltburn is available to stream now with an Amazon Prime subscription. Or, if you want to revisit the filmmaker's debut film, Promising Young Woman, it is available to buy or rent.