For decades, many have wondered if the infamous sex scene between Hollywood stars Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland in their 1973 film “Don’t Look Now” was real.
And now Sutherland, 82, wants to set the record straight.
The New York Daily News reported Monday that while attending the New York premiere of his new film “The Leisure Seeker,” the veteran actor attempted to finally put the rumor to rest.
“They’re idiots,” the Canadian-born actor told reporters in attendance. “There were two cameramen in there. The takes were 15 seconds long, maximum. ‘All right, Julie, hold your head, OK, turn your head a little to the side…’”
The father of fellow actor Kiefer Sutherland added he adores the scene because it “reminded you of making love.”
“Don’t Look Now” is an erotic thriller that tells the story of a married couple (Sutherland and Christie) who travel to Venice following the death of their young daughter. The film is still recognized today for its controversial sex scene that was considered explicit for its time.
And Sutherland isn’t the only one who still has fond memories of bringing the story to life.
In a 2015 documentary on director Nicolas Roeg, Christie, now 77, described how filming the scene was “absolutely lovely.”
“I loved the squirming bits and all those things you don’t see,” she explained, as reported by the Daily Mail at the time. “It was just flesh squirming and rolling and touching, and God I thought it was absolutely lovely.”
“It wasn’t even necessarily sexy, what it was,” added the British actress. “It reminded you of making love.”
Warren Beatty, Christie’s then-boyfriend, allegedly demanded that the scene be cut.
In 2011, The Hollywood Reporter revealed former movie executive Peter Bart claimed in his book “Infamous Players” that Sutherland and Christie did actually have sex while filming the scene.
“It was clear to me they were no longer simply acting,” he wrote. “They were f—ing on camera.”
Sutherland immediately fired back and denied Bart’s claim.
“Peter Bart mendaciously writes that he witnessed the shooting of the love scene in ‘Don’t Look Now’ and saw sex,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Not true. None of it. Not the sex. Not him witnessing it. From beginning to end, there were four people in that room. [Director] Nic Roeg, [DP] Tony Richmond, Julie Christie and me. No one else. Wires under the locked door led outside, and this was 20 years before video monitors.”
Producer Peter Katz also came forward to address Bart’s allegation.
“While there was a sex scene captured on film, it was not a scene that would lead to the creation of a human being,” he said.
However, Katz mentioned the U.S. and Canadian versions of the film did include several cuts to the sex scene, making them different from the European releases. The changes were made to avoid an X-rating.