Netflix Wanted to Censor That Delightfully Foul-Mouthed ‘Do Revenge’ Cameo

"Executives were like, 'Can you find an alt?,'" filmmaker Jennifer Kaytin Robinson told IndieWire. "I was like, 'No.'"
Sophie Turner in "Do Revenge"
Sophie Turner in "Do Revenge"

[Editor’s note: The following article contains spoilers for “Do Revenge,” now streaming on Netflix.] 

With “Do Revenge,” Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and co-writer Celeste Ballard have created the ultimate “Fatal Attraction” reference (that would be “Glenn-ergy”) and coined a heck of a brand-new backhanded compliment: Being a “high status cunt.” And if you just flinched, just wait for  what Netflix executives had to say.

The “Celeste Ballard original, chef’s kiss” line, as director Robinson told IndieWire, was a bit of dialogue that Netflix was a little uneasy about. Camila Mendes first slings the quotable phrase toward co-star Maya Hawke when engineering a makeover montage for Hawke’s character, something that Robinson felt was important to the tone of the film.

“‘High status cunt’ was something early on where executives were like, ‘Can you find an alt?,'” Robinson said. “They asked to shoot an alt and I was like, ‘No. Because if we shoot it, we have it, and ‘high status cunt’ is the line.’ It’s a Celeste Ballard original. Chef’s kiss. It’s amazing.”

Surprise cameo Sophie Turner, who plays Mendes’ tennis camp nemesis, also screams “cunt” multiple times (and even mutters it while angrily painting at a rehab center). Like Sarah Michelle Gellar’s scene-stealing role, Robinson rewrote Turner’s dialogue once she knew the “Game of Thrones” actress was onboard.

“With Sophie, I was like, ‘What is something that she’s just not going to get give?,'” Robinson said. “And that’s screaming ‘You’re a cunt’ at Cami Mendes.”

Eventually, an uncensored “high status cunt” made it into the trailer for “Do Revenge,” proving that perhaps the Netflix marketing team knew what they were doing. “I was shocked,” Robinson said.

Maya Hawke, Do Revenge
Maya Hawke in “Do Revenge”Netflix

And cunt isn’t the only C-word thrown around: Robinson’s “Do Revenge” is directly an indictment on the complications of cancel culture, a mirror thrown up agains the faux woke misogyny rampant throughout Gen Z.

Co-lead star Maya Hawke reflected on the role, telling IndieWire that our current era is “really grappling with forgiveness.”

“What is the place of forgiveness in our society today?,” Hawke said. “There are moments where it feels like there isn’t enough room for forgiveness, and there should be more, and there are moments where it feels like society is too forgiving of certain bad behavior, and there should be less. I think it’s all very confusing because we’re trying to get to know ourselves better as people. It’s always difficult to make society follow these rules that apply to everyone or everything that work in every situation. Most rules don’t work in every situation.”

Much like Netflix censors, it seems.

“You have to kind of go on instinct based on the person, but our instincts are also sometimes really bad and wrong,” Hawke continued of the complicated message behind the film. “I really liked the way that the movie gives you, the audience, permission to decide for yourself, without telling the audience that it has to forgive either character for what they’ve done to each other, or what they’ve done to others. It’s not prescriptive, that way you can end the movie and be like, ‘Oh my god, I loved watching that movie about those two horrible people.'”

She added, “Or you can watch the movie and be like, ‘Oh, I’m so glad that those two lovely people dealt with their trauma and reconnected to each other.’ It’s up for the in the eye of the beholder.”

“Do Revenge” is now streaming on Netflix.

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