mother!: Behind the scenes of the controversial movie's most disturbing moment (exclusive)

Sam Ashurst

Darren Aronofsky’s mother! inspired some pretty feverish debate on its release in cinemas last year, with audiences pretty much evenly split in terms of what they thought of it – to the extent that the reaction even made it into the marketing.

Jennifer Lawrence in mother!, from Paramount Pictures and Protozoa Pictures.
Jennifer Lawrence in mother!, from Paramount Pictures and Protozoa Pictures.

We loved it (so much so it’s among our top 20 films of the year), and you can make up your own mind when it’s released digitally on Monday, ahead of its DVD, Blu-ray and 4k release on 22 January.

But there’s one element everyone can agree on – the sequence involving the baby (which we won’t spoil here) was easily one of the most disturbing cinema moments of 2017.

We’ve got our hands on a world-exclusive NSFW behind-the-scenes clip from that sequence, which reveals exactly how Aronofsky achieved it.

Aronofsky directs mother!’s controversial baby scene
Aronofsky directs mother!’s controversial baby scene

But don’t expect closure from the clip – knowing how it was created really doesn’t make it any less disturbing. In fact, the footage is as freaky as what ended up in the film.

Still, at least the cast weren’t bothered by it – as Aronofsky revealed to us when we spoke to him last year.

What do you do to make sure your stars aren’t traumatised making the film like I was, watching it?

“[Laughs] Sorry! It’s a very different situation on a film set because things are done in pieces. It’s no way the same experience you have when you watch it and you add all these pieces together. When you’re doing different fragments, it’s just a single emotion for 10 seconds to 40 seconds. So you call “Cut,” someone like Jen Lawrence is very much like a light-switch actor — you say “Action,” she’s on, you say “Cut,” her whole body language changes; she grabs a copy of Wuthering Heights and starts reading in a corner. She is like that, Javier is like that, Michelle and Ed, of course, are like that — so you don’t have to worry about their safety when you’re dealing with actors like that.”

mother! is available on Digital Monday 8 January and on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K 22 January

Watch the trailer below

Read more
Anger over the ‘gross, horrendous’ new poster for mother! featuring a battered Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence hopes new film will traumatise Hunger Games fans
‘Mother!’: Darren Aronofsky reacts to ‘F’ CinemaScore, says, ‘Some people are not going to want to listen’