Immediately after Luca Guadagnino’s adaptation of Andre Aciman’s acclaimed novel had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, many tweets from ticket holders included peach emojis, in reference to a memorable scene that sees Chalamet’s 17-year-old Elio engaging in sexual intercourse with a peach. Though the novel’s well-known moment is presented “in modest but unambiguous fashion,” reads THR‘s review, the Eccles Theatre audience erupted into laughter when Hammer’s 24-year-old intern Oliver discovers Elio’s experiment — by taste.
“We did it for the industry of peaches,” Guadagnino joked to The Hollywood Reporter. Hammer added with a laugh, “Luca is part-owner in a peach company!”
Guadagnino called the “raped fruit” scene “legendary” in the book but wasn’t sure if he’d be able to include it in the movie. “[It] struck me so much as un-filmable, but also, I hate to be defined as coy. I don’t want to be coy, shy or coward. So it was like, let’s take the bull by the horns and shoot it,” he explained. They went for it “on a day that was endless because we were running late, [after we] shot 13 or 14 hours.”
Though the director and cast acknowledged the “extremely ridiculous” sequence, they also stressed its deeper meaning. Guadagnino highlighted “the sensuality of the fruit — the chews and everything that spurts out when he’s trying to debone it” and noted that “in this moment of laughter, you get the entire drama of the impossibility of this love, the longing and the fact that they’re gonna be separated soon.” He also applauded Hammer and Chalamet: “It’s amazing, guys, and I am proud of you.”