Ti West’s Pearl originally ran nearly 20 minutes longer, but don’t expect a director’s cut or an extended edition – the movie “felt better” without the stuff he removed.
Pearl, the technicolor prequel to 2022’s porno-gone-wrong horror X, has finally made its way across the pond onto UK screens, after months of critical acclaim and drip-feeding of Mia Goth’s performance on social media.
Goth reprises her role as the titular character, whom we first met as an elderly woman stabbing and pitchforking her way through a troupe of wannabe adult filmmakers. In Pearl, she’s in her prime: a young woman with dreams of lighting up the screen like “the pretty girls in the pictures”, whose quirks include extreme violence and an affinity for alligators and scarecrows.
Over the course of the movie, we see a time-stopping monologue, a homecoming soldier exploding into smithereens, egg-squashing, and more – but there’s “quite a bit” we didn’t see.
Ti West cut a “day-and-a-half of story” from Pearl
In an interview with Dexerto ahead of Pearl arriving in UK theaters, West discussed why he left such a large portion of the character’s story on the cutting room floor.
“The cuts that are released are what I wanted, so it’s not as if someone made me cut anything,” he said.
“There’s a day and a half of story in Pearl that was shot. That’s like another day and a half on the farm that I just lifted out of the movie because it just felt better without it.
“That’s not to say that those scenes weren’t good, it’s just for whatever reason when those scenes weren’t in there, the movie as a whole felt better.”
West didn’t go into many specifics about what was cut, but he said it was “a lot of scenes. I mean, it’s, it’s like easily, like 15, 17 minutes of movie. It’s quite a bit of stuff.”
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“It was just… it’s more character development stuff and it is all great by itself. What happened was the moment you knew there was a dance audition, you wanted to be motivated to the dance audition and not have another day of like doing chores on the farm and learning about her life,” he added.
Ti West wants to work with Jenna Ortega again
Jenna Ortega starred as Lorraine in X, the slightly prudish sound girl who sends her boyfriend spiraling when she bursts out of her shell and stars in her own porn scene.
Ortega is a bona fide, modern-day scream queen, especially as she’s one of the “core four” in the revived Scream franchise, not to mention her Netflix domination with Wednesday.
She didn’t appear in Pearl (for obvious reasons) and we won’t see her in MaXXXine, the final movie in the trilogy (also for obvious reasons), but West is looking forward to working with her again sometime in the future.
“I would love to [collaborate with her again]. I mean, I think the world of Jenna and we had a great time making the movie, so I wouldn’t hesitate at all. She’s one of my favorite people I’ve met in the last 10 years,” he said.
We also spoke to West about MaXXXine and why Goth isn’t a co-writer on the next movie – find out more here.
Pearl hits UK cinemas on March 17. In the US, it’s available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime and other VOD platforms, as well as DVD and Blu-ray.
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