The scene in The Paperboy in which Nicole Kidman pees on Zac Efron to relieve the pain of a jellyfish sting almost didn’t make it into the movie.
Director Lee Daniels (Precious, Monster's Ball) revealed to GQ that he had second thoughts before sending the film off to Cannes. “I called Nicole at three in the morning. I said, ‘Nicole, I can’t do it, I’ve gone too far. I can’t put that scene in the movie,’” he recalled. “She said, ‘Lee, you made me pee on Zac Efron, if you don’t put that in the movie, you’re out of your freakin’ mind.’”
So it made the cut and gave Cannes one of its funniest and most buzzworthy lines: “If anyone’s gonna pee on you, it’s going to be me.”
Looking back on the filming of the scene, Lee said, “If you could have watched Zac’s face. He’s supposed to be passed out and [while Kidman is urinating] he’s just got this smile on his face. I'm like, ‘Zac, pretend like you’re dead!’ And he’s just got this crazy smile on his face. The whole thing’s crazy.”
The Paperboy got a lot of buzz at Cannes — in part for the golden shower, but mostly because of its unabashed raunchiness. Matthew McConaughey plays a journalist into violent bondage; Nicole Kidman sexes up her act as a woman who writes steamy letters to violent convicts; and Zac Efron chases Nicole as Matthew’s horny younger brother (who wears tighty-whities). It’s a far cry from Precious, Lee’s last movie. “The thing is, people are taking this too f***ing seriously. It ain't deep. It ain't that f***ing deep, yo,” Lee remarked on the film’s mixed reception. “I love seeing what we don’t see ordinarily. We, as the American public, have been brainwashed and people continue to underestimate what we want to see. [...] Even if I don’t like a movie, I want to have something to think about.”