(Some mild spoilers ahead for “The First Purge”)
Mid-way through “The First Purge,” lead character, Nya (Lex Scott Davis) is out on the very first Purge Night looking for her brother, when she gets caught in a trap — a noose closes around her leg and drags her partially into a hole, where a masked man gropes her. Nya manages to pepper spray the guy before running off. And as she escapes, she calls him a “p—- grabbing motherf—–.”
An obvious reference to the infamous Donald Trump “grab them by the p—-” tape, it’s one of the signature moment in the movie and emblematic of the franchise’s overt political themes. And as it happens, it was a late-stage addition to the film.
In an interview with TheWrap to promote the home video release of “The First Purge” — it’s out on disc and digital now — Davis revealed that the line was neither written in the screenplay nor improvised. Turns out it was added while she was re-recording dialogue during post-production — and she didn’t even know that scene existed until that day.
“That was not in the original script. It also wasn’t in the original shot,” Davis said. “It actually was added in post-production. We came back in to do some voice over work, we added it because the grab that happened was not me. That was a stunt person.
“So I didn’t even know that Nya was being grabbed. So when I came in to do my voice-over work, and that was a line written on the paper I’m like, “Why? How is that relevant? I don’t get it.” And then they play [the scene] for me and I was like ‘Oooooohhhh, okay, got it, let’s do it. I’m down, let’s go.’ “
We asked Davis who deserves credit for coming up with that line, and she said no one ever told her. “I wasn’t there when they came up with it, so I’m not sure exactly who,” Davis said.
So if you were wondering where that bit came from, now you (sort of) know.