Mariah Carey personally approved use of her song for sex scene in new movie ‘Beau Is Afraid’

A24 Films

Mariah Carey‘s music has been heard in many a movie and TV show, but the most recent use of one of her hits is pretty unexpected — and approved by her.

The movie is Beau Is Afraid, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as Beau, a guy who, well … let’s just say he has serious issues about sex. Vulture reports that when director Ari Aster wrote the movie 10 years ago, he included a sex scene that called for Mariah’s song “Always Be My Baby” to play during the onscreen action. 

The scene, between Phoenix and Parker Posey, who plays Beau’s childhood crush, is anything but romantic or erotic. You might even call it bizarre.

Aster realized it’d be difficult to get Mariah’s permission for the song, not to mention afford the fee it would cost to license it. Aster’s producing partner Lars Knudsen tells Vulture that they considered other songs, but decided it had to be that one.

So they shelled out what Knudsen described as “hundreds of thousands” of dollars and then Aster wrote a letter to Mariah. According to Knudsen, in the letter Aster “was trying to give her the history that he had lived with for ten years, and basically begging her to let us use it.”

Knudsen reveals that Mariah ended up watching a clip of the scene on her phone and gave them the go-ahead; she even went to the movie premiere’s after-party.

“The first time I saw it with an audience, I knew we made the right choice,” Knudsen tells Vulture. “There was not one single song that could do what that song did. It was definitely money well spent.”

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