‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ Deleted Scene Between Dani and Her Fiancé Elaborated on Their Issues; ‘It’s So Much More Beyond Her Sexuality’
The Haunting of Bly Manor was much different than its predecessor, The Haunting of Hill House in many key ways. One is the number of scares involved, but another was the concept of love. While Hill House touched on familial love, along with trauma, Bly Manor showed several pairs of lovers. Whether they got happy endings or not, The Haunting of Bly Manor was a true Gothic Romance through and through.
And one couple had more than a few problems that made them incompatible. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for The Haunting of Bly Manor].
Dani Clayton left America and came to Bly Manor with her own ghost
The story opens up with Carla Gugino as The Storyteller who starts a massive odyssey which ends up being The Haunting of Bly Manor. The story within the story starts with Dani Clayton, an American in the ‘80s who applies to be the au pair for the Wingrave children at Bly Manor.
After a tough interview, and a winning pub stop, Dani gets the gig and goes to Bly. Even before that, though, audiences get a glimpse of Dani’s personal ghost. It’s a dark figure with glowing orange eyes that appears only in mirrors, at first. But then viewers get the full picture; the “ghost” is a manifestation of her ex-fiancé, Eddie.
Pedretti told Digital Spy that her ghost was similar to Henry Wingrave’s since they’re both “reflections” of themselves.
“[The ghost is] reminding herself that she is bad,” she said. “That she needs to feel guilty, that she should be ashamed, that she does not deserve to be happy.”
Where does this guilt stem from? Viewers find out Dani’s full story and it turns out she’s gay, which you could have caught from her longing glances at Jamie. She was engaged to Eddie even though she wasn’t happy with it. As she tells him in the car when she breaks up with him before his accident, she tried to stick it out and hoped she’d “get over” her attraction to women, but that’s (obviously) not how it works.
Victoria Pedretti shared a deleted scene that showed more of why Dani and Eddie weren’t a good fit
While that’s reason enough to call off a marriage, Pedretti also shared that Dani and Eddie were incompatible in more than just that way. In an interview with Glamour UK where Pedretti opened up about her ADD and her new short, This Is Not a Love Letter, she also talked about Dani’s journey to figure herself out. And it goes beyond her being gay.
There’s a scene that was cut, where Roby [Attal] who plays Edmund [Eddie]… comes into the school Dani is working at after she’s missed a viewing of the place they might get married at and he goes, “You don’t have to do this. I could take care of you.” Her response is, “This is my purpose. I have a talent for listening, being of service to these children and that’s the most important thing to me. That is never going to change. That’s who I am.”
Pedretti said that scene is “significant” because it really highlighted that Eddie didn’t see Dani completely. He didn’t take into account what she wanted to do with her life and didn’t support her for who she was.
“I think so many people see her relationship with him and think, ‘She’s gay, so that’s why she couldn’t stay with him,’ but it’s so much more beyond her sexuality,” Pedretti said. “It’s about her whole person, her environment, and how that’s not where she was going to be able to flourish.”
Once Dani realized that she was worthy of happiness, Eddie’s ‘ghost’ disappeared
Eddie’s “good guy” persona was of course hinted at not being 100 percent genuine a few times. For one, his story about how he wore Dani down with his marriage proposals is not… comforting. Then there’s the way he acts when Dani tells him she’s gay. Yes, it’s a different time period where being gay wasn’t accepted or understood, but he really just made her coming out about how he was hurt.
Regardless, he died and Dani carried so much guilt around about it afterward. For one, the shame that went along with being gay in that time (which can still exist to this day), was probably a lot for Dani. She comes out and her ex-fiancé then dies in a car accident? That would seem like a bad omen to anyone.
On top of that, Dani felt that she was to blame in the first place. She must have been plagued with the thought that if she hadn’t had told him, he wouldn’t have gotten hit.
But it’s when Dani “stops hiding” from who she is and realizes she’s worthy of love that Eddie’s “ghost” goes away. Pedretti told Digital Spy that Dani meets Jamie, decides that she “deserves happiness” and wills the ghost to go extinct in her mind.