Why Jada Pinkett Smith and Billy Zane Didn’t Have a Sex Scene When They Were in a Horror Movie Together

Jada Pinkett Smith isn’t primarily known for her roles in horror movies, however, she appeared in a film called Demon Knight with Billy Zane. The producer of the film wanted her character to have a sex scene with Billy Zane’s. Here’s why they never filmed the sex scene — and what was put in the film in its place.

Jada Pinkett Smith smiling
Jada Pinkett Smith | Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Cameron Diaz was almost in this horror movie instead of Jada Pinkett Smith

Tales from the Crypt was a television series that spawned multiple films. Those movies were Tales from the Crypt, Bordello of Blood, Ritual, The Vault of Horror, and Demon Knight. Pinkett Smith played a character in the latter film called Jeryline. Bloody Disgusting reports the film’s director, Ernest Dickerson, thought Pinkett Smith was perfect for the part. However, the executive producer of the film, Joel Silver, wanted Pinkett’s role to go to Cameron Diaz. 

“I was trying to figure out who can be my Jeryline,” Dickerson revealed. “I always saw her as a small lady.” It’s not clear if Dickerson was referring to Diaz or Pinkett Smith. “I had gone to see Menace II Society and I saw Jada in that and I said, ‘That’s her!’ Now, Joel Silver, he wanted Cameron Diaz and I just couldn’t see Cameron in that role. I keep pushing Jada and finally, he agreed to meet her. She said, ‘What do I say to him?’ I said, ‘Just be yourself.’”

A trailer for Demon Knight

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Dickerson told Silver that Pinkett Smith was a talented actress. According to Dickerson, Silver responded “Yeah, yeah, yeah, but does she got big tits?” Dickerson replied, “I don’t know, Joel, [maybe] you should just talk to her?”

What happened in the movie instead of a Jada Pinkett Smith/Billy Zane sex scene

Ultimately, Pinkett Smith got the part. However, Bloody Disgusting reports this was not the end of Dickerson’s creative differences with Silver. Silver wanted there to be a scene where Zane’s character, The Collector, had sex with Jeryline. Dickerson described The Collector as a minion of Satan. He didn’t like the idea of the two characters having sex because he didn’t see their relationship as sexual.

Billy Zane in a body of water
Billy Zane | Ronald Siemoneit/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

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Afterward, Dickerson went to Zane. “I went to Billy [Zane] and I said, ‘They want this to be a sexual thing and it can’t be a sexual thing,’ and he said, ‘Ernest, I’ll back you up on this.’ It was actually Billy, Jada’s manager, and my manager, and they all backed me up on it.” The two parties reached a compromise: The Collector would have a “flaming dick.” In keeping with Demon Knight’s comic tone, The Collector shoots fire out of his crotch area and onto Jeryline.

How the world reacted to ‘Demon Knight’

The film’s unusual elements seem to have resonated with some audiences. The film earned over $10 million during its opening weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. Ultimately, Demon Knight made over $21 million. Demon Knight might not be one of Pinkett Smith’s most famous films, but it has an unusual backstory.