Emerald Fennell may have had no trouble at all finding her place at Oxford when she was a student there, in the mid-aughts. But the protagonist of her new film, Saltburn, has a dreadful time—especially when he finds himself enmeshed in the heady, aristocratic universe of a mysterious classmate. The psychological thriller is Fennell’s follow-up to her 2020 directorial debut, Promising Young Woman, which earned her an Oscar for best original screenplay. Herewith, she shares her key components to the good life. —Ashley Baker
Airline: Virgin Atlantic.
Alibi: “I was volunteering at the hospital.”
Bag: A red Chanel mini crossbody.
Bedtime: Four a.m.
Bike: A car.
Birthday: Turning 15.
Boyfriend: Steve Martin in 1974.
Breakfast, WEEKDAY: A handful of Cheerios and a Nescafé Gold blend.
Breakfast, WEEKEND: Pancakes and maple syrup.
Car: A Mercedes Gullwing.
Child: An Edward Gorey orphan.
Cocktail: A Virgin Mary.
Cocktail appetizer: Anything in the Marks & Spencer 3-for-2 Christmas deal.
Couple: Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Date: Sunrise in Paris.
Dinner, weeknight: Marmite on toast.
Dinner, weekend: Spaghetti Bolognese.
Disguise: Sheer stockings over the face.
Dress: Alexander McQueen moon-and-stars cape dress.
Drive: To my parents’ house.
Enemy: My husband.
Escape: A sleeper carriage on a train.
Excuse: Stomach flu.
First Lady/First Man: Posh and Becks.
Fit: Tight to the point of overspill.
Friend: Someone who’ll bury a body.
Good-bye: A restrained Brief Encounter flicker of the eye.
Hideaway: A remote Landmark Trust folly.
Hotel: The Newt in Somerset.
Indulgence: 111SKIN Black Diamond Serum.
Insult: “Couldn’t write fuck on a shutter.”
Jacket: Loewe Workwear jacket.
Kiss-off: “See you in hell.”
Last Meal: Big Mac.
Lunch, WEEKDAY: A sandwich from Pret.
Lunch, WEEKEND: Custard doughnut.
Match: 90s W.W.F.
Movie: The Remains of the Day.
Name: Count Dracula.
Neighbor: No one.
Nonfiction book: Giving Up the Ghost, by Hilary Mantel.
Novel: Hangover Square, by Patrick Hamilton.
Pants: Wednesday pants worn on a Monday.
Piece of advice: “Just ignore him.”
Podcast: Dear Joan and Jericha.
Restaurant: 64 Goodge Street, in London.
Ride: Nemesis at Alton Towers.
Saying: “Throw a c amongst the p’s.”
Second spouse: Bruce Springsteen in 1978.
SHOES: Prada Monolith loafers.
Spouse: Betty Draper.
STORM: Stormy Daniels.
Street: Dean Street.
Television series: Succession.
Theme song to your life: “Short Skirt/Long Jacket,” by Cake.
Time of day: Just after sunset.
Toast: Cheap, white, sliced.
Victim: A willing one.
Wake-up time: 11 a.m.
Weekend bag: An Away roller bag.
Work of art: Anything by Paula Rego.
WRITING IMPLEMENT: Fountain pen.