Farrell and Bachleda in "Ondine"

Director Neil Jordan says he had to cut seven minutes off an “operatic” sex scene featuring Colin Farrell and his girlfriend Alijca Bachleda from his latest movie “Ondine” because it made the film too long.

He told the Sunday Times newspaper that he that he had “trimmed it a bit,” taking five to seven minutes off the running time.

“Sex scenes are embarrassing for anyone involved,” he said. “The distributors did not want me to trim the movie at all, and that’s the truth. I wanted to.” He denied that he trimmed the scene after complaints from distributors that it was too racy and that the movie was unlikely to get a general release as a result.

Farrell had a child by his Polish lead actress and they have since become a couple. The movie is about a fisherman played by Farrell who catches a mermaid, Bachleda, in his net and falls in love with her.

“Ondine” will be in theaters worldwide by September, and will open the Jameson Film Festival in Dublin in February. Early reviews after it was shown at the Toronto Film Festival were mixed. Jordan wrote the script when he was back in Cork two years ago.

The director said, "I came back to Ireland, wrote this little story and shot it two summers ago.”