Dakota Johnson says she signed up for a 'very different' 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' movie


The erotic drama became a pop-culture phenomenon, and helped launch Johnson into Hollywood stardom. Photo: AP

It seems Christian Grey wasn't the only dominant force in the Fifty Shades Of Grey franchise.

The 2015 film followed the controlling businessman, portrayed by Jamie Dornan, and his BDSM relationship with Anastasia Steele, played by relative newcomer Dakota Johnson.

The erotic drama became a pop-culture phenomenon, spawned two follow-up movies and helped launch Johnson into Hollywood stardom.

More than seven years after the franchise's first instalment, Johnson opened up to Vanity Fair about the "so, so weird" filming process with E.L. James, who wrote the books that inspired the movies.

"I signed up to do a very different version of the film we ended up making," Johnson said in the magazine's latest cover story.

The Cha Cha Real Smooth actor said she faced a number of behind-the-scenes challenges from conflicting feedback from the studio and directors. But she singled out James, who "had a lot of creative control, all day, everyday".

Johnson told Vanity Fair how James' vision for the films included "incredibly cheesy" inner monologues that "wouldn't work to say out loud" onscreen.

She also recalled how James, who served as a producer on the three franchise films, threw out a script after actor Charlie Hunnam dropped out of the project due to a scheduling conflict. Hunnam, initially slated to portray Christian Grey, was later replaced by Dornan.

"It was always a battle," Johnson said. "Always."

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in 'Fifty Shades Of Grey'. Photo: HandoutJamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in 'Fifty Shades Of Grey'. Photo: Handout

The creative differences also manifested in filming. Johnson said she and fellow cast members would film one set of takes following James' creative decisions and another set for "the movie that we wanted to make".

Representatives for James did not immediately reply to the L.A. Times' request for comment.

For Johnson, Fifty Shades felt like "mayhem all the time." But she doesn't regret her time as Anastasia Steele.

"If I had known at the time that's what it was going to be like, I don't think anyone would've done it. It would've been like, 'Oh, this is psychotic.' But no, I don't regret it," she said.

During the interview she also quelled rumours about a feud with co-star Dornan, noting that "he's like a brother to me. I love him so, so, so much".

Despite the creative headaches, Johnson said "(James) is a very nice woman, and she was always kind to me and I'm grateful she wanted me to be in those movies."

"Look, it was great for our careers," she added. "So amazing. So lucky. But it was weird. So, so weird."

Johnson can currently be seen in Cooper Raiff's comedy Cha Cha Real Smooth. She will make her Marvel debut in Sony's upcoming Madame Web, where she will join Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O'Connor, Isabela Merced and Emma Roberts. – Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Entertainment

South Korean superstar Rain set to perform in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 27
Former Le Sserafim member Kim Ga-ram breaks silence, denies bullying
'I Am Groot' review: Sweet, short Groot toons that are over too soon
'Lupin's Omar Sy to play Chow Yun-fat's role in remake of John Woo's The Killer
Anne Heche still in coma, not expected to survive, family says
How an almost naked Joo Won fought 100 men for a scene in action film 'Carter'
‘Insecure’ and ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ star Denise Dowse in coma from meningitis
'Dancer In The Dark' director Lars von Trier diagnosed with Parkinson's disease
Andy Lau and Gordon Lam co-stars again after 10 years
Olivia Newton-John to receive state memorial service in Australia

Others Also Read