It’s been seven years since Fifty Shades of Grey hit our cinemas, but it wasn’t until now that Dakota Johnson has shared her thoughts about filming the erotic romantic trilogy.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Johnson opened up about the creative clashes and “psychotic” experience that she endured on-set. And while, no, she doesn’t regret being a part of the films, but she also thinks that no one else “would’ve done it”.
Aside from the filming experience, she also called out the rumours that she and her Fifty Shades co-star Jamie Dornan were at odds.
“There was never a time when we didn’t get along,” she told the publication, referring to Dornan. “I know it’s weird, but he’s like a brother to me.”
“I love him so, so, so much. And we were really there for each other. We had to really trust each other and protect each other.”
But when it came to the film itself, she had a little less love to give. Johnson revealed that when she signed on for Fifty Shades, she was under the impression that it was going to much more different than it turned out to be.
“I’m a sexual person, and when I’m interested in something, I want to know so much about it,” she said.
“That’s why I did those big naked movies. I signed up to do a very different version of the film we ended up making.”
According to Johnson, there were many issues on-set, primarily between the studio, the film’s directors and the book’s author, E.L. James—who goes by the name, Erika.
“She [James] had a lot of creative control, all day, every day, and she just demanded that certain things happen,” Johnson explained.
The Lost Daughter star continued, “There were parts of the books that just wouldn’t work in a movie, like the inner monologue, which was at times incredibly cheesy. It wouldn’t work to say out loud. It was always a battle. Always.”
“When I auditioned for that movie, I read a monologue from Persona [the Ingmar Bergman classic from 1966] and I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be really special.’”
However, it was when Charlie Hunman—who was originally meant to play Christan Grey—dropped out of the film, that Johnson claimed James became so angry that she scrapped the script entirely.
“I was young. I was 23. So it was scary,” she said, referring to her contract at the time. “It just became something crazy. There were a lot of different disagreements.”
“I haven’t been able to talk about this truthfully ever, because you want to promote a movie the right way, and I’m proud of what we made ultimately and everything turns out the way it’s supposed to, but it was tricky.”
Not all hope was lost with the film’s original script, which was partially salvaged by Johnson, Dornan and the film film’s director, Sam Taylor-Johnson.
“We’d do the takes of the movie that Erika wanted to make, and then we would do the takes of the movie that we wanted to make,” Johnson explained.
“The night before, I would rewrite scenes with the old dialogue so I could add a line here and there. It was like mayhem all the time.”
As for which original scene actually made it into the final cut, the 32-year-old revealed that it was when Anastasia and Christian outlined her sexual contract, which Johnson described as “the best scene in the whole movie”.
But despite all this, Johnson has no regrets making the film, explaining that she doesn’t think “it’s a matter of regret”.
“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.”
Johnson is currently starring in Netflix’s latest Jane Austen adaptation, Persuasion, which you can find out more about here.