Dakota Johnson has opened up about problems filming Fifty Shades of Grey. The film was released in 2015 and was followed by sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. The series focuses on the relationship between Johnson’s Anastasia Steele, a college graduate, and Jamie Dornan’s Christian Grey, a wealthy businessman.
“I signed up to do a very different version of the film we ended up making,” Johnson told Vanity Fair (opens in new tab), explaining difficulties arose from a “combo” of factors – including the books’ author E. L. James.
“She had a lot of creative control, all day, every day, and she just demanded that certain things happen,” Johnson said. “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 and I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be really special.'”
Johnson revealed that she, director Sam Taylor-Johnson, and Dornan made attempts to include elements of the original script, worked on by Patrick Marber, which James scrapped after original Christian Grey actor Charlie Hunman dropped out of the project. “We’d do the takes of the movie that Erika [James] wanted to make, and then we would do the takes of the movie that we wanted to make,” she said. “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.” According to Johnson, one scene from that script ended up in the film, which sees Anastasia and Christian negotiate their relationship contract. “And it’s the best scene in the whole movie,” she commented.
Still, though, Johnson doesn’t regret the experience. “No. I don’t think it’s a matter of regret. If I had known…” she said. “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 can next be seen in Netflix’s Persuasion, which releases this July 8. Until then, check out our roundup of the best Netflix movies streaming now to fill out your watchlist.