Dakota Johnson reveals shooting for the the erotic drama Fifty Shades of Grey was a “mayhem” behind the scenes. The actress, who became an international star after being cast as Anastasia “Ana” Steele in the three-film franchise, described the making of the film as “psychotic” in a new cover story for Vanity Fair magazine.
Dakota Johnson calls Fifty Shades of Grey filming with E.L. James ‘psychotic’ – “It was mayhem all the time”
She said making the trilogy became complicated in part because of E.L. James, the author of the books who maintained creative control over the film adaptations. “I signed up to do a very different version of the film we ended up making,” Johnson said. “[E.L. James] had a lot of creative control, all day, every day, and she just demanded that certain things happen. 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 said making the trilogy “became something crazy,” adding, “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.”
“We’d do the takes of the movie that [James] wanted to make, and then we would do the takes of the movie that we wanted to make,” Johnson continued. “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.” Despite everything, Johnson has no regrets with making the films,“I don’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,” Johnson said. “It would’ve been like, ‘Oh, this is psychotic.’ But no, I don’t regret it…There are things that I still cannot say because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s career and I don’t want to damage anybody’s reputation, but both Jamie [Dornan] and I were treated really well. [James] is a very nice woman, and she was always kind to me and I am grateful she wanted me to be in those movies.”
As for speculation that she and co-star Jamie Dornan didn’t get along, Johnson debunks the rumors, explaining the close bond they had while filming. “There was never a time when we didn’t get along,” she said. “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.” Johnson also said that they “needed to be a team” especially given they “were doing the weirdest things for years.”
Dakota Johnson currently stars 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.
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