Dakota Johnson brings out the dirty laundry: the shooting of ‘50 Shades of Grey’ was chaotic
The actress says that she joined the project that launched her to stardom thinking she was going to make a very different movie: "It became crazy"
June 30, 2022 12:04pm
Updated: June 30, 2022 2:38pm
The 50 Shades of Grey saga launched actress Dakota Johnson to fame, but the final result is far from what the young woman initially imagined.
"I signed on to do a very different version of the movie we ended up doing," Johnson has assured in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine in which she talked about the chaotic shooting.
"There were a lot of different disagreements. I haven't been able to talk about it honestly ever," added the star of one of the highest-grossing films of recent years. But now, Dakota has opened up and talked about it all in a lengthy interview.
"It's clear Johnson has weighed what she wants to say," writes Britt Hennemuth, the journalist behind the revealing conversation. "What follows is a vent," it reads.
The shy young woman said that the shooting of the film was "complicated." That's not the only adjective used for the film. She also used words like crazy and psychotic.
"I was young, I was 23," Dakota recounts nine years later, "so I was scared. It became crazy."
The actress said that the problem came from the studio, the directors, and a mix of factors: "It was a combo." But then she pointed to a specific person: "It was also because of the author of the books."
E.L. James was then the assistant director and had worked as a television executive. In the first decade of the 2000s, she dedicated herself to writing a derivative fiction of Twilight in her spare time, adding sex and removing vampires from the idea. That would then be the embryo of 50 Shades of Grey, a book she launched in 2011 and whose series has sold more than 31 million copies worldwide.
“She had a lot of creative control," Johnson said of the author, who was present throughout the shoot. "All day, every day, she demanded that certain things happen."
It is common knowledge that Dakota Johnson achieved worldwide fame after the release of this film, which defined the public image of its protagonists for years to come. Although the interpreter has been shedding that concept over the years and with other film scripts, today, she says that she is the creative co-director of the sex toy company Maude, among other projects related to the profile she reaped with 50 Shades of Grey.
The actress also confessed to Vanity Fair, where she will be next month's cover, that the reason she made those "big nude movies" is because she considers herself a "sexual person."
At another point in the interview, the journalist asks the actress if she regrets having participated in the saga.
"No. I don't think it's a question of regret. If I had known..." she interrupts herself. "If I had known at the time that it was going to be like that, I don't think anyone would have done it. I would have been like, Oh, this is psychotic. But no, I don't regret it."
This is possibly the first time Dakota Johnson has spoken openly about her experience with the film that launched her to stardom and toured the world from screen to screen.
While she gets to be quite candid, she claims she hasn't said everything she could on the subject. "There are things I can't say yet because I don't want to damage anyone's career and reputation."