Dakota Johnson described the making of “Fifty Shades of Grey” as “psychotic” in a new cover story for Vanity Fair magazine. The actor became an international star after being cast as Anastasia “Ana” Steele in the three-film franchise, but she said making the trilogy became complicated in part because of “the author of the books.” That would be E.L. James, 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 “Fifty Shades” 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.”
Even with the battles that took place behind the scenes, Johnson harbors no regret or ill will towards James or the franchise that made her a household name.
“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.”
“Look, it was great for our careers,” Johnson concluded. “So amazing. So lucky. But it was weird. So, so weird.”
Head over to Vanity Fair’s website to read Johnson’s cover story in its entirety.
Dakota Johnson Speaks Out on ‘Fifty Shades’ Battle Against E.L. James: ‘It Was Mayhem All the Time’