Pointing fingers. Dakota Johnson claimed there was a struggle going on behind the scenes of Fifty Shades of Grey, a romantic BDSM trilogy in which she starred from 2015 to 2018.
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“I’m a sexy person, and when I’m interested in something, I want to know so much about it,” Johnson, 32, told Vanity Fair in an article published on Tuesday, June 28. “That’s why I made these big nude movies.”
She added: “I signed up for a completely different version of the movie that we eventually shot.”
Erotic films followed Johnson as Anastasia Steele, a graduate student who finds herself in a relationship with tortured billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).
When asked what the “problem” was behind the scenes, Johnson blamed the “combo” of the studio and the directors (Sam Taylor-Johnson directed the first film, and James Foley directed two sequels) for all three films. “It was also the author of books,” she claimed.
E.L. James wrote “Fifty Shades” as a Twilight fan fiction before it went viral, and the 59-year-old native of England adapted her work as an original series in 2011, which has sold more than 125 million copies worldwide. With such a huge fan base, James (real name Erica Mitchell) was hailed as a film producer.
“She had a lot of creative control, all day, every day, and she just demanded that certain things happen,” Johnson explained. “There were parts of the books that just wouldn’t work in a movie, like an internal monologue that was incredibly cheesy at times. I can’t say it out loud. It’s always been a battle. Always. When I auditioned for this film, I read a monologue from Persona [Ingmar Bergman’s 1966 film] and thought, “Oh, this is going to be really special.”
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Johnson was 23 when she was cast alongside Charlie Hunnam, and Closer playwright Patrick Marber revised the original script for Fifty Shades, which Johnson claimed James dropped after the Sons of Anarchy actor turned down the role, citing a scheduling conflict.
“It just became something crazy,” she said. “There were many different disagreements. I’ve never been able to talk about it truthfully because you want to promote the film properly, and I’m proud of what we did in the end, and everything turns out the way it should, but it was difficult.”
After Dornan signed the contract, he worked with the star of Cha Cha Real Smooth, and Taylor-Johnson tried to return the script to the state it was in before James rejected it.
“We did dubs of the movie that Erica wanted to shoot, and then we did dubs of the movie that we wanted to shoot,” Johnson said. “The night before, I rewrote scenes with old dialogues to add a line here and there. It was like mayhem all the time.”
According to Johnson, the only scene from the original script that hit the big screen is when Anastasia and Christian enter into a sexual contract, and the actress still believes that this is “the best scene in the whole movie.”
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Despite the fact that it was a stressful experience, the founder of TeaTime Pictures has no regrets and admits that action-packed films have benefited her career. Although the “Fifty Shades” films have been criticized, they have earned more than $1 billion at the box office.
“There are things I still can’t say because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s career and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s reputation, but both Jamie and I were treated very well,” the star said. “Erica is a very nice woman, she has always been kind to me, and I am grateful to her for wanting me to star in these films.”