While Dakota Johnson made her first major movie appearance as Sean Parker for one night in “The Social Network,” her starring debut came as Anastasia Steele in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Based on a series of books that originally began as a Twilight fan fiction, this trilogy of films showcased wild and sexual BDSM techniques to a wide audience. Although “Fifty Shades of Grey” may have helped Dakota Johnson succeed as an actress, she spoke frankly about the problems she faced on the set of the film and about the “battles” she faced.
While Anastasia starts out as a person who is shy of these unconventional forms of sex, Dakota Johnson is not afraid of sexual expression on camera. During an interview with Vanity Fair, the 32-year-old actress talked about how comfortable she is to act in “big nude films”, but did not get the experience she expected from the filming of “Fifty Shades of Grey”. She explained:
I’m a sexy person, and when I’m interested in something, I want to know so much about it. That’s why I did these big naked movies. I signed up for a completely different version of the movie that we eventually shot.
Anastasia Steele is associated with a young businessman Dorian Gray, who tends to control his women using BDSM techniques. He discovers that Anastasia is actually a woman who cannot be controlled, as she has no problem expressing what works for her and what doesn’t. The reason Dakota Johnson took on the lead role in Fifty Shades was because of her love for the ferocity of the character and the discovery of her own sexual preferences through Dorian Gray. Just as Anastasia was not afraid of new sexual adventures, Johnson was also not afraid to portray a sexual expression on the screen.
One thing the Suspiria star had trouble with during Fifty Shades of Grey was the creative control of E.L. James, author of the book series. According to the actress:
She 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 fit 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.
This is understandable, since sometimes internal monologues can cause irritation. While Bella Swan’s inner monologue for “Twilight” may pass as we gain some insight into her complex emotions in the vampire world, at other times it may seem unnecessary. We already understand Anastasia Steele’s thought processes thanks to Dakota Johnson’s stellar facial expression. It turns out that E.L. In fact, James had a terrible time on the set of “Fifty Shades of Grey” because of her clashes with the director of the first film Sam Taylor-Johnson. This can be a problem when the author and the director have creative differences on how to bring a work of literature to life. If you need additional evidence, watch the movie “Saving Mr. Banks”.
Even though she was proud of the work she had done for the erotic romantic drama, being able to finish the films was a very messy ordeal. Seven years after the release of the first film, Johnson continued to be honest about how dirty the filming was, saying:
I was young. I was 23. So it was scary. It just became something crazy. 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. “We did dubs of the movie that Erica wanted to shoot, and then we did dubs of the movie that we wanted to shoot. The night before, I was rewriting scenes with old dialogues to add a line. here and there.
Dakota Johnson’s experience in Fifty Shades of Grey proves that a messy beginning can lead to a satisfying ending. Her life changed after the first film, as it opened the doors for directors and screenwriters to find out who this talented actress was, and paved the way for many projects such as “Black Mass”, “Suspiria” and “Peanut Falcon”.
You can watch Dakota Johnson’s latest movie, Cha Cha Real Smooth, on an Apple TV+ subscription; she is a co-producer of the film and plays a single mother who starts a relationship with a party attendee. She will also appear in the Jane Austen adaptation of Netflix’s “Persuasion,” which you will be able to stream on a Netflix subscription on July 15. In addition, Johnson is hosting “Madame Web”, which will be released in the summer of 2023.