Dakota Johnson says it was a daily battle to make the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ film franchise.
The actress, 32, admitted there was constant conflict with the series’ creator EL James, 59, as the writer had so much creative control over the films of her books – but Johnson denied rumours she feuded with her ‘Fifty Shades’ co-star Jamie Dornan.
Johnson told the July/August issue of Vanity Fair: “I signed up to do a very different version of the film we ended up making.
“She (EL 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.”
Changes in the making of the films included actor Charlie Hunnam’s exit from the role of Christian Grey, which was said to have spurred on James to scrap Patrick Marber’s script, according to Johnson.
She added: “We’d do the takes of the movie that Erika (James) wanted to make, and then we would do the takes of the movie that we wanted to make.
“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.”
Dismissing talk of a feud between her and Dornan, 40, Johnson – who has been in a relationship with Coldplay singer Chris Martin, 45, since 2017 – said: “There was never a time when we didn’t get along. 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 said about the friction with James and the challenges making the ‘Fifty Shades’ films she has never “been able to talk about this truthfully ever”.
But the actress added: “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 and I were treated really well.
“Erika is a very nice woman, and she was always kind to me and I am grateful she wanted me to be in those movies.”
The actress – daughter of actors Don Johnson, 72, and 64-year-old Melanie Griffith – added she has no regrets about the “weird” experience of playing Anastasia in the films and is “proud of what we made ultimately”.
She said: “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.
“It would’ve been like, ‘Oh, this is psychotic.’ But no, I don’t regret it.”
Read the full story – ‘Dakota Johnson on Family, Sexual Agency – and the “Psychotic” making of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’” – by Britt Hennemuth in Vanity Fair’s July/August issue and on VanityFair.com.
Cover and press photo by Ryan McGinley/Vanity Fair.