Nearly a decade after her debut as Anastasia Steele, Dakota Johnson is pulling back on her experience with the franchise that turned her into a worldwide star.
As Johnson tells Vanity Fair“I signed up to do a very different version of the film that we made.” In addition to the studio and directors of the trilogy, Johnson cited the book’s author, E.L. James, as another kink in the process.
“She had a lot of creative control all day, every day, and she demanded that certain things happen,” the 32-year-old actress explains. “There were parts of the books that just wouldn’t work in a movie, like the inner monologue, which was incredibly cheesy at times. Speaking out loud wouldn’t work. It was always a fight. Always.”
There were other significant changes as well, including the exit of Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey, which reportedly prompted James to scrap. Patrick Marber’s screenplay according to Johnson. Still, the scene in which Anastasia and Christian negotiate her sexual contract in the first film remains a remnant of Marber’s work.
Johnson remembers, “We would take the film that Erica wanted to make, and then we would take the film that we wanted to make.” “The night before, I would rewrite the scenes with old dialogue so that I could add a line here and there. It was like a catastrophe all the time. ,
of that contract scene, Johnson tells Vanity Fair“It’s the best scene in the whole movie.”
As for the rumors of a feud between Johnson and Jamie Dornan that eventually brought Christian Gray to life on screen, she speaks the opposite. “There was never a time we weren’t together,” she says. “I know it’s weird, but he’s like a brother to me. I love him so much, so much. And we were really meant for each other. We really had to trust each other and be together.” Had to protect the other.”
In addition to the actors and screenplays, directors also changed—and with that, a different approach. “Sami [Taylor-Johnson] didn’t return to direct after the first film, and, as a woman, she came with a softer approach,” shares Johnson. “James Foley came in to direct, and he’s an interesting man. It was a different thing to do weird things with a man behind the camera. Just a different energy.”
While Johnson admitted that she “has not been able to speak truthfully about this” because of film promotions, she still isn’t saying everything. “There are things I still can’t say because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s career and I don’t want to damage anyone’s reputation,” she notes, “but Jamie and I were treated really well. Erica is a very nice woman, and she was always kind to me and I’m grateful that she wanted me to be in those movies.”
In both the ‘weird’ and rewarding experience, Johnson doesn’t feel sorry and “is proud of what we’ve finally built.” Nevertheless, there is another caveat. “If I had known at the time how it was going to be, I don’t think anyone would have done it,” she admits. “It would have been like, ‘Oh, this is mental.’ But no, I don’t regret it.”
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