Dakota Johnson was only 23 years old when she signed up to do the "Fifty Shades of Grey" film series, based on the book series of the same name. She exploded into stardom after taking on the role of the protagonist Anastasia Steels, but she's now reflecting on her experience on set.
There were rumors flying around that Dakota Johnson and her co-star Jamie Dornan, who played Christian Grey, were feuding during their time on set, but Johnson is here to set the record straight in her latest interview for Vanity Fair. "There was never a time when we didn’t get along,” Johnson said. “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 is also opening up about how crazy things were on set when they were filming the movie.
Dakota Johnson Opens about the "Psychotic" Filming of Fifty Shades of Grey
The author of the Fifty Shades series, E.L. James (who goes by Erika), was heavily involved in the process of making the films. She was upset when Charlie Hunnam, who originally signed on to play Christian Grey, quit the role due to scheduling conflicts, and as a result she got rid of the script and started from scratch again.
“I was young. I was 23. So it was scary,” Johnson recalled. “It just became something crazy."
“There were a lot of different disagreements," she continued. "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.”
Johnson said the cast and crew would "do the takes of the movie that Erika wanted to make," but then they would "do the takes of the movie that we wanted to make." James had "a lot of creative control, all day, every day," and Johnson said she "just demanded that certain things happen." But Johnson recalled certain parts of the book that "just wouldn't work in a movie, like the inner monologue, which was at times incredibly cheesy." That's why it "was always a battle" on set.
But Johnson doesn't want anyone to think she's ungrateful or has ill feelings toward James. "Both Jamie and I were treated really well," Johnson said. "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.”
“Look, it was great for our careers,” she added. “So amazing. So lucky. But it was weird. So, so weird.”
However, Johnson suspects that this series wouldn't have been made in today's political and sexual climate. She also says she probably wouldn't have done the movie today if she knew it was going to be that kind of experience. "But no, I don't regret it," she concluded.