Dakota Johnson Calls Fifty Shades ‘Psychotic’ ‘Big Naked Movies’

What’s the truth, Dakota? Photo: Universal Pictures

Dakota Johnson is opening up about her experience shooting “those big naked movies.” That is, the Fifty Shades trilogy, as she called them in her cover interview with Vanity Fair. And that’s not all she calls them, going on to dub the experience “psychotic.” Johnson ascribes much of that to series writer E.L. James. “She had a lot of creative control, all day, every day, and she just demanded that certain things happen,” Johnson said, over actual tea. When Charlie Hunnam, originally slated to play Christian Grey, dropped out of the movie, Johnson said James overhauled the script. That left her, new star Jamie Dornan, and director Sam Taylor-Johnson to salvage parts written by Patrick Marber, the playwright who’d originally revised the film — sometimes rewriting scenes “the night before.” “We’d do the takes of the movie that Erika wanted to make, and then we would do the takes of the movie that we wanted to make,” Johnson said, calling the process “mayhem.”

Johnson went on to qualify her statements, calling James “a very nice woman” and saying she didn’t regret the role. (Among other things, it helped lead her to become co–creative director of sexual-health company Maude, whose vibrator she admitted to using on her face elsewhere in the cover story.) “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,” she said. She also clarified why she was finally discussing the drama behind the films four years after the last, Fifty Shades Freed, came out. “I haven’t been able to talk about this truthfully ever, because you want to promote a movie the right way,” she said, “and I’m proud of what we made ultimately and everything turns out the way it’s supposed to, but it was tricky.”

Dakota Johnson Says Filming Fifty Shades Was ‘Psychotic’