Dakota Johnson Reveals Why Working On 'Fifty Shades' Was 'Mayhem'

Dakota Johnson admitted making Fifty Shades of Grey alongside co-star Jamie Dornan was "mayhem" and "psychotic" in a new cover story for Vanity Fair. Johnson revealed that filming the hit trilogy was complicated because of "the author of the books," E.L. James, who maintained creative control of the films. 

"I signed up to do a very different version of the film we ended up making," Johnson said. "[E.L. 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. When I auditioned for that movie, I read a monologue from Persona and I was like, 'Oh, this is going to be really special.'"

Filming quickly "became something crazy," she revealed. "There were a lot of different disagreements. 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 admitted.

"We'd do the takes of the movie that [James] wanted to make, and then we would do the takes of the movie that we wanted to make," the Persuasion actress continued. "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." Despite all the difficulties behind the scenes, Johnson said she doesn't have any ill will toward James or the Fifty Shades movies.


"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," Johnson said. "It would've been like, 'Oh, this is psychotic.' But no, I don't regret it...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 [Dornan] and I were treated really well. [James] is a very nice woman, and she was always kind to me and I am grateful she wanted me to be in those movies." Johnson admitted that the films were "great" for her career, but concluded the whole experience was "so, so weird."