Fifty Shades of Grey Was a ‘Psychotic’ Nightmare for Dakota Johnson: She Signed up for a “Very different version of the film”

Dakota Johnson unburdened the chaotic atmosphere while filming the Fifty Shades movies

Fifty Shades of Grey Was a 'Psychotic' Nightmare for Dakota Johnson: She Signed up for a "Very different version of the film"


  • Dakota Johnson revealed that Fifty Shades of Grey had a lot of behind-the-scenes drama that made it weird and psychotic to film.
  • Johnson revealed that there was a lot of interference from the author of the book, E.L. James.
  • Johnson further revealed that at one point they were filming two different takes, one for James and one they wanted to film.
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Dakota Johnson began her movie career as an adult, featuring in prominent projects like The Social Network and The Office. However, her breakout role was in the Fifty Shades film series based on the books by E.L. James. While Johnson doesn’t regret the movie, she revealed that the final output of Fifty Shades of Grey was a different version from what she had actually signed for.

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey

Johnson shared that the making of the movie was crippled by several behind-the-scenes chaos. However, the movies essentially launched the acting and business career of Johnson, who is currently a film producer and co-creative director of Maude, a sexual wellness brand.

Dakota Johnson Signed Up For A Different Version of Fifty Shades Of Grey

dakota johnson fifty shades of grey
Dakota Johnson in Fifty Shades of Grey

Dakota Johnson‘s Fifty Shades was a billion-dollar grossing film franchise, but the numbers didn’t mean that the films were universally loved. Many fans may remember the absolute bashing the film received from critics as well as several sections of the audience. Johnson had a tough decision to make when she was offered the role and she decided to go for it as a 23-year-old looking to make it big in the industry.


In an earlier interview with THR, she shared that she didn’t regret the role and made it clear that she hadn’t been “pigeonholed into anything [roles].” But that doesn’t mean everything was smooth on the Fifty Shades set. Fans were well aware of the creative differences between the book author E.L. James, real name Erika, and the director of the first film, Sam Taylor-Johnson.

In a 2022 interview with Vanity Fair, the Peanut Butter Falcon actress shared that she was a “s*xual person”, which was a reason why she was willing to do the erotic fantasy movie. However, she didn’t get to star in the version that she actually wanted to make. Johnson also knew exactly the problems that plagued the making of the movie. She shared with Vanity Fair:

“I’m a sexual person, and when I’m interested in something, I want to know so much about it. That’s why I did those big n*ked movies. I signed up to do a very different version of the film we ended up making. [The problem] was also the author of the books.”

According to Johnson, Erika James had a lot of creative control over the films and wanted them to execute her vision of the erotic fantasy. Johnson revealed that once Charlie Hunnam, who was initially cast as Christian Grey, left the project, things went crazy. James was so enraged that she scrapped the script written by playwright Patrick Marber.


Dakota Johnson Revealed That Making The Movie Was Psychotic

Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele
Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey

Dakota Johnson revealed that there were a lot of creative disagreements on set. She, Jamie Dornan, and Sam Taylor-Johnson attempted to save some of the script work of Marber. Johnson shared that they used to film two different takes, one according to Erika James’s vision and the other based on Marber’s script. The Lost Daughter actress described the mayhem on set:

“It just became something crazy. 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. 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. 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.”

Johnson once again reiterated that it was not regret she had for doing the role. She revealed that if she had known all the behind-the-scenes chaos beforehand, she wouldn’t have done it. She went on to describe the situation as “psychotic.” Johnson shared:

“No. I don’t think it’s a matter of regret. 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.”

The three films in the trilogy, namely Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed, combinedly grossed $1.325 billion at the box office. All three films are now available for streaming on Max.


Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1377

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.