Category: Fifty Shades of Grey
Look for screencaps to be added to the gallery later this evening.
— Fifty Shades of Grey (@FiftyShades) July 10, 2014
It was day one of trying on her new brown locks as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey, a role that could come to define up-and-coming actress Dakota Johnson. The 24-year-old daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson was approaching her first photo shoot and interview for EW’s cover story in a very relaxed manner: joking with her future on-screen boyfriend Jamie Dornan; snapping photos for author EL James who was visiting the set, and trying to stay away from the tempting desserts that filled the craft services table.
The actress did acknowledge that it was a bit strange to embody a character for a role she hasn’t even had a chance to rehearse. “At first it felt like what are we doing because we haven’t done anything yet: How are we supposed to be in character when I don’t even know what’s going on,” said Johnson about the photo shoot. “But then everyone chilled out and that was good.”
Johnson coveted the role of the virginal college student for a long time. Once she found out producer Mike DeLuca was making the movie she quickly emailed her manager pleading with him to get her the part–and she had not yet read the books. Her mindset didn’t change once she perused the popular trilogy.
“I just really understand it,” said Johnson. “I think it’s an incredible love story and that’s why it’s affected so many people. Erica (EL James) did a really good job of explaining how that just can happen sometimes and you have this chemical pull to someone. Adding in the sex makes it perfect. Sometimes you feel a little bit naughty and that’s okay.”
Actress Dakota Johnson is getting down while housecleaning. “Take that, floor! Dirty, dirty floor,” she raps to herself as she scrubs while listening to an iPod. “Say it! Say my name, bitch! Back it up, back it, back it up!”
Sure, she’s talking to inanimate objects in this “Ben and Kate” sitcom scene, but the newly cast “Fifty Shades of Grey” star has clearly got the chops for playing a sensual yet awkward heroine.
“She used to do physical comedy stuff for us that was like Lucille Ball,” says Dana Fox, creator of the short-lived Fox sitcom that starred Johnson. “I try not to fall into writing scenes where gorgeous girls have to trip and fall so they’ll be likable — but she had that thing, so we’d use it.”
Fox recalls one scene in particular that showed Johnson’s willingness to “go there” for a bit. “She was cleaning the house, and I wanted her to be listening to a funny song, like a dirty, sexy song, while cleaning, and not realize that everybody was watching her — she was doing this dance with the mop, pretending to booty-slap a plant. She grabbed this lamp and was on the floor, pretending to hump it.
“It was so awkward and funny. The next day, she was just covered in bruises! We had to use makeup to get rid of them. She was like, ‘I’ll do whatever it takes to make this funny.'”
Now, her pluck has paid off handsomely.
The coveted role of Anastasia Steele has gone to Dakota Johnson in the Universal Pictures and Focus Features adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey.
Johnson, who is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, will star as the young college graduate who has a sexual awakening with Christian Grey, a young industrialist who takes her virginity. She falls in love with him, but his insistence she take the role of submissive and open herself to his S&M fantasies leaves her emotionally torn because otherwise he is the perfect guy. They’ve yet to cast Grey, and rumors have abounded about such actors as Sons Of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam. Word on that is coming soon. [UPDATE: Hunnam has officially won the role.] The film will be released by Focus Features on August 1, 2014 in North America. It is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside author E L James, whose erotic novel trilogy has sold over 70 million books worldwide. Kelly Marcel wrote the script.
The word about Ms. Johnson’s casting in Fifty Shades of Grey first came from the author. Johnson, who was among the young actresses rumored to be in the running has appeared in such films as The Social Network, on which De Luca and Brunetti were producers. Need for Speed, 21 Jump Street, and Universal Pictures’ The Five-Year Engagement are her other credits. She also starred as Kate in the Fox Network comedy series Ben and Kate, which aired during the 2012-2013 season. Ms. Johnson is currently shooting the feature film Cymbeline.