Dakota Johnson just completed her final turn as Anastasia Steele in the incredibly erotic/hilarious Fifty Shades Freed—a film that saw Ana and Christian take a break from the “Red Room” to get married, get pregnant, and deal with a sinister former publisher named Hyde who’s hell bent on killing everyone whilst being incredibly extra.
But, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of passionate sex scene for your viewing enjoyment. As a result, Johnson spent a ton of time navigating her way through some of the series’ most intensely intimate moments (three words: ice cream foreplay). Here, the actress talks to MarieClaire.com about which scene was the hardest to film, the least sexy thing about making this movie, doing shots with Jamie Dornan, and having a thong superglued onto her body. Yes, truly.
Yes, there’s a specific sex scene shooting schedule:
Dakota: “If we could do all of the sex scenes in a day or so, that would truly be in the Guinness Book of World Records. A lot of it was dependent on the locations, and because we shot the second and third film back to back, the sex scenes were kind of grouped in all together for the most part. And some were not in those two weeks.”
That intense handcuffing scene in the Red Room (you know the one) was incredibly tough:
Dakota: “The most difficult one by far—I think in all three movies—was a sex scene in the third film where I was handcuffed with my arms and legs to the gate. It’s like a fence thing that comes down. And I was blindfolded. And it was kind of shocking, because I didn’t realize that no matter how prepared or rehearsed I was, when your senses are taken away like that, you can’t control the way your nervous system will react. So it was really tricky to navigate that scene. It was kind of difficult.”
They do shots before sex scenes, which, understandable:
Dakota: “Most of [our preparation] is just really figuring out exactly how were are going to accomplish the scene beforehand—so that there’s not a lot of waiting around while we’re both vulnerable. But, if something is very, very difficult, it’s sometimes necessary to have a shot of something strong beforehand.”
Doing those scenes never gets less awkward:
Dakota: “No, it’s never easy. It’s not casual and it’s not fun. It never got easy.”
Um, she had a thong superglued to her body:
Dakota: “Oh yeah, Jamie’s little pouch. It’s super not glamorous—it’s really unsexy. He wore that, and I had these sort of strapless thongs that had glue on them. It’s not glue, but it’s sticky. They’re, like, basically if it were a nipple pastie, but underwear. But it’s only sticky at the top, it’s not sticky the whole way. It would also come off because the adhesive would wear out, so then they would superglue it to my body so that it wouldn’t fall off. And I would wear two of them. It’s not painful, I mean, it’s barely anything. But I guess you have some sense of being covered. It’s f*cking bizarre.”
Guys, they worked with a “sex advisor” so never say this movie wasn’t well-researched:
Dakota: “Jamie mostly had an advisor that was on set for the first film, not so much for the second. Then we just had people who specialized in knowing how things work, like how to use certain tools and toys. There’s a certain method. It’s very intricate and the details are really important. The rules are also really important. We didn’t want to go make a movie about something we didn’t research to the bone. So to really honor the BDSM community and we did it the right way.”
Fifty Shades Freed is in theaters now.
Source: Marie Claire
FIFTY SHADES FREED star Dakota Johnson talks to BackstageOL about returning to the role of Anastasia Steele for the final time.
Fans will be happy to see Christian and Ana’s ice cream scene. It was in the second book, but wasn’t in the second movie. Can you tell me about filming that one?
Dakota: That was an added scene. We didn’t shoot it originally when we were filming, we shot it afterwards when we were filming re-shoots, so it was kind of funny to go away for a year and then come back and shoot just two days of pick-up shots. It was an added moment, but it was fun.
Is it actually ice cream?
Dakota: Yes, it was ice cream, but I’m allergic to dairy—so it was dairy-free coconut ice cream or something.
So it wasn’t Ben & Jerry’s after all.
Dakota: Oh no, it wasn’t—that was movie magic.
You and Jamie Dornan have often talked about giggling and having a lot of fun on set. Is there anything funny going on behind the scenes?
Dakota: Tons—there’s always things going on that are not what you think, but that’s the glory of movies. A lot of the time, things are not luxurious. They’re not glamorous, and they are mostly embarrassing, but we have the ability to edit ourselves into a good light.
As in the earlier films, you have quite a few naked scenes. What is the Ana Steele workout routine?
Dakota: A lot of it was diet, so especially on days when I would have nude scenes, I would stay away from sugars and things that are bloating or make you feel kind of heavy and lethargic. And then I did a lot of running. We had a gym trailer, so when we had downtime during lunch or if I had off between scenes, which was very, very rare because I’m pretty much in every scene…but I’m not a morning person, so I wasn’t about to be working out first thing in the morning before work. My pick-up is normally 4 or 5 A.M., so I would work out during my lunches and do cardio and then those tiny little movements you do to target muscles. I don’t know what they call those: fire hydrants and leg lifts, you know, a lot of butt stuff.
Oh, butt stuff? Everybody loves that.
Dakota: Butt stuff, yeah. Like I said, I would work my ass off. I would kill myself every day, because it’s not easy to do this job over the course of four years. It’s hard to maintain that, so it was a lot of help from nutritionists, from people who are very athletic. And I also was riding horses on the weekend—which I wasn’t allowed to be doing, but I didn’t tell anybody.
Looking back on all the Fifty Shadesmovies, do you have a favorite sexy scene or one that was your least favorite?
Dakota: I don’t have a favorite…they were all really difficult for me, if I’m honest. I do have a least favorite, and that one was in the third film. There was a scene where Ana’s chained to a drop-down gate that is in the red room and blindfolded, and she’s handcuffed by her wrists and feet. That was difficult, because no matter how much you know that the environment is not real and how much you are protected and safe and can work at your own speed, your senses are deprived. When you can’t protect yourself physically and you can’t see anything, automatically your nervous system is acting up and you become…your brain reacts in a way that’s sort of unmanageable. I couldn’t really control it, so that was a difficult moment. My body betrayed me—you fall into a panic attack without being able to decide whether or not to have a panic attack.
That sounds stressful—is there anything you would want to keep from the red room?
Dakota: I probably wouldn’t take anything.
You’re like, “Bye.”
There’s a lot happening for Ana in the film. Her wedding dress is beautiful—how was it to wear it and film that scene?
Dakota: The funny thing about movie wardrobe is that you get to wear things and do things that you either haven’t done in your life or never really would get to do in your life. It was funny, it felt like an actual costume—it didn’t feel like “my clothes” at all. It was just a fun and funny thing to do. The dress was beautiful and it was tailor-made to my body; they really made a wedding dress for me. It took a long time and we had a lot of fittings—I don’t need to do that again.
When Dakota Johnson spoke to AOL Entertainment over the phone during a recent “Fifty Shades Freed” promotional tour stop in Paris, she began the conversation by bringing up the latest wild news story making headlines.
“Did you see this thing about Homeland Security papers being left on a plane?” she asked, referring to the Super Bowl anti-terrorism documents that were, well, left on a plane.
“I have,” I responded with a nervous laugh. “Reading the news between interviews, I assume?”
“Reading the news and also [thinking], What the f-ck is going on?” Johnson replied. “I think people are so freaked out by the world that they’re losing their minds — especially me.”
Au contraire! Throughout our interview, the actress could not have been more thoughtful, self-aware and open as she was. Johnson, unapologetic in her both her willingness to be picky about who she works with and her decision to largely forgo social media for the sake of her mental health, continues to learn more and more about herself and her abilities with every project she takes on, and that excites her.
And as she begins to look beyond the “Fifty Shades” franchise, Johnson will surely always be thankful for the opportunities that it’s given her, going so far as to tell us that she “wouldn’t have a career” without it.
Below, AOL Entertainment talks to Dakota Johnson about wrapping up the “Fifty Shades” film franchise, pushing herself to become an even better actress and her appreciation for her fans.
How does it feel to be wrapping up this era of your career?
Dakota: It’s pretty amazing. I feel very grateful and proud of these movies. I feel proud that we finished them. We got to the end, and I’m still alive and that is a win. [Laughs] I just feel kind of stoked, honestly. I’m happy, and I hope that the fans like the movie. I think the third one is really focused on making the fans happy, and that’s really important to me. They’ve given me the most incredible life. I’m excited to move forward and keep making movies — ones that maybe I don’t have to be naked in.
The fans of the “Fifty Shades” franchise are incredibly passionate and protective of this material. What’s it been like interacting with and hearing feedback from fans over the last several years?
Dakota: I can’t say that I interact and hear feedback much, because I don’t have social media, so I don’t really get that conversation which I think is really good for my mental health. I would not be able to handle that sort of critique and judgement. I’m such a private person that I just can’t vibe with that, but the thing that I experienced the most with the fans is their incredible support and their loyalty. It was truly amazing to me. The fact that they keep coming back to see the movies and being equally as excited about them is amazing. Without that, I wouldn’t have a career. I wouldn’t have the platform that I do.
What have you learned about yourself or your acting craft while working on the three “Fifty Shades” movies?
Dakota: I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned about the kinds of people that I want to work with and that, truly — with conviction and grace and self-worth — I can really make any one of my dreams come true with hard work. I’ve also learned that I don’t need to compromise myself or my self-worth for my dreams. I’ve learned that it’s okay to stand up for myself, even if that means that I’m not necessarily liked. That’s okay. I’ve learned that I don’t know the depths of my abilities or what my bounds are. There are no walls or cap on what I’m capable of doing. Every job I do, I’m surprised and I learn. I’ll never get used to this job, and I’ll never get bored of it or feel totally comfortable with it.
You said you learned that you don’t know the bounds of your own abilities. What’s something recently that you were able to do while filming that surprised you?
Dakota: I did this movie “Suspiria,” and I did 90% of my own dancing [in it], and that was an accomplishment. That was the kind of job that I was so terrified of in the three years that we were prepping it, that until the last day I was like, “I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this,” until the last day when I said, “Okay, I did it.”
A lot happens in “Fifty Shades Freed.” There’s a marriage, a honeymoon, a new house, a kidnapping of a relative. How did you approach taking all of this on during filming?
Dakota: It is a lot. It’s so much. I don’t know [how I tackled it], because I didn’t choose what she goes through. Mostly, with each thing she faces, she makes a choice whether to be empowered or to just kind of lay down. 9 times out of 10, she chooses to be empowered. Maybe even 10 out of 10.