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.