If the books were a success, the movies have taken millions of people around the world to absolute thrill. The relationship of Christian and Ana is distinguished by being passionate and full of conflicts, but with an unusual magnetism. If we believed that in the second part of the trilogy the two would fix their problems and happiness would arrive, surprised: there is still more drama.
Not only do we refer to their relationship, but we also meet Elena Lincoln (played by the great Kim Basinger), the woman who seduced Christian when he was only 15 and introduced him to the world of sadomasochism (it definitely gives a new meaning to knowing the ex of your boyfriend). There is jealousy, attraction, but the desire continues to overflow (the elevator scene we saw in the trailer will not let us lie).
It was a hot day in Los Angeles when we interviewed the two characters. Both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan conveyed a sense of complicity and kept smiling at all the questions (and completing each other’s sentences). Want to know what’s new in the lives of your characters? That’s what they told us about the new movie:
The day we were waiting for finally arrived: the premiere of Fifty Shades. How did Ana’s and Christian’s relationship develop?
Jamie Dornan: The story of the second film begins four days after what happens at the end of the first one (when Ana leaves Christian and everything is uncertain). Despite the little time that has passed, they have already begun to feel the changes and adjustments in the relationship. On that occasion, everything is focused on developing them as a couple, wherever they go, even why they started.
Dakota Johnson: Wow, I’m surprised how well you summed it up! (laughs) There is already growth. The first movie focuses on how they are challenging each other and try to understand what each one feels, which is something complex in both their worlds. Who they are, what they want…but eventually they know they were meant for each other. In this second film, they accept that it is love, something undeniable and very fierce. I think they become one, they would do anything to protect the relationship…and each other. New things come.
Now is there certainty? In Fifty Shades of Grey, the two are intense and had many doubts about the situation.
Jamie: It definitely has! Especially for Christian. There are some aspects that should change and that benefit them. This evolution of which we speak is necessary for the relationship to last, since it involves sacrifices and giving priority to approximation. Yes, I believe it’s a change for the better. Ana is a powerful woman and the process must revolve around that.
Something that this trilogy revolutionized was the way in which we speak of eroticism, almost in a more open way for women (more liberating). Being the main characters, do you think you are setting a standard, in a way?
Jamie: Wow…I think it’s a dangerous thing to try to tell an audience how they should feel when they read a book or watch a movie. Finally, art is subjective and when we are spectators we take things that we identify with, like and make noise to us, and then we reflect about it. It is a lot of responsibility to say that we are changing all this, but it is good to think that people adopt this concept or at least change a few perspective.
Dakota: In itself, the film has other things in its content, not only the erotic atmosphere. Personal relationships, how they face things, etc. These kinds of phenomena are a worldwide sensation because they can finally be seen on the big screen! The whole erotic theme is portrayed in a positive and fair way, it does not tip the scale to one side or take everything to the extremes. If women see this movie and feel inspired to be stronger, free and to say what they really want, to defend their tastes, and even to be comfortable with their bodies and sexuality, I think it’s a good thing! I like this way.
Besides the obvious, what’s the secret to the success of a story like this one?
Dakota: What else can we add on top of that? Sex sells, and very well!
Jamie: (laughs) Well, of course it is, but there is also a strong, intense love story with their respective problems. That’s what people really get excited about. As a spectator, you know that the two belong, it is impossible to see them apart. They must be together, love each other, be free…and you are the witness of it.
From the first film, it was evident that millions of fans would be very attentive to your work. How was the pressure to please everyone?
Dakota: The truth is it was a lot of pressure! When you work on a story as read and known worldwide as the protagonist (or any member of the production team), you do not want to ruin the emotion or diminish the ideals. However, the truth is that you can not meet everyone’s expectations (much less contradict yourself!) And you should strive to give your best performance. I believe Jamie and I did it and worked hard to please the fans, but also – as artists – we tried to make our own interpretation, a genuine and natural one, by Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele and the situation in general.
We noticed that there is a lot of e-mail communication between Anastasia and Christian …
Dakota: In fact, yes! Why not call the office or something?
Some things are better written! Do you believe that relationships have changed now that technology has imposed itself on our lives? If it was a 1920 movie, a letter would take months to arrive.
Jamie: I think so! The game has completely changed. Ideas are best expressed in writing, even if it does not equal personal conversation. On the other hand, there are already a thousand ways to communicate, there is no excuse to feel distant. Now that you mention it, every time I send a message I wonder how I would have done it 20 years ago…
Dakota: But nostalgia has its charms. I keep reading things handwritten by people I love it. All the time.
Jamie: Yes, I write as I did years ago. It all depends on the situation and how you want to contact someone.
So what’s the secret to a good love story today?
Jamie: There must be elements in which you can believe, and identify yourself. And keep giving importance to the tangible.
Dakota: Do you really believe that?
Jamie: Yes. May people see or feel you. This makes more sense than something too elaborate or almost impossible. A love story connects you.
Do you leave something of yourself in Ana and Grey?
Jamie: When you’re playing a character, you must give him a real sense of reality. Acting is like any job, and you have to invest hours to achieve that honesty. Sometimes you leave a footprint, but you do it unconsciously, not for that purpose.
Dakota: I can certainly say no. There are actors who love this technique but in the end it depends on what they want to convey and how to achieve it. If you are Jim Carrey, who knows his character types and stories well, you can see his mark. But for me, I like to think that the purpose of acting is to get out of reality and pretend that you are someone else, at least for a moment. So I explore something new, and there’s nothing of Dakota on the big screen.
Jamie: Not even when you danced?
Dakota: Well…in those parts yes (laughs).
If you were friends with Ana and Christian, what kind of advice would you give them?
Jamie: Go ahead! Of course you love each other! Nothing can stand against that. Although, well, all my friends are in love and do not care what I think. That way, I probably would not intrude.
Nothing can be against love. To conclude, how do you define Glamour?
Dakota and Jamie: (Together) Glamor is an old, old wooden boat…that was used in the Civil War [This quote is from the movie ‘The Anchor: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’].
Dakota: (laughs) Now, no jokes! It is a complex concept, but I think it is to be a strong woman, who trusts in herself, acts with certainty, takes risks and, above all, fights for her ideals.
Source: Translated by Dakota Johnson Life