Sam Taylor Johnson talks about working with Dakota Johnson to The Hollywood Reporter.
How did you find Dakota Johnson?
Sam: Dakota was easy. We gave every actress who came in to read four pages of a monologue from Ingmar Bergman’s Persona. It was a really long piece to learn, and it had a really complex, emotional journey in just that one passage. It meant that we could see quite clearly who was capable of taking a transition on this journey. Dakota came in very early, and she was really strong and really focused. And I kind of thought she was going to be Anastasia and then saw a few hundred other girls to make sure.
Do you think this movie needed to be shot by a woman?
Sam: It’s difficult because I’m not sure how different it would have been with any other director. I do know that with Dakota and my relationship, which was a very strong trust and bond, that me being a woman was definitely better and helpful.