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Dakota Johnson Comes Clean About Reported Feud With "Fifty Shades" Co-Star

The actor just opened up about the "battle" it was to make the romance trilogy.

Before the first Fifty Shades of Grey movie even came out, the film was making headlines thanks to a supposed feud between its two stars. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are the leads of the romance trilogy, about an unlikely couple who forge an unconventional relationship. Thanks to all the intimate scenes between the two characters, the actors had to get very close on screen, yet rumors have persisted that they did not get along in real life, and awkward interviews with the two only added fuel to the fire. In a new interview, Johnson addressed the rumored tension and opened up about the difficult experience they had making the adaptations of the bestselling novels.

Read on to see what Johnson had to say about the supposed feud with Dornan and what actually caused problems on the set.

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Johnson and Dornan got along just fine.

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson at the premiere of "Fifty Shades Darker" in 2017
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Johnson talked about her experience making the Fifty Shades of Grey movies. And while she admitted to having some issues on-set, she clarified that they were never with her co-star.

"There was never a time when we didn't get along," she told Vanity Fair of Dornan. "I know it's weird, but he's like a brother to me. I love him so, so, so much. And we were really there for each other. We had to really trust each other and protect each other." She added, "We were doing the weirdest things for years, and we needed to be a team: 'We're not doing that,' or, 'You can't do that camera angle.'"

Dornan has said they were "great friends."

Jamie Dornan at the Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards in 2018
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

At the premiere of the second movie, Fifty Shades Darker, Dornan told Entertainment Tonight that he and Johnson were much closer filming the sequel than they were the original, because they'd spent more time together.

"I was only cast five weeks before we started filming the first movie, and that's when I met Dakota for the first time" he said. "[Now] it's been three years, [and] Dakota and I are very close. We've got a great sort of love and respect for each other. We're great friends and I think that makes it easier, you know? So it's definitely more comfortable."

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Johnson said making the films was "a battle" for another reason.

Dakota Johnson at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival
lev radin / Shutterstock

Johnson told Vanity Fair that making the Fifty Shades movies wasn't smooth sailing thanks to the studio, the directors, and the author of the books, E.L. James (aka Erika Mitchell).

"She had a lot of creative control, all day, every day, and she just demanded that certain things happen," Johnson said of the writer. "There were parts of the books that just wouldn't work in a movie, like the inner monologue, which was at times incredibly cheesy. It wouldn't work to say out loud. It was always a battle. Always."

Johnson also cited logistical hiccups, including that the movies had different directors and that the original script for the first film was thrown out after the actor initially cast as Christian, Charlie Hunnam, bowed out.

"It just became something crazy," the actor said. "There were a lot of different disagreements. I haven't been able to talk about this truthfully ever, because you want to promote a movie the right way, and I'm proud of what we made ultimately and everything turns out the way it's supposed to, but it was tricky."

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She doesn't regret taking the role, however.

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan at the Berlin Film Festival in 2015
Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock

Johnson told Vanity Fair that, though she might have done things differently with foresight, she isn't sorry she signed on to play Ana.

"I don't think it's a matter of regret," the 32-year-old said. "If I had known at the time that's what it was going to be like, I don't think anyone would've done it. It would've been like, 'Oh, this is psychotic.' But no, I don't regret it."

She continued of the experience, "There are things that I still cannot say because I don't want to hurt anyone's career and I don't want to damage anybody's reputation, but both Jamie and I were treated really well. Erika is a very nice woman, and she was always kind to me and I am grateful she wanted me to be in those movies." Johnson added, "Look, it was great for our careers. So amazing. So lucky. But it was weird. So, so weird."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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