Dakota Johnson Said This Was the Sex Scene That "Shocked" Her the Most
The actor filmed a lot of grueling scenes for the Fifty Shades trilogy.
It was big news when Dakota Johnson won the role of Anastasia Steele, the heroine of the Fifty Shades novels by E.L. James, for their big screen adaptation. Alongside Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey, she starred in all three films of the trilogy between 2015 and 2018. The books and films revolve around Christian introducing Anastasia to the world of BDSM as well as them falling in love, so there are plenty of intense love scenes in the franchise. But Dakota Johnson has named one sex scene in particular as the one that was the most "shocking" to film. To find out which one she call out and why, read on. And for another star's take on intimacy on screen, here's Jessica Alba Says Filming Sex Scenes Is "Disgusting" for This Reason.
The toughest sex scene for Johnson is in the finale, Fifty Shades Freed.
When the actor spoke to Marie Claire in February 2018, she singled out a sequence from that year's Fifty Shades Freed, the third movie in the trilogy, as the "most difficult one by far." The scene takes place in Christian's Red Room, where he restrains Anastasia.
"I was handcuffed with my arms and legs to the gate," Johnson recalled of filming the scene. "It's like a fence thing that comes down. And I was blindfolded."
She said that no matter how many times she had to wear the blindfold, her helplessness took her by surprise.
"And it was kind of shocking," she continued. "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."
For another star's experience, check out Salma Hayek Said This Was the Hardest Sex Scene She Ever Had to Film.
Johnson called another scene in the trilogy "emotionally taxing."
"Filming a sex scene is not a sensual or pleasurable environment," Johnson explained to Time in 2015, after filming the first movie, Fifty Shades of Grey. "It's just sweaty and it's not very comfortable."
The complicated nature of the scenes—as well as the props—made them even more unpleasant. She singled out a scene in Fifty Shades of Grey where Christian uses a flogger on Anastasia as another least favorite.
"My hands and legs were tied, and I was blindfolded, and I was being hit with this bizarre tool," she continued.
Being physically restrained led to emotional stress as well, particularly in that scene, which took hours to get right.
"It was emotionally taxing," she said. "At first I was like, 'Oh my God, this is the worst thing ever,' and then I was like, 'All right, let's get on with it.'"
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She also had to wear an uncomfortable undergarment.
Johnson explained in the Marie Claire interview that when shooting Fifty Shades, she wore a strapless thong during sex scenes to have "some sense of being covered." It was meant to stick to her body, but it wouldn't always stay in place.
"[The thong] 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," she said. "It's not painful, I mean, it's barely anything…It's f***ing bizarre."
Johnson also opened up to the magazine about how she and Dornan worked with experts, who understood "how to use certain tools and toys," to give an accurate representation of the practice of BDSM.
"It's very intricate and the details are really important," she said. "The rules are also really important. We didn't want to go make a movie about something we didn't research to the bone."
For one star who's set a hard boundary, check out Keira Knightley Says She'll Only Do Sex Scenes in These Circumstances.
Dornan didn't like filming the Red Room scenes either.
While speaking to Glamour in 2015, Dornan revealed how he felt about filming sex scenes for Fifty Shades. Similar to Johnson, he didn't really enjoy it.
"Some of the Red Room stuff was uncomfortable," the actor said. "There were times when Dakota was not wearing much, and I had to do stuff to her that I'd never choose to do to a woman."
For another male star's take, check out John David Washington Says He Hated Doing Sex Scenes in His New Movie.
Johnson said that she and Dornan had an "honest" and "trusting" relationship that helped during filming.
"Nudity is really interesting for an actor," Johnson explained to Vogue in January 2017. "Jamie and I worked so incredibly closely for so long. There were no inhibitions, and it was very honest, very trusting. But I mean, what a gamble!… There are no clothes to tell you a bit about the story. There's no jewelry to give you a clue about social status. So it becomes purely about the performance."
To read up about a type of sex scenes some actors find harmful, check out James Bond Star Naomie Harris Is Pushing to Ban These Sex Scenes.