Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson recalls details about the difficult process of making the film, the on-set fighting with author EL James, and how she regrets doing the movie.
Before Patty Jenkins and Wonder Woman, there was Sam Taylor-Johnson. She recorded the biggest opening for a film directed by a woman with Fifty Shades of Grey. But the success of the film did more harm than good.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, done in conjunction to the release of Gypsy, a new Netflix show Taylor-Johnson directed episodes of, she remembers the atmosphere while making Fifty Shades, and the fights she would have with the books’ author EL James.
“There weren’t any flat-out (job) offers straight away,” she says. “It was ego-denting, which may not have been a bad thing. At the same time, I was like, ‘Oh, I still have to keep fighting for stuff.’ I just thought it was going to come a lot easier.”
Taylor-Johnson was unofficially in talks to return for the two Fifty Shades sequels, the first of which was released in February, but was removed from the movies following her on-set tiffs with James.
“Two different creative visions,” she says. “Her vision versus mine, and they were polar opposite. Every scene was fought over. It was tough. It was like wading uphill through sticky tar. Her thing was, ‘This is what the fans expect.’ I’d be like, ‘Well, let’s try and hit those marks but create a new universe at the same time.’”
“I like everyone — and I get really confused when they don’t like me. I was so confused by EL James. I don’t understand when I can’t navigate a person, when there’s no synergy,” she said in a different interview with the Sunday Times.
While the THR report mentions that Taylor-Johnson earned $2 million for directing Fifty Shades, money with which she bought a new studio, it seems as if she regrets doing the film at all.
“With the benefit of hindsight, would I go through Fifty Shades of Grey again? Of course I wouldn’t. I’d be mad,” she admitted.