Dakota Johnson on the sex scenes in Fifty Shades: ‘It never got easy’


I have already mentioned that I haven’t read the Fifty Shades‘ books or seen the movies. I have a friend who loves them – like ‘make it a priority opening weekend’ loves them. She’s also read the trilogy more than once. I don’t get it when it comes to the Fifty Shades thing but I do know how fun it is to have something you look that forward to so I am not going to bash the franchise. But regardless of your interest level, you probably know that the books and movies are full of sex scenes. Like, that was the point. And, according to my Fifty Shades-loving friend, the movies did not disappoint when it came to the aforementioned sex. However Anastasia Steele-Grey herself, Dakota Johnson, said those scenes were never anything other than difficult for her and co-star, Jamie Dornan.

On if the sex scenes ever get easier: “No, it’s never easy. It’s not casual and it’s not fun. It never got easy.”

On the toughest sex scene: “The most difficult one by far-I think in all three movies-was a sex scene in the third film where I was handcuffed with my arms and legs to the gate. It’s like a fence thing that comes down. And I was blindfolded. And it was kind of shocking, 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. It was kind of difficult.”

On how they ‘covered up’ for the sex scenes: “Oh yeah, Jamie’s little pouch. It’s super not glamorous-it’s really unsexy. He wore that, and I had these sort of strapless thongs that had glue on them. It’s not glue, but it’s sticky. They’re, like, basically if it were a nipple pastie, but underwear. But it’s only sticky at the top, it’s not sticky the whole way. It 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. And I would wear two of them. It’s not painful, I mean, it’s barely anything. But I guess you have some sense of being covered. It’s f*cking bizarre.”

On honoring the BDSM community: “Jamie mostly had an advisor that was on set for the first film, not so much for the second. Then we just had people who specialized in knowing how things work, like how to use certain tools and toys. There’s a certain method. It’s very intricate and the details are really important. The rules are also really important. We didn’t want to go make a movie about something we didn’t research to the bone. So to really honor the BDSM community and we did it the right way.”

[From Marie-Claire]

I love a good sex scene. Hell, I love a bad sex scene if I am attracted to the actors enough. But if I take the time to think about the filming of it, I imagine it is one of the most uncomfortable things to do, both physically and emotionally. Dakota talked about the fact that they do a lot of prep work before a sex scene, so they don’t have to sit around while they “are so vulnerable.” That reminded me of the John & Just Judy porn-lighting scenes in Love Actually. Dakota said sometimes they simply had to resort to doing shots of anything to make it through. When discussing the toughest sex scene Dakota had filmed, the interview told the readers, “you know the scene.” Well, obviously, I didn’t because I haven’t seen or read them. So, I looked it up and the scene in question takes place in the third film in the notorious Red Room. Apparently, it was so bad for Dakota, it brought on a panic attack. God, that must have been terrible. In case anyone is curious (I was) I came across this article that break down the sex scenes in the latest movie. Vulture breaks it down for all three. But what I really need answered is how the heck does a thong that is superglued to you not hurt?

Re: her last comment: Dakota makes a point to say they were honoring the BDSM community by doing “it right.” I remember hearing some criticism on both the books and movies handling of the BDSM community and I wonder if that comment was in response to past criticism. Or are the movies trying to distance them from the books on this? Is she trying to let the critics know they took those criticisms to heart and tried to fix those issues? My guess is the last one. I’d be curious to know if they were successful.

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56 Responses to “Dakota Johnson on the sex scenes in Fifty Shades: ‘It never got easy’”

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  1. V4Real says:

    This woman has zero sex appeal and so does Jamie. But my understanding is her character is supposed to be average. But even an average person can have sex appeal while a beautiful person don’t. They just don’t work.

    • Esmom says:

      I hear you but I actually find Jamie sexy. For me it’s his looks and his personality.

      • V4Real says:

        He just looks to plain and unbelievable as this character. I could see someone with a bit of an edge like Colin Farrell in this role. I can’t take Jamie seriously. That’s one of the reasons I laughed through the first one.

      • Jillian says:


        I disagree completely.

        Jamie’s signature look is dear in head lights and he’s Plank from ed edd n eddy.

        His personality is thinking he’s the next slice bread. Have you seen the interviews with Cillian Murphy? Jamie was so mean to him. Cillian and Jamie are no way on the same level. Cillian’s underrated.

        Dakota is meh. She could count her blessings because she’s a child of two actors. At least she tries on FS

        What puzzles me is how many people have said, “I’m just going to see Freed in the theatre for laughs” but where do you think the money goes….?

      • Dee says:

        V – watch The Fall on Netflix then let us know how you feel about Jamie. I watched the first 50 shades and thought he looked like a potato lol and then I watched The Fall and holy hot damn he could read the freaking dictionary and I’d need a change of underwear.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      If you watch him in other movies he can oosze sex appeal – i think he bad performance in 50 shades is down to script, director (EL James’s husband) and his lack of chemistry with Dakota (who isn’t the greatest of actresses and only has a career because of who her parents are).

      • Danger says:

        It’s pretty much the exact situation as Twilight – both Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have done decent movies afterwards and received praise for their acting. I don’t know that different actors could have made these movies any better, the writing is beyond horrible. I cringe at the diologue in the trailers and will never see any of them in fear of them ruining Jamie Dornan for me. I loved him in The Fall.

      • Jag says:

        I wanted to see Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev do it. They both were dating at the time and are so hot individually that it would have been totally different.

      • NeoCleo says:

        Just jumping on the bandwagon for The Fall. Dornan is fantastic in it and he has tons of chemistry with Gillian Anderson. Watching them play cat and mouse and wondering who was really the cat and who the mouse was fascinating!

    • Ozogirl says:

      Totally agree about her… Zero sex appeal and it doesn’t help that the character is as bland as bland can get. I think he’s attractive, but his fake American accent and wooden delivery always bugged me. I think the casting could have been better for those two roles.

    • fran says:

      Jamie’s accent is sooo terrible in these movies! In the Fall he was amazeballs, and very intense. Loved him there, he was more comfortable and in his element. I’m not sure about him being mean, or talking like a big star, i guess it’s just his humour, i always find him quite goofy in UK interviews!!

    • Heyoka_indigo says:

      Maggie Gyllenhaal’s 2002 Secretary would have been a casting gold cheat sheet for this movie.
      Dear Mr Gray – It’s 2018, women have mastered Kundalini..keep your spankings and mommy issues to yourself– we got better Sh*t to do with our existence!

  2. Una says:

    I watched all of them because obviously I love torturing myself. Nobody expected 50 Shades of Grey triology to be good movies but they could at least be sexy. Jamie Dornan is so fucking wooden, it is ridiculous. The movie has to remind you all the time how attractive and charismatic he is by making every women he encounters act like a mindless bimbo. Not to mention the innocent virgin girl who has never had a man interested in her has like hundreds of men obsessed with her.

  3. Michelle says:

    Was taken to see the first film with my best friend. Still not forgiven her for the two hrs of my life lost on that trash.

  4. Alissa says:

    I’m not really sure why they picked her to do these movies. she’s made it pretty clear that she hated everything about it, and she’s not a very good actress or particularly famous, either.

    • smcollins says:

      “she’s made it pretty clear that she hated everything about…”
      Very true. I would venture to guess that she originally saw it as a big career opportunity and that her expectations going in were very different from the actual experience. I’ve only seen the first movie and bits & pieces of the second (never read the books), and while her performance seems just okay, she really is a good actress but more a comedic one. If you can find it check out her former show Ben & Kate. She was really funny and charming in that. And I thought she was pretty good in the movie How To Be Single. 😁

      • Angela says:

        Ditto about Ben and Kate, it was a good show and she was good in it. Also, I thought she was very funny in the movie The Five Year Engagement. I do think she’s talented.

    • Dee says:

      She’s supposed to be boring plain Jane without much to her, so she nails her role. Better than Jamie does. I just don’t think they were given too much to work with. Dakota is actually very cute and bubbly, especially in interviews and stuff like that. It was a huge career move for both of them and I’m sure their doors will open wider now that the third has been released.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      I think you’re mistaking her for Jamie, whi has been derisive from the start about BDSM and the story. Read any solo interview he’s given. Dakota and Jamie apparently didn’t get along very well. And considering that she is the one who is naked and vulnerable through most of the films that is probably hard to do with someone you dont get along with. They were contractually tied in to all three films. So I think her enthusiasm waned after filming the first one. Because if you read her interviews from back then she was a bit more enthusiastic about all of it. I think she’s just glad to be done with them now and I can’t blame her for that

  5. lightpurple says:

    Only saw the first one when it popped up on HBO. I found the sex scenes laughably bad.

  6. Lindy79 says:

    Not sure about the movies but I read everywhere that the BDSM community HATED the books. Mainly because it portrayed their lifestyle as for broken people needing love to be fixed and Christian gets annoyed at Ana using her safe word, and I think continues on at one point, which is a big no no. Those relationships are built on respect and the book had none of that.

    • Nicole says:

      Right I have yet to hear anyone from the BDSM community say anything in these books were done right. From the consent to the way he became a dom flies in the face of everything.
      But again these books were based off Mormon propaganda that turned into fan fiction by someone that clearly knows nothing about BDSM.

    • xena says:

      True and I think it is particularly funny that the very heterogenous and international differing BDSM community is quite uinted when it comes to mocking or criticizing Shades of Grey because of basic rules violations. I think that Dakota is owning it and that she at least did her research, but Jamie always turned me particularly off with his -I want the fame, the money but I don’t want to own the role- attitude. He is also not authentic as Dom at all, not at all but somehowe I had the same problem with 9 1/2 weeks, where Mickey Rourke turned me off like nothing, while Basinger was totally credible.

    • Tootsie45 says:

      Yeah no, that’s not how you BDSM. At all. Across the board It’s viewed within the community as being a major step backwards in terms of consent culture, particularly with regard to newbies.

      And yes, there are generally very strong communities :-)

  7. BaronSamedi says:

    This woman is just so incredibly bland? I can’t muster any kind of snarky opinions because she is just so inoffensive and boring.

    But then again it is perfect casting because Fifty Shades is Twilight fanfic and inoffensively bland is exactly what Bella is. A perfect blank canvas for every reader to project themselves onto so they can imagine Edward falling in love with them.

  8. deets says:

    It would be hard to be true to the bdsm community considering the source material.
    Also, their one consult left after the first movie, so that’s not really movement forward.

    I find it really hard to get on board with sex scenes when people aren’t enjoying them (either visibly, or talking about it). Will pass on this.

  9. Huckle says:

    I am a fan. The first movie was good but the sex scenes in the second movie were so disappointing and not sexy at all. It’s too bad really because it had a lot of potential in that regard. They really should’ve let Sam Taylor Johnson direct all 3. I know that at least would’ve improved the sex scenes. I will hate watch it tomorrow nite with my friends. I’m not a quitter!!

    • Jillian says:


      All you are doing is giving fuel to the fire.

      Why are you giving it more money? Wait to stream it

      • huckle says:

        I would totally do that but my friends want to see it. I’m really going for them otherwise I would’ve given up.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      LOL- Same! I hate watched the first two with my friends and will be doing the same with the third. We always have such a great time watching these films because they are so bad they are funny.

    • noway says:

      I hate to admit it, but I have read all the books and seen all the movies. I resisted for a while, but then I just read them and even though the writing was pretty awful, I somehow got hooked. Then I wanted to see how it would look in a movie.

      I know people always say the books are better than the movies and this is true in this case too, but I think for a different reason. My imagination made the simplistic plot, insipid vapid characters and terrible dialogue of the book more interesting. When you see them on a big screen well it just screams at you. Plus the sex scenes are never as interesting on screen as they are in your imagination, and I too want to know how superglue on your privates doesn’t hurt when it hurts when I get it on my fingers. Dakota must have some weird nerves or skin.

      The third movie is the worst. Ironically it is also the shortest, only 90 min. Which for a lot would make it better, but it does some weird movie things. First there are montages in the movie. In the beginning and end. Almost like you are watching trailers inside the movie. Just kind of bizarre. Speaking of the trailers a lot of the scenes aren’t in the movie too. The music also isn’t as good and the sex scenes are worse than the other movies too. So don’t have your hopes up. I think the movies went downhill from the first one too, and it’s not like the bar was that high to begin with.

  10. hoopjumper says:

    Aren’t there rumors the two leads don’t get along? Anyone know the backstory there?

  11. littlemissnaughty says:

    I threw out the first book on page 100 because it sucked. I love some good fanfic but this was awful. Saw all three movies. The things you do for your bff. The third one was a little less embarrassing but I think that was mostly because I got used to the crappy dialogue. I CAN handle awful dialogue and plot if the cinematography is pretty and the love story/sex is hot. This wasn’t. The sex is boring as hell. How can sex scenes be hot if nobody ever has an orgasm?

    They have zero chemistry and I started to actively hate that Christian character. What a terrible human being. He really has no redeeming qualities unless you include his bank account. I’m so bored of relationship plots that feature a broken assh*le who is saved by The One. Come up with something new.

  12. Guest says:

    Lol…these movies were very bad. But I paid and watched all three. They are just entertaining. I still cant get ovee the fact its pretty much an edward and bella fanfic. Especially since Jamie is friends with Rob.

  13. CairinaCat says:

    He ignores her using her safe word, which removed her consent. Making it rape.
    The whole series is so not in keeping with the BDSM lifestyle it would be laughable if it weren’t so sad and insulting to the people in that community.
    This is a story about an abusive relationship, he is a malignant narcissist, and he emotionally, verbally, physically abuses her. There is constant gaslighting.

    I, sadly, read the books. They were poorly written. She doesn’t have any skills as a writer.
    But the biggest irritant was her total lack of research and knowledge of the actual BDSM community and the lifestyle. She basically got EVERYTHING wrong. She knew some buzz words and some of the tools used but had absolutely no understanding of what a healthy consenting BDSM relationship entails.

    • Huckle says:

      But Bella and Edward had an unhealthy relationship too.

    • Tootsie45 says:

      Everything you said. Starting with the fact that you can’t offer enthusiastic consent to something you don’t understand and have no experience of.

    • Boudica says:

      To be fair to these appalling books and movies – which are appalling for many reasons – he never ignores her safeword. She only safe-worded once, and he honoured it.

  14. Deanne says:

    I don’t get her appeal and I guess I never will. Her acting isn’t good and in live interviews she seems to have absolutely zero personality.That being said, I don’t get his appeal either. I don’t think he could be more wooden if he tried and for me, his character is nothing but a narcissistic abuser with Mommy issues. The movies are terrible. I was dragged to the first one and wanted to leave. I’ll guess that two and three are just as bad.

  15. Muzy says:

    If I were to eat cupcakes for breakfast, I’d probably hide in the bathroom to do it, beat myself up for doing it, thoroughly enjoy doing it, and never, ever admit that I’d done it. I wouldn’t be upset because those cupcakes were too sweet for breakfast, were too much like those other cupcakes that everyone else is eating, and hideously decorated. I’ve chosen to eat a CUPCAKE for breakfast…I know what I’m getting. As an English major, avid life-long reader, and a professional editor, I raced through all 3 books. Yes, they are poorly written in many ways and yet I was fond of many of the (very imperfect and unbelievable) characters, and enjoyed the escape provided by the books.

    Perhaps the books had enough time to give me enough content that made up for the flaws. The movies—doomed from the start. How could each lead be miscast on their own, *plus* miscast as part of a couple? It’s almost as though the casting folks decided to make an opposite movie (except for the well done part) and the end result is a chemistry-free, meh movie about a beautiful couple that burns for each other. 🤔

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I will say this about the success of the books. They have made my taste in TV and reading material seem downright high class. For years some of my girlfriends mocked some of the things I read (fanfic, vampire … erotica, etc.) and were too prudish to even understand my love for Queer as Folk. All of that is out the window. I hated 50 Shades. But I also never acted like my tastes were all that highbrow before it came along.

      “Oh you and your gay p0rn.” – “It has plot, they have chemistry for 5 seasons. You like 50 Shades.”
      “Haha fanfiction? What?” – “Girl, 50 Shades. Enough said.”
      “Oh my god there is so much sex in these vampire books. They’re so cheesy.” – “GIRL. 50 Shades!”

      • Pinetree13 says:

        Lawl tell me the names so I can read them.

        I’m obsessed with Yaoi so I can’t judge anybody…


      • littlemissnaughty says:

        LOL I do love J.R. Ward. She writes … terrible but awesome vamp p0rn. The clichés will suffocate you but I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

    • noway says:

      I don’t judge anyone on their reading, viewing or for that matter eating habits, especially reading though. Read whatever you will read is my thinking. Even poor writing will teach you something. I remember when my daughter was a baby they said read to her everyday. Once in a while I wanted to read my celebrity magazines so I read it to her. My husband thought I was nuts, but guess what she is now a voracious reader of books and gossip magazines.

  16. Venus says:

    I had four weeks of medical treatment this summer where I had to wear a mouthguard that was attached to a frame around my head, which was screwed into a table, and my torso and legs were also strapped down and the entire table was tilted sideways. Being immobilized and unable to speak was terrifying and NEVER got easier. Poor Dakota — that scene sounds terrible. I can’t imagine all that plus being naked and blindfolded. Why do we make actresses do such stressful scenes??

  17. Marty says:

    The most offensive thing about these movies is that the sex scenes are so boring. You don’t have to see T & A for a sex scene to be good, for example I find the scene from Dirty Dancing extremely 🔥. However, you do have to have chemistry and these two just don’t, and that’s what makes the movies so terrible.

  18. yoon says:

    The only thing 50 shades did was glorify BDSM in the worst way possible. Whats his face (the Edward character) is abusive and manipulative. BDSM is about trust, not abuse.

    Secondly, you don’t have to read them because they’re garbage. The “films” are garbage. It’s all garbage. EL James and Stephenie Meyers are the absolute worst. Thanks universe.

  19. Shijel says:

    I’m surprised that people don’t think Dakota’s anything but average-to-poor actress here. I’ve now seen all three movies and I can’t lie, I watched 2 and 3 just for Dakota. She works her ass off with what little material she’s got. She somehow makes the character work more than Kristen Stewart ever made Bella work. Jamie Dornan on the other hand is about as expressive, believable and sexy as a stunned herring throughout all three films.

    Oh, these movies suck so much, and I’m on them like a fly on a cow patty.

    • Eve V says:

      I only saw the first movie but other than that, I agree with your entire comment. Dakota tried to make something of the nothing she was given and was the only redeeming part of the series.

  20. Avery says:

    Haven’t seen the movies but Dakota is very gorgeous…creamy skin, full mouth, gorgeous body plus she has a voice like Melanie’s….something very young and beautiful about it. I have no idea if she is a good actress but I do find her striking, not plain or average at all.