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Sam Taylor-Johnson on clashing with E.L. James on set and Angelina's good luck letter


Director Sam Taylor-Johnson has revealed she often clashed with E.L. James on the set of Fifty Shades of Grey as she worked to bring the bestselling novel to life.

The director told Porter magazine James was on set every day making the process was difficult. ​

"I’m not going to lie. We definitely fought," said Taylor-Johnson, "We would have proper on-set ‘barneys,’ and I’m not confrontational, but it was about finding a way between the two of us, satisfying her vision of what she’d written as well as my need to visualise this person on-screen.”

“She will be the first to say she found it very difficult to give up control,” continued the director. However she admitted their fights were "creative" and they managed to resolve them.

EL James and Sam Taylor Johnson poking fun at the fighting reports last year on Twitter

EL James and Sam Taylor Johnson poking fun at the fighting reports last year on Twitter

Having only previously directed one other film Nowhere Boy - where she met second husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, 24, - Taylor-Johnson, 47, was the underdog for the role of bringing the erotic novel to the big screen.

She had only read the book shortly before meeting Universal Studios executives and was up against the likes of Angelina Jolie and Joe Wright, director of Atonement, Pride & Prejudice and Anna Karenina

​“When I decide I want something, I go in like an Exocet missile," she said. “I just knew I wanted to make this film, I knew how it should be made, needed to be made, and I felt a certain responsibility to make it the right way.”

She revealed Angelina Jolie thereafter sent her an “incredibly sweet” good luck email afterwards and is now a friend.

Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in December 2014

Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in December 2014

The highly anticipated film stars Jamie Dornan as businessman Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Literature student Anastasia Steel who develop a BDSM relationship.

Taylor Johnson described the film, which has been given an 18 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), as a “like a dark, twisted fairytale” and famously hired a dominant and dominatrix as advisers.

“It’s a Hollywood movie but it’s going to be extreme for that world,” said Taylor-Johnson. “It’s going to be pretty sexually explicit.”

The film is set to release on 13 February in the UK. Watch the recently released teaser trailer here.



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