Friday, January 26, 2018

"Fifty Shades Freed" Production Notes

Dakota's parts:

+ For her third time as Anastasia Steele, Dakota Johnson dove headfirst into Ana’s challenging world and emboldened sense of self. She updates us with where the characters are: “In Freed, there’s more suspense, more of a thriller aspect, with additional characters and more action—all of that is intertwined with the love story. A love story that has evolved and deepened. Anastasia and Christian are married, and Anastasia has received a promotion, raising the intensity of both her private and professional life.”

She agrees with E L James and Leonard, though, when she states: “This is an epic love story but we do our best to keep it grounded and relatable. It’s one of those inexplicable connections between two people that is completely undeniable. Throughout these stories, you find the protagonists faced with situations that require one or both of them to bend their wills and adapt to their version of love.”

+ As Fifty Shades Freed follows immediately after the events of Darker, much of the design was created and executed for the second film in the trilogy. However, the world of Christian and Ana is far from static, and the changes that their characters undergo are likewise reflected in their environments and looks.

Johnson observes: “At the beginning of Fifty Shades of Grey was this young girl who never put makeup on her face and couldn’t put an outfit together for the life of her. You know, she’s quite naive and not really focused on her looks. As she moves through to Fifty Shades Freed, you have a manicured and elegant young woman who is the boss in her professional and private life. She understands her body and sexuality. She is forthright and confident; that all translates through her appearance.”

+ For Johnson, the experience (of the wedding) was a first. She supplies: “I married Jamie 14 times that day. It’s a funny thing in itself to do a wedding scene and to wear a wedding dress and say all the marriage jargon, but even more silly to do it with him. We both could not remember our vows for the life of us and kept losing it with laughter during takes. It was really great to have the whole cast on set that day though; that is always such fun.”


+ James Foley about Dakota and Jamie working together: When it came to working with Ana and Christian, Foley takes a moment to reflect on the work Johnson and Dornan have put into the series. “Jamie and Dakota have the kind of instinctual connection to their characters that actors who are really good in their parts find. At this point, they are referencing something that they know; they’re not making believe. Somehow, Dakota plugged into the psychology and the emotion of Ana, and Jamie relaxes even further into the role; in Freed, you see him find Christian Grey in himself.”

+ Michael De Luca about Dakota and Jamie working together: Producer De Luca agrees with his director, extending: “What Jamie and Dakota have been required to do in this series is to accompany this rarified space few performers ever encounter. Not only were they charged with bringing to life two of the most beloved characters of the past century, they had to discover the nuances of Christian and Ana under the relentless eye of the public. They’ve handled themselves with grace, charm, compassion and levity—all while plumbing the depths of their characters. I speak for everyone involved in the production when I say that no two actors could have done it better.”

+ Costume Designer Shay Cunliffe on Ana's wedding dress: Lhuillier sent back sketches and swatches to Cunliffe, and more conversations ensued. The costumer then brought Johnson into the process, who also provided feedback. Shay continues, “It was a true collaboration. Then, we sent it all back to Monique, and I got back the perfect wedding dress. It was everything I had dreamed of. It was almost an emotional moment where we tried it on the night before the wedding—the fit on Dakota was perfect.”

Brant Daugherty on meeting Dakota: For the performers new to the Fifty Shades world, there seemed to be little ‘first day of school’ adjustment. Brant Daugherty observes, “As an actor you’re always jumping into these previously existing worlds, like guest-starring on a show that the cast has been doing for seven seasons. You’re going to have some of that no matter where you go, but I have to give Dakota credit because she welcomed everybody with open arms—she’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I met her very briefly the first day. She came up the next day and asked, ‘Brant, how are you today?’ I thought, ‘Wow, you have so much going on right now, and we didn’t work together—we barely met.’ She took the time to remember everybody’s name and welcome them. It’s a little nerve-wracking, coming into this big, secret world, but she and James Foley just made it incredible.”

+ James Foley about the honeymoon: James Foley found joy in the personal, when he explains: “The most special thing for me is how Jamie and Dakota were still laughing with each other. We shot a scene on the balcony overlooking the Eiffel Tower, Day 103, and they were still giggling and enjoying each other. That, of course, is the essence of the movie and the fact that they were able to have that kind of chemistry—it’s the sweetest thing.”

1 comment:

  1. I hope Dakota remembers to congratulate Roger Federer on his win at the Australian Open. After all, he (the greatest tennis player of all times) did carry the train of her dress up the stairs at the 2017 Met Gala!