Dakota Johnson Talks More Sex Scenes at 'Fifty Shades Darker' Premiere: "It's Not Easy!"
The Los Angeles premiere brought the film's onscreen masquerade ball to life.
"I hope you enjoy this masquerade ball as much as we enjoyed shooting the one in the film," Jamie Dornan greeted a slew of fans donning masks and wearing suits and gowns at the pre-premiere Fifty Shades Darker Masquerade Ball at Vibiana in Los Angeles.
The themed party featured a live band, photo booth and palm reader. One thing the psychic could for sure predict was the crowd's absolute pandemonium when Dornan, Dakota Johnson, author E.L. James, and director James Foley made their entrance and took the stage to greet their screaming fans.
Newcomer to the franchise, Eric Johnson, who plays Anastasia's creepy boss, ended up being trapped in a swarm of screaming women demanding selfies. Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter, "That was a little nuts! I turned around and there was this throng of women following me around. It started to get a little tight. I was really glad at that moment that I was tall and I could see an exit!"
Added Dakota, "It's wild. I don't think that that's something that I will get used to."
Marcia Gay Harden who returns to the screen as Christian Grey's mom, added, "The fans are smart, they're tongue-in-cheek. They get the erotic aspect. They get the romance of it. It's the best fan base ever."
And James, who was welcomed with fans chanting "Erika" (the author's first name), said, "It blows me away every time. They have supported me throughout this whole thing. It's a rough thing, being a part of a female franchise. People can be disparaging, but the fans are still up for it. Our actors have been fabulous and great sports for taking this on. I'm just grateful and humbled by the response."
And her number one fan might be Foley, who replaced the franchise's first director Sam Taylor-Johnson, "I knew that Erika was a big voice in the film and before I signed on I went and met her in London because I wanted to see how we would relate as people — I fell in love with her. We became best friends and as a result we worked out something where she was guardian of the book — in terms of scenes and little details, she would come to me very respectfully with input. I would say, 'Good idea!' or 'No.' and if I said 'No.' she was OK with that. I love her."
Foley also pointed out that "there wasn't a relationship" between James and the franchise's first installment's director Taylor-Johnson. James, who tapped the new director, added, "It was an interesting experience finding a director for the second movie. Sam had canceled herself out, so we thought, "Who are we going to go for?" One of the things we realized is that we wanted to shoot the movies back-to-back, that's one punishing schedule. [Foley] has extraordinary experience in bringing extraordinary stories to life. He was passionate about the stories, he loved the books and had really interesting ideas about the psychology of Ana. It was a pleasure to watch him work with the actors."
Added Dornan, "It's a different thing with a new director. It's a different energy and we shot two films back-to-back, which brings its own sort of madness. But full credit to Foley, that's kind of a daunting thing to do for him when another director's put their stamp on it and set the boat off on sail and you got to commandeer the boat as it's already left with two more movies. It's a big task, but he was nothing but brilliant to work with. It never felt like a daunting thing that we changed directors. He made it feel very seamless. I thought that was very impressive of him."
And with the second film, believe it or not — there's tons more sex than the first. Said Foley, "The sex scenes are the hardest thing to direct. I've done sex before in movies and it's never a fun day on the set. But in this case because of how important they are to the movie [they were even more pivotal]. Jamie and Dakota had known each other from before and they had a really sweet relationship where they totally had each other's back, were a unit and had a lot of humor between the two of them, which was very important."
Added Johnson, "For this one it was specifically difficult because there are a lot of them and you want to make them different from each other. They have a large part in furthering the story so it's a tricky combination of things to make it happen. It's not easy!"
The film's premiere was followed by an afterparty at 71 Above. In attendance was vice chairman of NBC Universal Ron Meyer who joined chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Jeff Shell to grab some food in the buffet line that was serving short ribs. Shell made it a point to personally go up to Foley and praise him for the premiere's audience having a positive reception to the film. Chairman of Universal Pictures, Donna Langley shared hugs and laughs with Dakota (who switched out of her red carpet dress for a darker one at the afterparty). Also in attendance was Kygo, Dana Brunetti, Rita Ora, Bella Heathcote and Luke Grimes. Dornan was the real life of the party though, outlasting his castmembers and mingling with everyone in attendance.
Fifty Shades Darker hits theaters Feb. 10.