Making 'Fifty Shades' Almost Cost Director Sam Taylor-Johnson Her Sanity

Hanging with Christian Grey will do that to ya.

Making 'Fifty Shades' Almost Cost Director Sam Taylor-Johnson Her Sanity
(Image credit: Marie Claire)

After one year and seven months of nonstop Fifty Shades, director Sam Taylor-Johnson's inner goddess could really use a break.  

"I'm literally going out of my mind," says the lady who's responsible for living up to 100 million women's kinkiest expectations in Red magazine's March issue."I have seen this film over a thousand times and...the nuances within—the tiniest shift, look, blink of an eye—can make all the difference and flip it into the wrong territory. It's like walking a knife edge."

Like, this movie must be her magnum opus because she really, really needs to take some time off.

"I feel wrung dry, and I need to find some building bricks again. I don't think I could even compose a picture right now. My creative brain has to shut down for a second."

In between discussing how all-consuming it was to tell Christian Grey and Anastasia Steel's BDSM fairy-tale love story,  Johnson-Taylor talks about giving it her all what a joy it was working with "sweet and lovely man" Jamie Dornan and, more interestingly, making sure film-version Anastasia Steele doesn't end up the poster girl of female submission.

"I felt like I had a responsibility to empower the lead character," she says. "Anastasia had to go on a journey of sexual exploration but, by the end, it had to be about empowerment. It is all her choice. All decisions, she's clearly made. She is not falling prey."

'That's the message I want people to walk away with. That feeling of 'all the riches and success and charisma count for nothing, if it's under terms you cannot accept.' In Fifty Shades, seemingly Christian has all the power and control—but actually Anastasia does."

Watch the newest trailer below.

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Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at Marie Claire. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.