“Fifty Shades of Grey” Director Says It Took 'Four Years to Regain My Confidence' After 'Tough' Time Making Movie

“I’m going back to being an artist where I can make all my own decisions... and present the world with something that I’ve created,” Sam Taylor-Johnson said

<p>John Phillips/Getty</p>

John Phillips/Getty

Sam Taylor-Johnson is getting candid about a rebound moment in her directing career.

The director, 57, shared in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that one of the most challenging movies she ever had to direct was Fifty Shades of Grey — primarily because of the differences in vision that she had with the best-selling story’s author E.L. James.

“This was her book and she had a very particular vision of how she wanted to see this film. And I had a diametrically opposed vision,” she recalled. “Where we got to is where we got to. The success of it was great, but the experience of it was tough.”

Taylor-Johnson went on to say that after the 2015 film released to mixed critical reception, she decided to take a step back to reexamine her art.

“It took me about four years to regain my confidence and composure,” she admitted. “I’m going back to being an artist where I can make all my own decisions, answer to myself and present the world with something that I’ve created.”

<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan in 'Fifty Shades Of Grey.'


Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan in 'Fifty Shades Of Grey.'

Related: Dakota Johnson on Finding Humor in 'Fifty Shades' : If You Can't Laugh, 'You're 'F-----, Literally'

The Nowhere Boy director has previously spoken about her difficult time on the Fifty Shades of Grey set. She shared with U.K.’s The Sunday Times in 2017 that her vision for the film had often been at odds with James, which made it challenging to work through.

“I like everyone — and I get really confused when they don’t like me. I was so confused by E.L. James," she said at the time. "I don’t understand when I can’t navigate a person, when there’s no synergy."

She added that she wouldn't have worked on the film if she knew what would happen. “With the benefit of hindsight, would I go through Fifty Shades of Grey again? Of course I wouldn’t. I’d be mad."

She also shared with IndieWire in 2018 that she had some difficulty finding her next job after the Fifty Shades of Grey film released, despite it earning over $571 million worldwide.

Related: Amy Winehouse's Story Comes to the Big Screen in First Trailer for Back to Black Biopic Starring Marisa Abela

“You would be surprised at how … No, you wouldn’t be surprised, sadly. Nothing,” Taylor-Johnson told the outlet of her opportunities after the movie’s massive success.

She continued, “I literally was scrambling still, in exactly the same position I was prior to that. I’d say to my agent, ‘I love this book. I really love it. What’s the deal with it?’ ‘They’re going to Steven, Steven, David, David, and John.’ But I know I’m fully capable.”

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She then went on to direct A Million Little Pieces in 2018, about James Frey who admitted he fictionalized parts of his memoir, and will soon be releasing her new film Back to Black, a biopic on Amy Winehouse’s life. Both the films are centered around figures that have drawn major public attention.

“I seem to pick these movies where people have a lot of opinions around the protagonist,” Taylor-Johnson told THR. “But I guess I must like that and be drawn to that kind of chaos.”

Back to Black is in theaters May 10.

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