Sam Taylor-Johnson recalls how directing the erotic novel-adapted movie changed her career for the worse as she constantly fought with James on the set.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" may forever be attached to Sam Taylor-Johnson, though the project didn't leave her with the fondest memory. The director, who didn't return for the sequel despite the fact that the movie became the second-highest-grossing live-action film directed by a woman, has opened up about her on-set conflict with author E.L. James during the filming of the 2015 erotic drama.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Taylor-Johnson says she often clashed with James, who had negotiated creative control with Universal, because of "two different creative visions." She explains, "Her vision versus mine, and they were polar opposite. Every scene was fought over. It was tough. It was like wading uphill through sticky tar. Her thing was, 'This is what the fans expect.' I'd be like, 'Well, let's try and hit those marks but create a new universe at the same time.' "
Despite the commercial success, "Fifty Shades of Grey" was slammed by critics. "There weren't any flat-out [job] offers straight away," Taylor-Johnson recalls how the directing gig affected her career. "It was ego-denting, which may not have been a bad thing. At the same time, I was like, 'Oh, I still have to keep fighting for stuff.' I just thought it was going to come a lot easier."
After dropped from directing the two sequels because of her relationship with James, Taylor-Johnson spent a lot of time meditating. She took care of her kids and shot photos. About a year later, she picked up the script of "Gypsy" by Lisa Rubin.
Drawn by the strong lead character Jean Holloway (Naomi Watts), she agreed to direct the series which will be released on Netflix on June 30. She, however, isn't sure if she will return for a second season, saying, "I feel like I'm a filmmaker at heart, and that's what I would like to go back to."