Last month original Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson spoke with Hollywood Reporter to discuss the much talked about on-set battles she had with author and producer E.L. James during filming of the original movie. It’s been two years since they filmed and from the sound of it, she seams to have moved on. At the end of June her latest project since Fifty Shades of Grey came out on Netflix. Titled Gypsy and starring Naomi Watts, she claims this job was much less stressful than her last which involved both Universal and E.L. James.
“Netflix was involved,” she says. “They were there. But not with any muscle-flexing need to show power. They left me alone to do what I do best.”
It may not have a Red Room filled with blindfolds and handcuffs, but it’s being sold as a sexy psychological thriller told in a sumptuous visual style. “There’s an erotic nature to it,” she acknowledges, “but it’s not at all in a similar way to Fifty Shades. It’s about the character’s power as a woman and how she uses it in her practice. It’s complex. Her sexual desires and where she lands is not guessable. It’s interesting to see where it takes her.”
Sam goes on to explain that “There weren’t any flat-out offers straight away,” she says. “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.” This makes me think (personally) that she didn’t like the feeling of not being able to get anything or everything she wanted without starting a fight. She was also quoted saying there were extreme differences between the vision she had compared to the visions of E.L. James. “Two different creative visions,” Taylor-Johnson says of the dynamic with the novelist. “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.'” Although these two obviously won’t be calling each other for drinks anytime in the near future, both appear to have moved on without any issues.
Have you (or will you) watched her new Netflix series?