Dakota Johnson & Jamie Dornan do a daytime ‘Grey’ premiere: sad or funny?

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When I watched the first few minutes of the Today Show this morning, I heard them talking about live coverage of the Fifty Shades of Grey premiere, and I thought they were on crack. Why in the world would you premiere an R-rated “sexy” movie in the middle of the morning, on the Today Show?! But it really happened. And these are the photos. This is being called the “Fan First premiere.” Because apparently Fifty Shades super-fans want to see the film in the middle of a Friday morning?

Obviously, the body language between Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson is painfully uncomfortable. My opinion is still that Jamie is willing enough to play along and he could be flirty and fun if given a willing partner in crime (like Gillian Anderson). But Dakota is such a charisma vacuum that it’s like flirting with drywall. Dakota’s ensemble is Balenciaga. I’m sure that sweater is mohair and I’m sure she left white fuzz on literally everything and everyone around her. And her hair… my God, her hair. The bangs, the limp braid, the total failure of it all. Who is styling this girl?!

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Director Sam Taylor Johnson and her husband Aaron Taylor Johnson. He’s a good sport and it’s sweet that he’s being so publicly supportive of his wife. Sam has been telling hard truths in all of her interviews about how E.L. James was such a pill to work with. I’m sure she’s hoping this is the last time she’ll ever have to deal with this kind of stupid drama.

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Speak of the devil, here’s E.L. James. Why did you do this to us?!

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Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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96 Responses to “Dakota Johnson & Jamie Dornan do a daytime ‘Grey’ premiere: sad or funny?”

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  1. EC says:

    I feel like Dakota had the opportunity to set fire to this press tour – be so charismatic, so charming, so playful – and really elevate her career to another another level. Regardless of how sh!t the material is, she had such a platform to showcase a personality (a la JLaw, Lupita, and Emma Stone) and get us excited about what she has to offer. She really didn’t do that, on any level. Soo if her career doesn’t get the jump she wanted from this, I can really only blame her

    • charlie says:

      Some people are just naturally shy, she can’t help it if she is like that.
      If she’s a good actress, and I don’t know because I haven’t seen er in anything, I don’t mind her personality.
      In fact, I prefer people like Amy Adams whose off-screen personalities don’t put me of their movies, ala JLaw’s does.

      I adore Emma Stone, I agree that JLaw has a fun personality, if that’s your cup of tea, but Lupita? I mean, she was great in her movie, she’s stunning, but I don’t remeber her howing much charisma in interviews.

      • Bridget says:

        It’s her job to sell this movie, and every step of the way it’s looked painful. She’s known from the start what would be expected from her regarding the promotion and press for this movie – it’s not like she signed on to a tiny indie that happened to hit it big. Shyness is not an excuse. And the original poster is right, this press tour represented an incredible opportunity for her and Dakota’s kind of blown it.

      • SpookySpooks says:

        I don’t remember Lupita particularly shinning in interviews either. If not for her acting, she was praised for being pretty and dressing nice.

      • Tanguerita says:

        @SpookySpooks: Lupita is an brilliant interview! She is educated, well articulated and comes across as an engaging, warm person who actually enjoys her work. Dakota, on the other hand, is a bowl of undercooked oatmeal.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I think Lupita gives a great interview. She usually mentions bigger topics than just the superficial mundane stuff…she reflects on the world from a broader perspective. I think she comes across as both sweet and insightful.

    • Dońt kill me i'm french says:

      Why does everyone blame Dakota Johnson all time? Who say it’s not Dorman the problem? Or just the material?

      The body language between them could be worse….like Depp and Jolie during The Tourist promotion

      • Div says:

        This! Everyone is laying it all on Dakota, but Dornan has said more douchey, semi ungrateful things and then talked about needing a long hot shower after seeing a BDSM place before he would touch his wife…which is a pretty judgey thing. Dakota may be a charisma vacuum in interviews (although she was cute in Ben and Kate) but it is baffling that she’s having to shoulder ALL of the scorn.

      • EC says:

        I didn’t actually mention Dornan. I do think in the original Today Show interview (back in June, when they debuted the trailer) he seemed much more charming and willing to play. Just from skimming her Vogue atricle, and reading her comments to the press, I am getting nothing interesting and I think this is a huge shot for her to sell herself, in this movie and future projects. I have heard she is a good actress tho – maybe her work will speak for itself?

      • INeedANap says:

        If you compare Jamie here to the press he did for The Fall, it’s clear he is capable of being a very interesting interview. Part charm, part cad, still readable.

      • suziekew says:

        Thank you so much! I agree. IMO JD looks like the one who is ‘pulling back’ and doesn’t want to be associated with anyone on this movie. His actions thus far show he is being a bad sport. Why the heck did he sign on for this movie if he doesn’t like the subject matter? I have no respect for either of them but come on, he’s just as bad if not worse than Dakota. The blame for the acting is on both of them not just Dakota.
        FYI – I’m not a fan of either and have never planned to see this movie.

        I did read the Twilight fanfiction version, Master of the Universe, so I understand what it’s about. Jamie could have read the published book and then he would have known as well and stayed away from the movie.

      • Prince Valiant says:

        These two are sooo unsexy.

      • Anne tommy says:

        Or Benedict and Sophie…

    • Esmom says:

      Didn’t everyone say basically the same thing about Kristen Stewart during Twilight? Her awkward, low key demeanor didn’t seem to hurt her career.

    • kennedy says:

      Emma and JLaw are very much the exception. Especially Emma – who is equal parts smart, witty and has superb comedic timing. JLaw comes across as a little too naive or uneducated – and I say that as someone who loves and supports her. I think Emma is really the rarity.

      As for Lupita, she’s pretty, fashionable and talented but all through last awards season I kept wondering – where is her personality? Maybe it’s because we have been spoiled with the recent rise of the new “It” girl – Emma, JLaw, etc but Lupita was just very quiet and reserved and everything seemed like a strategy – from her red carpet looks to her the way her instagram page is laid out. I DO like that she spoke about social issues – and it made me like her even more – but even then, I was having trouble identifying who Lupita really is.

    • Julia says:

      Lupita is awesome <3 very smart and charming. And she dresses way better!
      Check out some of Lupita's old interviews on Youtube :)

  2. Apple Tart says:

    Shame on humanity if the movie really does have a 60 million weekend as predicted.

    • Soulsister says:

      LOL

    • LAK says:

      I think the film will hit it’s mark because of advance ticket sales. Whether or not it goes far beyond that is key.

      I hope it doesn’t ignite into a franchise as intended. Everyone deserves better, including the fans.

    • Mia4S says:

      Eh, Transformers 4 made a billion dollars. Garbage sells. It will have a big opening weekend then plummet. Pretty standard.

      That Dakota girl needs serious media training… or to be a better actress. I’m also hearing the director will likely not come back for the sequel. Run Sam run!!

      • LAK says:

        As much as I think TRANSFORMERS is rubbish, I can see it’s intended audience, and it serves that audience well.

    • Em' says:

      I’m a bit ashamed but I’m totally seeing it, even though I hated the book. (I didn’t bother to finish it) But I’ll probably wait a whole month before going.
      It’s going to be a girls night out : drinks first then 50 shades then probably more drinks to get over it.
      It promises to be bad in a very funny way.

      • stacat1 says:

        AGREED…the GNO is going to sell tickets. It will do fine and I am sure they will push a sequel (without Sam). I am a bit annoyed at some press calling for a boycott due to the “unfeminist” content. You know, this is a movie that has a woman who wrote the book, a woman wrote the initial run on screenplay AND a woman directed it!! And it’s getting a marketing push and distribution.

        That NEVER happens in Hollywood…
        Worse movies that no one cared about get a sequel.

    • mom2two says:

      I agree with you…but I think there is enough fans of the book and people who are just curious that will make it have a good opening weekend. I am still harboring wishes to the universe that the Spongebob movie will be #1 that weekend though.
      Given Sam Taylor-Johnson’s comments about working with EL James, I would be shocked if she is back for parts 2 and 3. If they butted heads frequently (and the ending to part 1 was in dispute), I cannot imagine it would go smoother between them in future installments.
      I think the person who I really want to hear from is not Jamie and Dakota (both of whom are proving a complete inability to sell this movie, I can’t say it’s all her. He’s got to have some responsibility here too because he looks just as bored and uninterested as she does) but Sam!

      • Claudia says:

        I read today that Sam already said she won’t be available for part 2 & 3.

      • Alihar999 says:

        Actually in the interview this morning Sam did say she is directing the next two movies. And they just showed her saying that again in a clip from this morning. And….I googled reviews from this morning and people were pleasantly surprised. And also very surprising was that they said Dakota nailed Ana. They said she was so much more than the clips they had been showing. and lastly….I’m not sure who you were watching this morning but I could tell they really like each other. She also said Jamie was very sweet in the uncomfortable scenes.

  3. Lucy says:

    …they really do look like they hate each other.

    • QQ says:

      Everyone but E.L James Looks pretty Mortified to be in this thing and shilling this mess.. I was sorta Annoyed they sent the women of the Today show to do this mess ( and delicately try to talk abound S&M Badly done sex) while most of the men on the cast got to cover proper newsy stuff ( Carson doesn’t count cause he is both a Ding dong and has the voice of an old Forrest witch … still beffuddling… ya’ll let him have a Career basically as a DJ with THAT voice?!??!)

  4. LAK says:

    The stuff with the author is so ridiculous. I can’t see how this film is going to be good given her interference and what she had removed.

    • mimif says:

      I can’t see how this film is going to be good based on the source material.

      • LAK says:

        There are many good films with terrible source material.

        That said, hiring Sam Taylor Johnson as a director, formerly visual video artist extraordinaire, immediately elevated this POS (excuse my french). Sam brought in Patrick Maber to doctor the script. Again more elevation. Sam brought in a professional S&M worker to advise on the sex scenes. Again elevation. Everybody hired was supposed to elevate the material.

        So what does EL James do? She removes or blocks all their contributions, and the studio let’s her. So whatever POS (excuse my french) this film ends up being, it won’t be Sam TJ’s fault. I wish it weren’t on her CV.

      • mom2two says:

        @LAK, to add what you said, I believe I read on either Lainey or the Hollywood Reporter (bringing up the conflict between EL James and Sam Taylor-Johnson) that when the studio was trying hard to get the rights for the books, they did something a bit unusual in giving EL James as much free reign as she has had. That she had the power to make final vetoes and quite a bit of say in how the story would be translated to screen. Usually (I am going by comments from Charlaine Harris, GRRM and some other authors) when authors sign the rights over for film or television, they really do not have much control on how the characters and story are translated to screen.
        Obviously, if the studio bothered to read the books, they should have drawn a harder line with EL James and let Sam Taylor Johnson do her thing.

      • Bridget says:

        The studio didn’t really ‘let’ James block this stuff – that level of control was in her contract.

      • mimif says:

        Words words words more words…there’s no combo of words in the English language that could convince me that this movie isn’t going to be anything other than a steaming pile of horse sh-t.

      • Bridget says:

        @mimif I think we’re all saying that it’s guaranteed to be a POS.

      • Josefa says:

        @LAK

        I think Sam could’ve made the movie more bearable than the book, but in order for the movie to be truly good you’d have to totally rewrite the characters. You can take a dump shaped like Michelangelo’s David, but it’s still a POS.

      • mimif says:

        @Bridget, more words. JUST KIDDING, I was being my usual jackass self. I want reviews from each.and.every.one of you when this POS hits the theatres. I can’t even bring myself to hate watch it.

    • Bridget says:

      I wonder if this is going to be a lesson for studios going forward: no matter how popular the book, don’t give the author this much control over the movie.

      • LAK says:

        That’s what I thought too Bridget.

        Mom2two: you are right about film/TV rights being sold to hollywood.

        However, I think many of these recent authors saw what happened with JK Rowling, and wanted a piece of that. So they played hardball and insisted on keeping more control with the book to film translation. End result was POS (excuse my french). See also Cassandra Clare and that Twilight woman.

        I think JK Rowling, as involved as she was, knew to step away from the film decisions.

        All these other authors are such megalomaniacal talentless hacks.

      • Bridget says:

        If the source material was crap, what else could they expect from the author? Sheesh.

      • Luciana says:

        Amen to that Bridget!!

        Of course she was a pill – she “wrote” the shite upon which this was based!

      • mom2two says:

        @LAK, thanks for your response! I did not know that Cassandra Clare and Stephanie Meyer did the same thing, yikes! You are right that JK Rowling knew when to put her input in and when to step back.
        @Bridget you are so right and I think we are going to see different negotiations from studios w/ authors from here on out, especially if after the first weekend, 50 Shades doesn’t do well (if the box office falls dramatically) because the blame might not fall on the director-who is quite open about how much influence the author had, or the actors, but on the author.

      • oneshot says:

        The difference was that JK Rowling’s input was needed – they began making the Harry Potter movies when the series was only half complete, and as far as I know her contributions are limited to holding out for a British cast and setting (which, thank goodness) and occasionally pointing the writers away from potential faux pas that would have contradicted her plans for the books completely (like Snape)

      • LAK says:

        Bridget: I know it was in her contract, but if you read Sam TJ’s (and others) production comments, EL James interfered on a daily basis to extent that she’d veto stuff that was already in the can or even stuff that had already been locked to be shot that day.

        She apparently refused all of Patrick Maber’s suggestions for the script.

        The production designer says it was a daily battle to convince her to let them shoot one way or to show her that her way wasn’t necessarily going to translate to film.

        Perfect example is the ending. She apparently had it changed after everyone agreed that Sam TJ’s ending was better.

        From all leaks, rumours, gossip about this shoot, it seems EL James had more control than the production team and wasn’t shy about wielding it.

        To paraphrase one of the studio execs’ leaked quotes, ‘they were fielding bad ideas everyday!’

        Mom2two: yep. Everybody is blaming the author for any production problems. If this film tanks, beyond the usual recriminations about poor source material, terrible direction etc, the ducks have been lined up to point squarely at the author.

      • Bridget says:

        I definitely read STJ’s comments. James sounds like a total pain to work with, and she’s utterly convinced that she was there representing her characters’ and her readers’ best interest. But this is what the studio signed up for when they gave her those terms – which was something that other studios balked on, and what was the deciding factor on this deal. From day 1, James’ s opinion has been the be-all, end-all on that movie.

      • littlestar says:

        I agree and disagree. EL James is a sh*t writer, so I don’t know WHAT they were thinking in letting her have so much control, especially when it sounds like Johnson was really trying her hardest to elevate the source material as much as possible. However, I think it’s okay to have some authors be co-writers on the scripts, if they are already working with another solid script writer. And to give direction in how they intended a character or certain scene to be.

        BUT. EL James seems like a fool, so yes. I seriously wonder what the studio was thinking. Did they even read the books or did they just think they’d make bank off of the success of the books?

      • Bridget says:

        @Littlestar: it depends on how the work is optioned, and whether or not the author is even hired to write the script. Many, many authors have their work optioned by the studio and are never once asked their opinion and are subject to the whims of the movie makers. Others may have a little more power (typically if the book/story is a hot property and the author has leverage in the negotiations) and are able to have some involvement in the moviemaking process. Many others have talked about the heartbreak of seeing their work bastardized in movie form. Some authors are better than others at shepherding their work to the big screen and understanding what works on the page vs the screen – its why so few adaptations are truly faithful to the books. For James to be the ultimate word OVER the director herself is very unusual.

  5. Amy Tennant says:

    I still think they ought to respond to every interview question with “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”

  6. Diana B says:

    E. L. James is just a famewh*re monster. You can see how delighted she is to be in the spotlight, She did not care to exploit an entire fandom just as long as she got her paycheck and boy did she get it. I can’t believe that garbage of a “book” has so many fans and even got this dumb movie made. I really wish it would bomb but I’m sure it won’t.

    Dakota’s outfit could have been saved if not for the horrible sweater because I do like the skirt and shoes. The hair is just a lost case.

  7. Talie says:

    This mistake was casting actors who don’t understand the cheese factor and embrace it. People laughed about casting Ian Somerhalder or Kellan Lutz, but they would’ve been game to take their shirts off and talk about their weird sex stories.

    • INeedANap says:

      Ian Somerhalder tries too hard but is endearing about it. There is something just so infectious about his enthusiasm. Like a smarmy Hiddles.

      • Jag says:

        Ian and his girlfriend at the time – the one who is still on the show – would’ve been hot together and I would’ve actually watched it.

        In the above pictures, Dakota looks like his mother and Jamie’s beard is just awful. Why did they sign on to do the movie if they both hated the material so much?

  8. Greata says:

    Am I the only one who feels really badly for these two. I think their body language screams self-consciousness as opposed to hate. I think they are very aware that they are dammed if they do, and dammed if they don’t. I think she is actually quite beautiful.

  9. Jenns says:

    E.L. James…a legend in her own mind. Honey, you wrote a piece of crap fan fiction based off of wanting to see teen vampires f**king(which is creepy when you are a middle-aged woman). And you sold that crap to horny housewives. Let’s not fool ourselves here.

  10. katy says:

    I can’t tell if this is genuine hatred, or that they both are so embarrassed and hate the film so much that they find refuge in giving each other crap.

    • katy says:

      …also, I want to add that Secretary > 50 Shades. End of.

      • Div says:

        Secretary is such a great movie….Spader is sex incarnate in that film

      • c'est la vie says:

        Loved Secretary – Maggie Gyllenhal and Spader were so good.

        And those two had obvious chemistry. They were perfect for that movie.

      • ariadne says:

        agree. Of course, Secretary was based on a well written and intriguing story by a good writer.

        I’ve not read 50 Shades but it sounds horrible

    • Emily says:

      Hate crackles with tension. A spark of feeling. Something.

      Did the author also insist Dornan and Johnson skip a chemistry test before casting them? They are cold bowls of oatmeal next to each other which is sad. This could have been a fun, campy film. I never had any illusion it would surpass secretary, but their miserable expressions make it seem as if it won’t even be good for laughs.

  11. Delta Juliet says:

    I don’t know either of these actors, so I feel fairly comfortable in saying, appearance-wise, Dornan might not be a blast to be around but Dakota looks like a total wet blanket. Seeing her appearances makes me not want to see her in anything. Ever. Loosen up! Have some fun! This could have been so much fun.

  12. InvaderTak says:

    No, I think Friday morning while school is in session and dad is at work is the perfect time for this to premier. That’s their demographic isn’t it? Mommy p0rn and all that.

  13. Joanne_S says:

    Heavens above, Dornan looks like he’s just about to make a run for it. Look at those panic eyes!
    As for Dakota, all has been said. Charisma vacuum, period.

    Also, Aaron is insanely hot. That’s all I’ve got to say.

  14. Jan Harf says:

    Oh, man. Dakota is the wettest of blankets. I’m so confused.

    And that outfit and hair should be illegal.

  15. ehbesea says:

    this movie is so gross; i hope a lot of ppl dont go see it (but i know they will). it be fine if the material accurately portrayed a BDSM relationship, but the relationship from the books is basically thin-veiled abuse. the sad thing is that a lot of ppl are going to think that what grey does is hot and good and ugh the whole thing is gross

  16. kellyinseattle says:

    L.A. Looksgoes a long way.

  17. Fwozbo says:

    Maybe she wore the braid because it is part of the movie.

  18. scout says:

    VERY VERY SAD for us all. They are all trying to intellectually, sexually bankrupt us shortly, it must be North Korean plot for sure this time.

    Girl looks bloated. He looks like he wants to go back to UK asap to his wife and kid. E.L. James, what are you trying to be posing like that?

  19. Tig says:

    I watched the Today Show- and Dakota had her engaging moments, but they were few and far between. The few times I have seen them together, he always seems to be wanting her to engage a bit, and either she can’t/won’t. I don’t know what the benchmark this has to hit to go film the sequels is, but there really would be no problem to re-cast the leads as far as the movie goes. When they were discussing any possible sequels, I thought Dakota was going to run from the room!

  20. Catelina says:

    I once thought this movie would be craptastic campy hilarity
    now i think its just going to be super boring- a far worse sin.

  21. lower-case deb says:

    i think both Dornan and Johnson just couldn’t bond in time. the script being what it is, then ELJ’s daily interruptions and changes. first they have to contend with bad fanfic writing, prepare themselves for the scene ahead, only to come to set to find that the scene they mentally prepared for is scrapped for something even more bonkers. i don’t think the set environment is healthy with ELJ around tbh, and we know that this type of shoot (badly written pr0n though it is) needs a conducive, supportive and safe environment.

    how they can complete filming without going full metal basketcase, i don’t know.

    but all those photos above show people who look like they’re trying not to remember all the bad experiences on set. well all of them, except that last one.

    sorry ELJ fans, i just think she’s rather toxic.

  22. Cass says:

    Caught these two on the Today Show this morning. Not only are they boring, but there is zero chemistry between them. I also saw E.L. James’ being interviewed, yesterday, by Kathie Lee and Hoda. She seems like she would be a very difficult person to work with. There was some serious bitchiness bubbling just underneath the surface. I’m left with the feeling that everyone invoved in this movie had a miserable time making it.

    • H says:

      Speaking as someone in Twilight fandom who read the original fanfic EL wrote, it was crap then, it was crap when she converted to Fifty Shades. And while Twilight books were hideous too, at least in the movies, Rob and Kristen had some chemistry to make Bella and (stalker) Edward slightly interesting, but Doran and Johnson have none of that. I predict reviews will be scathing.

      As for EL, she was a bitch in fandom, and it seems her shining personality hasn’t lost that sparkle for this project. I feel bad for the director having to deal with her.

  23. A.Key says:

    I like her hair!

  24. Josefa says:

    UO here, but I don’t think Jaime is that much better than Dakota. From all the interviews and acting jobs I’ve seen from him, he’s not much more than a pretty face.

  25. Paris says:

    What the f*ck is she wearing? This THING is AWFUL!

    A daytime premiere? For horny housewives?

  26. perplexed says:

    I have no idea how the book turns out in the end, but since he’s married, maybe they don’t want people thinking they’re an off-screen couple like Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Shipping fandoms can be weird so maybe they’re putting the kibosh on that.

    If they don’t like the movie and think it’s bad, well, then I’ll admit I don’t know how they couldn’t have known that’s how it would turn out. Everyone has been making fun of this book, and I’m pretty sure I saw an eyeroll from Julianne Moore on one of those red carpets when she was asked about it way before the movie and castings were set.

  27. LV says:

    I like Dakota! I think she is anything but average – sure on first glance she does not have stunning curves like many famous women, or striking features like Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Lawrence. But there’s something intriguing about her! And the fact that’s she’s not hyper and “on” and spilling out anecdotes and jokes, actually adds to her charm.

    • Alihar999 says:

      Thank you LV. Nice to see a positive comment. I think Dakota is a bit shy. In one interview Jamie was asked to describe her and he said sweet caring and funny. Doesn’t sound like words of hate to me.

  28. Meg says:

    why was this in the middle of the day? because the demographic of the today show is the same demographic for 50 shades-stay at home moms.

  29. MtnRunner says:

    What’s funnier than 50 Shades of Crap is this Cosmo article:

    http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a36032/fifty-shades-of-grey-in-one-weekend/

  30. Nibbi says:

    i can deal with it all but not the buttons on that sweater
    just tragic

  31. TiashaLaRue says:

    Well I don’t hate her but I also don’t get the warm and fuzzies for her either. Honestly if I walked past her on the street I wouldn’t know her from anyone else. I am going to see the movie though for a number of reasons:
    1. Jamie shirtless
    2. Jamie smoldering sexy eyes (and as shirtless)
    3. Because when a train wreck is about to happen you can’t help but watch.

  32. Ravensdaughter says:

    Just how BAD will this movie be?
    Run, run away true Valentine’s Day lovers!