Sam Taylor-Johnson cut jellyfish from Fifty Shades

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 2 February 2015
Aaron Taylor Johnson and Sam Taylor-Wood

Sam Taylor-Johnson with Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Sam Taylor-Johnson has revealed she had to remove images of jellyfish from a sex scene in 'Fifty Shades of Grey' because film bosses thought it was too outlandish,

Sam Taylor-Johnson was forced to remove jellyfish from a sex scene in 'Fifty Shades of Grey'.

The 47-year-old director wanted to use images of the sea-dwelling creatures in a fantasy scene with lead character Anastasia Steele but it was left on the cutting room floor after Universal studios bosses decided it was too odd for audiences.

She explained: "We went to a beautiful aquarium and there were these jellyfish. They're so sexual, jellyfish, when you look at them in tanks - just the way they move, the fluidity. So there was a scene when we go into Anastasia's world and her head, and we just had these jellyfish on the screen. It was beautiful, very impressionistic. Everyone went, 'What the f**k are those jellyfish doing there?'

"After a while the studio realised, 'OK, we've hired a slightly anarchic artist. How are we going to rein her in a bit?'

"I wasn't happy to let them go. I could see they weren't going to work for a wide audience."

'Fifty Shades of Grey' - starring Dakota Johnson as Anastasia and Jamie Dornan as her lover Christian Grey - is based on E.L James' best-selling novel of the same name and is one of the most hotly-anticipated films of 2015.

The book is infamous for its graphic depictions of bondage and extreme sex acts, but Sam has warned fans the film is not going to be as explicit as they might have predicted.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, the filmmaker - who is married to actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson - said: "The thing that was most difficult was how and where to pepper the sex, and to not make it feel like it was gratuitous. So it had to be a really strong part of the story, and I had to give characterisation to each sex scene, to make them different.

"I didn't want it to be graphically explicit, and I know that's going to be disappointing to some people. It's the build up and titillation of touch and sensuality. So I don't think it goes into the realm of porn."

Fifty Shades of Grey

  • 3 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 2h 5min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson
  • Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Jennifer Ehle
  • UK release: 13 February 2015

Despite its troubling gender politics and distinct lack of plot, the likeable Johnson brings nuance and charm to a paper-thin character; Dornan manages to offer a hint of humanity; and given the many constraints, this sleek, fairly trim and occasionally sensual adaptation is the best imaginable outcome.

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