Sam Taylor-Johnson interview: Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen

February 2, 2015 2:42 AM

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This morning, she says, she could barely lift her head off the pillow. But she managed to make it from her bed in the Hollywood Hills to the terrace of the Chateau Marmont hotel, where she is stoically chugging cups of hot water with honey, lemon and ginger. It’s 18 months since Taylor-Johnson, who had never directed a Hollywood movie, was hired for the film version of EL James’s mega-selling erotic novel. The news was announced the day after she made her pitch to executives at Focus Features and Universal, who had won a fierce bidding war for the rights to 50 Shades.

“I went in for the meeting, and I thought they liked my vision and approach,” she recalls. “But the call came at eight o’clock the next morning: ‘OK, you got the job – we’re announcing it at midday.’ It was like jumping onto a high-speed train and the doors locking behind me. And I’m only now about ...

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