'Fifty Shades of Grey' Director and E.L. James Fought Over Sex Scenes

Sam Taylor-Johnson says she and the book's author had "creative fights."

ByABC News
February 3, 2015, 2:16 PM
From left, E.L. James in London, Sept. 6, 2012, and Sam Taylor-Johnson in London, May 11, 2014.
From left, E.L. James in London, Sept. 6, 2012, and Sam Taylor-Johnson in London, May 11, 2014.
Ferdaus Shamim/Getty Images | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Feb. 3, 2015— -- "Fifty Shades of Grey" author E.L. James and the director of the much-anticipated big-screen adaptation, Sam Taylor-Johnson, clashed over one very important aspect of the film: the sex.

"It was difficult, I'm not going to lie,” Taylor-Johnson told Porter magazine. “We definitely fought but they were creative fights and we would resolve them.

“We would have proper on-set barneys, and I'm not confrontational, but it was about finding a way between the two of us, satisfying her vision of what she'd written as well as my need to visualize this person on screen but, you know we got there."

"There," according to Mr. Skin, the movie sex encyclopedia, is about 20 minutes of sex, or one-fifth of the film's 100-minute running time.

And to properly portray the dominant-submissive relationship of the main characters, Taylor-Johnson hired male and female dominatrixes to visit the set and help prepare actors Jamie Dornan, who portrays Christian Grey, and Dakota Johnson, who plays Anastasia Steele.

"Jamie had an on-set dominant to show him how it all worked and I had a female dominatrix who helped enhance my understanding," the English filmmaker, 47, said.

For Taylor-Johnson, who previously directed the John Lennon biopic "Nowhere Boy," there was never any doubt how to make the film.

"When I decide I want something I go in like an Exocet missile. I just knew I wanted to make this film. I knew how it should be made, needed to be made, and I felt a certain responsibility to make it the right way," she told Porter. "I felt it was an incredible story. It's like a dark twisted fairy tale, very romantic and it was interesting how troubling it was, and how romance and the darkness interweaved."

She also beat out better-known directors, including Steven Soderbergh and Angelina Jolie.

Taylor-Johnson and Jolie have become friends, as a result.

"I got an email out of the blue from her saying good luck on your journey. I thought that was incredibly sweet of her," she said.

"Fifty Shades of Grey" will be released worldwide on Feb. 13, just in time for Valentine's Day.