Why Fifty Shades Freed's Dakota Johnson Wears A Corset In That Important Red Room Scene

corset in fifty shades freed's red room of pain

Fifty Shades Freed is certainly a movie that paid attention to the details. From filming in Europe to the intense process of putting together a wedding dress, the third and final movie in E.L. James' trilogy went all out when it came to getting Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey's final journeys right. One of the people who was integral to that process was costume designer Shay Cunliffe, and the woman in charge of Ana and Christian's sexiest looks recently spoke to CinemaBlend ahead of the film's Blu-ray release to talk all the intricate details, including why Dakota Johnson wears a corset. According to Cunliffe,

The biggest departure from what was scripted was the bedroom scene that finishes up the movie, where she texted Christian that she's ready for him, and she's sort of taking charge in a way of, of the dynamic. In the novel, it is described as a sort of baby blue silk camisole that she's waiting for him, and it has a more subdued description to it. And I had not really done any corseting in the movie. It didn't quite feel right to Dakota. We didn't go there, you know, even when she's in the dressing room in lingerie... I think that was in the second movie, in Darker. It was a kind of a soft and feminine version of that, not really addressing real bondage corset fans' take on that underwear. And it struck me that for that very last glimpse, we ought to really go for it with the corset and not just do a sort of camisole.

The undergarments in all three of the Fifty Shades movies is an important part of each movie (as well as the books). Sometimes the costumes make for interesting sex play, sometimes the underwear is something Dakota Johnson wears as armor --such as when she was arguing in the closet with Christian in Fifty Shades Freed -- and sometimes, the costumes helped to set the tone in the scene. As Shay Cunliffe described, the baby blue silk camisole really didn't work for the Anastasia Steele created by Dakota Johnson as opposed to the character in the novels. Cunliffe had the bright idea to go with a corset, and it ended up being one of the most visually effective scenes in the movie.

At the time, however, she had to pitch the idea to those creating the movie before we ended up with the big corset finale. Per Shay Cunliffe,

I just sort of floated that idea out there to everyone and they all went, 'Yeah, yeah!' So I rounded up -- again, I think it was Agent Provocateur's corsets that we used in the end. A really tight and sexy one, that she's sitting there waiting for him. They shot it from the back and we got rid of all the panels that's normally in the back of it so that you really see the lacing. I just thought that was a fun wink to the bedrock of these books.

If you've seen Fifty Shades Freed at this point -- and we're about to get into ending spoilers -- you'll know the scene in question ends up being a super important moment for Anastasia Steele, who invites Christian Grey to join her in the Red Room, where she is wearing a corset and ready for their romp. It's a moment that is also a powerful one for the character, as she and Christian start to be more on the same page with their wants and needs. The film then gives us a hint at the future for the popular fictional couple, wrapping things up in a way that should appeal to fans.

Although we were lucky enough to speak to Shay Cunliffe, the Blu-ray release also has a slew of bonus features that look at the intricate details of making of Fifty Shades Freed. The Digital release is already available, and you can take a look at the Blu-ray and DVD release starting on May 8. In addition, you can order your own copy, here.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.