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Although E.L. James' popular book series came first, these days it is difficult to imagine Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey without thinking of Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. However, if the chemistry hadn't been right, perhaps the movies wouldn't have been as popular as they ended up being. In fact, speaking ahead of the Blu-ray release, Fifty Shades Freed lead Dakota Johnson explained why she feels the franchise as a whole has worked, stating that it was her relationship with Dornan that was the bedrock to the series. She said:
If we didn't get along, it would have been so heartbreaking, because the reason why we have a special relationship onscreen is because we have an even more special relationship off. If we couldn't laugh at each other and make fun of each other and trust each other and goof around all the time, then like, it wouldn't have been what it is.
Along with Dakota Johnson's words on the Blu-ray featurette, E.L. James also talks about how well Johnson and Jamie Dornan worked together. Their success onscreen likely contributed to the fandom showing up for not one but three movies. In fact, the Fifty Shades movies have made over a billion dollars worldwide at this point. Not a bad take for a movie based on a best-selling novel. A new movie, Book Club, is even based on the popularity of E.L. James' book.
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that for years, the rumor mill has been chock full of rumors that Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson really aren't very big fans of one another. The rumors have stemmed from truly random moments, like snapshots of Dakota Johnson looking uncomfortable while standing next to Dornan, to both of the series leads talking about how uncomfortable the sex scenes were to shoot. Regardless, in the latter case, it's definitely been more about the actors talking about having to be in close proximity with one another while wearing things like "wee-bags," so who wouldn't be uncomfortable in that sort of situation?
Obviously, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan aren't a real-life love story. Dornan is married -- and his wife does not see the Fifty Shades movies. Dornan has made reference to Johnson's strings of boyfriends in interviews as well, so it's clear the time they have shared together is not like Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's real-life/ Twilight life romance. Still, they were two strangers who ended up having to share a lot of intimate time together, drinking whiskey and doing push-ups before big nude scenes. If what Dakota Johnson is saying is true, it explains how the two were able to create chemistry without having real chemistry in the movies.