Getting to travel to Europe to work is a pretty sweet perk.
Yes, we did it toward the end of it. After wrappingup in Vancouver, we flew to France, which was nice because the schedule wasn’t too crazy. We had some time off to muck around on jet skies or swim while we were shooting the honeymoon scenes. Those were easy days at work.
In a film where you have to act in an extremely intimate setting, it’s good thay you and Dakota Johnson get on well.
We are very fond of each other. Dakota and I had to have chemistry to make this work from the get-go, and we will continue to be friends despite it going to an end. We have gone through this journey together. We truly understand what that has meant. I believe we will always have each other’s back. Precisely, because of the impact these roles have had on our careers and personalities. It is quite a bond that lasts forever.
Have those scenes become easier to shoot?
I imagine it’d be quite tough to, ‘get in the character, on a busy film set. It has, because in those situation it all come down to trust. You can feel very exposed and vulnerable when you shoot them. We knew that we had each other’s back and we were even capable of having a bit of a laugh, which is good. In the first film we were still getting to know each other. But I believe that our friendship has certainly taken a step forward since then and made those moments easier for us.
There must be moments where you’d just burst out laughing, surely?
We have to! I wouldn’t do this job if I didn’t have fun at work. I remember we couldn’t stop laughing during the wedding scene, where we realized that the same guy who was with us in elevator sequence of the first movie was sitting there in the front row. Life is too short and you have to enjoy it. Dakota and I make each other laugh far too easily. You have to respect your job, but also have fun, because we are actors and our mission is to entertain people.
So how are you going to do that if you are not even capable of enjoying yourself? That goes for every job. My father was a surgeon, but he never took himself too seriously, and is one of the funniest people I have ever met.
How does Fifty Shades Freed differ from the previous films?
There is definitely a lot of action! Even though we shot the second and third films back-to-back, this one felt very different, precisely because of all the car chases and stunts. In that respect, I wasn’t the person who had the most to do, but I love throwing stuff around and doing stunts.
What do you think James Foley, as director, has brought to the second and third films of the series?
James is great and very energetic. It wasn’t easy to get on a train like this that had already left the station. Yes, he managed to elevate it and make it all his own, while also respecting what was done with Fifty shades of Grey. That’s a delicate thing to do, and I thought he handled it brilliantly.
Character growth is integral to any story, especially in a movie franchise, so what’s changed?
I think Christian is fair, understanding and more human in the third movie, compared with how he was when we first met him- when he was hard to understand impenetrable. Now he is a bit more of an open book. Playing him has been a satisfying challenge. I feel it was trickier in the first movie, as I had to strike that balance of being distance and cold, but at the same time somewhat likeable.
How was the experience of shooting the second and third movie back to back?
I think it was beneficial for everybody, the crew, the cast, the studio, and the fans. It made both the schedule and energy easier, where you have those six months where you just throw everything at it and you are done. I believe it is better than working three months, then going into another film and then coming back to it again a year later. I believe it’s easier to get it all out in one go.