The pair played a couple in the Fifty Shades of Grey movies together, filming steamy romance scenes together as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, respectively. "Weird" as it may be, Johnson, 32, told Vanity Fair she sees Dornan, 40, as a brother figure.
"There was never a time when we didn't get along. I know it's weird, but he's like a brother to me," she said. "I love him so, so, so much. And we were really there for each other. We had to really trust each other and protect each other."
Continued Johnson, "We were doing the weirdest things for years, and we needed to be a team: 'We're not doing that,' or 'You can't do that camera angle.' "
The Persuasion actress said she does not regret making the three Fifty Shades films, which hit theaters in 2015, 2017 and 2018. "Look, it was great for our careers. So amazing. So lucky. But it was weird. So, so weird."
Ryan McGinley/Vanity Fair
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In October, Dornan spoke with British GQ about taking issue with negative reviews bashing the movies that they worked so hard on: "Look, put it this way: It's done no harm to my career to be part of a movie franchise that has made more than $1 billion. Every working actor would say the same thing. It's provided — a lot. There's no shame in saying it's transformed my life and my family's life financially. I am very, very grateful for this and always will be."
"And the fans loved it," Dornan, who shares three daughters with wife Amelia, added. "Kevin Maher [the film critic] at The Times didn't love it — what a surprise! But I take issue with the whole thing being just a bit of a joke. Everyone involved worked as hard as they could on those films, including myself."
Johnson told Vogue in 2017 while promoting Fifty Shades Darker that she and Dornan fortunately got along behind the scenes, making it easier to perform the more intimate onscreen moments.
"Jamie and I worked so incredibly closely for so long. There were no inhibitions, and it was very honest, very trusting. But I mean, what a gamble! What if he had turned out to be a total d---?" she joked at the time. She added, "There's no makeup. There are no clothes to tell you a bit about the story. There's no jewelry to give you a clue about social status. So it becomes purely about the performance."