Marcia Gay Harden has commended the book and film franchise Fifty Shades of Grey for encouraging older women to explore their sexuality.
The Oscar-winning actor, who starred as Grace Trevelyan Grey, Christian Grey’s adoptive mother in the films, described watching the cultural shift surrounding the series as “fascinating”. She said: “It was fascinating to watch women of a certain age… their rabid involvement in this ‘sexual unleashing’, if you will. “And to really realise that with the divorce rate at 50 per cent, there’s a lot of single women out there, happy or unhappily single, but who were mentally curious about exploration.” In the interview with Metro, she added that while BDSM is “not necessarily the answer to the curiosity” that “women giving themselves permission to have toys and fiery lubes and have fantasy experiences was interesting to observe from afar”.
She continued that “observing this curiosity and this kind of demand for their freedom to explore, was interesting.” Her comments follow those made by Dakota Johnson, who played protagonist Anastasia Steele in the franchise’s three films, adapted from EL James’ novels of the same name, who described the atmosphere on the set during filming as “psychotic”.Jamie Dornan played alongside her as Christian Grey, after Charlie Hunnam dropped out ahead of the first film due to scheduling conflicts.
According to Johnson, Hunnam’s departure was the turning point for things taking a very different turn on set. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the Persuasion star said that author and screenwriter James was “so enraged” by Hunnam leaving that she scrapped the original script. “It just became something crazy,” Johnson explained. “There were a lot of different disagreements.” She added that there James had “a lot of creative control, all day, every day, and she just demanded that certain things happen”. While she stated that she didn’t regret her involvement in the film, she added: “If I had known at the time that’s what it was going to be like, I don’t think anyone would’ve done it.