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Creator / Sam Taylor-Johnson

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Samantha Louise Taylor-Johnson OBE (née Taylor-Wood, born March 4, 1967) is an English artist, director, and photographer, and one of the "Young British Artists".

In 2002, she made a portrait of a sleeping David Beckham, which she followed up with "Crying Men" depicting leading actors such as Robin Williams, Sean Penn, and Paul Newman, well, crying. She directed the 2009 film Nowhere Boy starring Aaron Johnson as a young John Lennon, and later she and Johnson married. They have two daughters together. She also has two daughters from a previous marriage with Jay Jopling.

She directed the 2015 film adaptation of the best-selling novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

Note: She also sang the female lines on the Pet Shop Boys cover of "Je t' non plus."


Tropes related to her work:

  • Hostility on the Set: She and E. L. James (author of the Fifty Shades of Grey books and producer on the film adaptations) had a major case of Creative Differences and argued a lot over potential alterations to the plot and characters. Taylor-Johnson later stated that her inability to reach an agreement with James on just about every creative decision made the film difficult to work on and was a big reason she declined to return for the sequels.
  • Old Shame: She has expressed regret over directing the first Fifty Shades movie, stating that the end product wasn't what she originally envisioned and citing difficulties on-set with E.L. James, who was one of the film's producers and vetoed many of her ideas. She even stated that in hindsight she wouldn't have agreed to do the film in the first place as it was such a miserable experience.
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  • Romance on the Set: She directed Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Nowhere Boy and the two subsequently began dating, marrying in 2012.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Her original vision for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie - in conjunction with screenwriter Kelly Marcel - was to make a Pragmatic Adaptation that, while sticking broadly to the book's plot, also addressed and deconstructed some of the more controversial parts of the source material. However, E.L. James was adamant the film be as faithful as possible to the book and mostly got her way, with few of Taylor-Johnson's ideas making it into the finished product.
    • She was originally going to direct the two Fifty Shades sequels as well, but due to disliking her experience directing the first film so much she decided against this.

Alternative Title(s): Sam Taylor Wood