Fifty Shades Of Grey author EL James says films’ release was ‘traumatic time’

Author EL James has said that it was a “traumatic time” when her book trilogy series Fifty Shades was adapted for film.

Actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan starred in the 2015 film Fifty Shades Of Grey, which was followed in succession by movies Fifty Shades Darker (2017) and Fifty Shades Freed (2018).

Speaking on ITV programme Lorraine, James talked about the release of the films and said: “There were some good bits there were some not so good bits, but it was a huge learning experience and I gained a lot out of it in those terms and hopefully we get to do it again.”

Fifty Shades Of Grey UK Premiere – London
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson attending the UK premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

The erotic romance series follows Anastasia Steele as she begins a complicated relationship with young entrepreneur Christian Grey, a billionaire who is fond of bondage.

Following the Fifty Shades trilogy, James released romance novel The Mister in 2019, followed by The Missus (2023), which she described as a “very romantic homage” to regency romance – “a Cinderella story for the now”.

Speaking on whether The Mister will be adapted for film she said: “Hopefully we’ll see. We’ve been hampered by the pandemic… fingers crossed it will happen.”

James also opened up about a bout of amnesia she had suffered from, following a period she termed “the great madness”.

She said: “In 2018, the stresses of all of this, the ‘great madness’ and the movies and everything, suddenly my brain just decided to reset.

“I lost seven years in terms of my memory and my husband found me sitting in our rather lovely beach house in Cornwall and asked me ‘are you okay?’ and I didn’t actually remember where I was, so it was a bit of a shock for him and he was quite scared that I’d had a stroke.”

Explaining the cause of the amnesia she added: “It could be stress, it could be vigorous activity, should we say.”

The Fifty Shades Of Grey trilogy made James a millionaire many times over and in 2015 the Sunday Times Rich List estimated her fortune at £75 million.

In 2012, publishers said that Fifty Shades Of Grey, the first in the trilogy, was the best-selling book in the UK since records began.