Dakota Johnson and Chris Hemsworth’s new film together, Bad Times at the El Royale, is a dark one. But there was one thing throughout the filming that kept Johnson upbeat: her costar’s abs. While shooting the thriller, which comes out on October 12, Johnson reveals that they made it difficult to stay in character.
“Oh, my God. It’s such a distraction,” she told Vogue Australia of his statuesque physique. “I was like, ‘Guys, you’ve made a huge mistake getting him to do this because everyone is going to forget everything that happened [in the film] until this point. Chris is going to come onto the screen, and his body is outrageous, it’s unbelievable, like a crazy, crazy thing to look at, and his shirt’s completely unbuttoned.’ No one on set could pay attention to anything else: It was so shocking, not in a sexual way at all, just, like, scientifically, how is it possible to look like that? Crazy!”
Johnson was almost as focused on what Hemsworth was eating. “Then he would eat a bowl of Smarties and you’re like: ‘You’re an a--hole, f-ck you!’” she said, before referencing how much pressure is on female actresses to conform to the industry’s problematic beauty ideals—without using those words. “I don’t eat anything sweet: I eat green things for three months in order to fit into a pair of jeans. And he eats whatever the f-ck he wants and looks like he was literally chiseled out of marble–it’s insane.”
The experience of filming Bad Times at the El Royale at least sounds like it was much more entertaining than when Johnson worked on her other upcoming film, Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Suspiria. “No lie, f---ed me up so much that I had to go to therapy,” Johnson said of the film earlier this year. She talked about the heavy roles with Vogue Australia, saying, “I don’t know what it was, but last year I really went through a time where I gravitated towards these darker women, but they are all kind of juxtaposed with this warmth. I struggle with having difficult times and feeling quite low and heavy and it’s hard to break out of it, but then, you know, those things can coexist. I found that in a few different characters I played, in Suspiria definitely, and Bad Times 100 percent—and that film was so much fun to make.” Of course, anything is more fun when Hemsworth’s abs are involved.