Who is the ‘Shades of Grey’ director, Sam Taylor-Johnson? And what about her much younger husband?

Shades of Grey director

Universal Pictures and Focus Features announced today that Sam Taylor-Johnson will direct the first film in the Shades of Grey series. Although it wasn’t the breaking casting news fans have been waiting for with bated breath, it certainly is progress in terms of the upcoming film’s production. And, if Sam’s hottie husband is any indication, she has good taste in men!

“I am excited to be charged with the evolution of Fifty Shades of Grey from page to screen,” said Taylor-Johnson in a statement. “For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika’s book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too.”

Based on her own experiences, it seems that Sam’s perfectly primed to tackle the modern erotica classic. Best known in professional circles for her award-winning John Lennon bio-flick, Nowhere Boy, this British director made headlines for her own steamy affair with the film’s star, Aaron Taylor-Johnson. (You may recognize him from Anna Karenina or Kick-A**.)

At the relationship’s start, she was 42 and Aaron was still in his teens. They reportedly didn’t get together until the films completion (just like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Mr. and Mrs. Smith), Simon Hattenstone, a reporter for The Guardian said there was a notable chemistry.

“Whenever the rain comes, she runs inside the house, arm in arm with 19-year-old Aaron Johnson, who plays Lennon. They dance and laugh like teenagers in love. I’ve never been on a film set with such a strange atmosphere. While the rest of the cast and crew are welcoming, Taylor-Wood and Johnson seem oblivious to the world.”

Officially, they got hot and heavy when Nowhere Boy completed. Sam gave birth to their first child in 2010 — but not before participating in a lusty, prenatal photoshoot for Germany’s Vogue.

Shades of Grey Vogue Photoshoot

From the very beginning, Aaron has been fiercely protective of his relationship.

“When me and Sam got together, there was a whole f**king uproar,” he told Britain’s Elle magazine. From that moment on, I never read anything about us. There’s loads of f**king horrible s**t out there on the internet. It never filtered into our lives, into our relationship. I’m not going to allow it.”

Sam also has some things to say about their love: “A woman going out with a younger man feels like the last taboo. We’re happy and we’re in love, and our life is working out well. We’re not hurting anyone. What’s the issue? Other than curiosity, I suppose. Or jealousy. Britain can sometimes feel like a very small village, and you’re this, I dunno, scarlet woman they’re all gossiping about.”

They went on to have a second child together in 2012 and married in the same year… Proving wrong many doubters of their May-December relationship.

Apart from her relationship, Sam has proven herself to be a strong, independent woman. After a tough childhood that taught her to “never trust a hippie,” she went on to marry Jay Jopling, a top art dealer, and they had two children together. Determined to make a name for herself, Sam pursued photography and produced a series of successful portraits. Even colon cancer and breast cancer were unable to slow her down. (During treatment, her close friend Elton John told The New Yorker “her work got really beautiful.”)

It was also during that point that Sam branched out into directing.

Sam The New Yorker, “Pre-cancer, I wouldn’t have had the balls to make a movie. I had the tits. Well, one tit. But not the balls.”

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