There’s no restraining these two.
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan pulled out all the stops Thursday at the splashy premiere of Fifty Shades Darker in Los Angeles, turning up the glamour as they walked the red carpet and posed for photographers.
The two reprise their roles as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in the second installment of the BDSM-heavy erotic trilogy, picking up after the couple’s tempestuous split in the first movie.
And although the shoot was anything but G-rated — think sex toys as props, and birthday suits as required attire — the two pals did find ways to look for levity amid the lust.
“I think it’s easier if the person you’re doing all that stuff with is also happier and on the lighter side of life, and Dakota is,” Dornan told PEOPLE at the premiere. “She’s a very genuinely funny person, and we make each other laugh a lot. You need humor to get through those days. You just do.”
Virtual reality exclusive! Go Inside Fifty Shades Darker’s masquerade ball in the 360° video below. For a fully immersive experience using VR goggles, download the LIFE VR app for iOS and Android or visit time.com/lifevr.
Johnson, for her part, appreciated having someone on set who had her back throughout such delicate scenes.
“We’ve become such good friends over the past three years that it’s really like going to work with one of your closest friends, and that’s the best,” she told PEOPLE of Dornan. “We’ve been in each other’s lives and we have a true foundation of love and respect, and it’s the best.”
The premiere itself was lavish, to say the least: Before the movie screened at the Ace Hotel, the studio behind the film — Universal Pictures — mounted an extravagant masquerade ball at downtown L.A. hot spot Vibiana in an homage to one of the movie’s buzziest scenes.
WATCH: Jamie Dornan Talks Final Days On Set & New 50 Shades Darker: ‘It’s Sexier’
Guests showed up decked out in ball gowns and hid behind elaborate masks that were handed out — an echo of snippets from the onscreen ball teased out in the movie’s trailers. There were also tarot-card-reading stations, wandering magicians, several photo booths and a red lipstick station, while singer Jose James — who has a cameo in the film’s masquerade ball — hit the stage with a live band and performed the tunes he sings in the movie.
The highlight came when the cast, including Johnson and Dornan, along with Fifty Shades author EL James, stopped by, and a few cast members posed for selfies with guests.
Fans can scope out the real masquerade ball — and Ana and Christian’s erotic escapades — when Fifty Shades Darker opens on Feb. 10.