Don’t mess with Dakota Johnson. The daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, and granddaughter of Hitchcock siren Tippi Hedren, knows her way around a firearm. And she always hits her target. “It’s a really cool thing,” says Johnson of her hobby. Professionally, she’s also pulling the trigger on being a full-time actress: Johnson is headlining the Fox sitcom Ben and Kate (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET/PT). And like the seasoned pro she is, Johnson, 22, quickly deflects any questions about her folks. “I get asked about my parents a lot, which is not what I’m doing press for,” she says. Point taken.
Q: What about Kate made you want to play her?
A: “I love the way she’s written. It was the family vibe of it, and the fact that it wasn’t a romantic relationship. It’s a brother and a sister. Kate has a daughter and she’d do anything for her daughter. Kate is really smart and scared and funny — there’s a lot going on.”
Q: Did you base Kate’s relationship with her daughter on anyone specific?
A: “No. It’s a really unique relationship. I’m not a mom. I’m playing older than myself in the show. I have a maternal side to me, but I would never know what it’s like to be a mom until I am one. I wanted to have that opportunity.”
Q: You seem much more balanced and focused than Kate. Are you as romantically challenged as she is?
A: “I’m so different from her. There’s times Kate can be very fragile and I can relate to that, and there’s times when she’s really strong and I can relate to that. She’s a little awkward and goofy, and that’s a little bit of me. I’m more of a person who goes with the flow of things. I have a boyfriend that I’ve been with for a while. I’ve only been in long-term relationships. I’ve never really dated myself.”
Q: Being an actor seems like the obvious choice for you. When did you realize it’s what you wanted to do?
A: “This is my passion. This is my job. I love it more than anything. I’m so happy when I’m working. I love doing improv. I love comedy. I have always felt this way, even when I was really young. I’d watch my parents work and think, yeah, I’m going to do that. It wasn’t even a thing. It’s the only thing I know how to do.”
Q: I have to say, it’s really cute how your mom is promoting your show all over Twitter.
A: “I know. I know. She’s amazing on Twitter. I’m not on Twitter — yet. I envy her ability to say things to the world. I can’t do that. It’s so bizarre and crazy that the entire world can be privy to this information. Why would anything I say be interesting to anyone else?”
Q: Could you ever see yourself doing a project with your parents or your grandmother?
A: “I would like to do that. I’d love to work with a lot of people and a lot of my family members: my mom, my grandma, my dad. It’s cool. It’s my family. (Hedren) is amazing. She’s my favorite woman in the world.”
Q: How are you handling the crazy hours of doing TV?
A: “I sleep a lot now. I’m tired all the time. I love eating. I shoot shotguns. I go skeet-shooting. I don’t shoot actual animals. I shoot sporting clays. For some reason, I started doing it last summer and I’m really good at it, so I just keep going. I like to read a lot. But it’s hard to read books when you’re working.”
Source: USA Today