16 FILMS, INCLUDING FIFTY SHADES DARKER (2017).
Daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, granddaughter of the chillest, most unattainable Hitchcock blonde of them all, Tippi Hedren, Dakota Johnson has pasted her own star into this Hollywood constellation. Early twinkles in Crazy in Alabama and The Social Network were the prelude to her breakout casting as the demure literary ingénue Anastasia Steele (yowza) in the screen adaptation of E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, the fiction sensation that got women worldwide thrumming. Following Fifty Shades of Grey is the forthcoming Fifty Shades Darker, and, if civilization prevails, Fifty Shades: The Wrath of Khan. It is outside the pallor and dolor of Fifty Shades that Johnson gets to strut a fuller stride, as Rebel Wilson’s avid sidekick in How to Be Single and as the sun-streaked temptress in Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash. For her next daredevil mission, Johnson will be en pointe in Guadagnino’s remake of the horror cult classic Suspiria, as a ballerina who joins a mysterioso dance academy presided over by her sub-lunar co-star from A Bigger Splash, Tilda Swinton—it doesn’t get more ooga-booga than that.
Read the full article on Vanity Fair.
Dakota Johnson, the star of Fifty Shades Darker, is our brand-spanking new GLAMOUR cover star. The Hollywood star reveals what the future holds for her, her movie regrets and what it’s really like to work with GLAMOUR’s Sexiest Man of The Year 2017.
Dakota on… leaving the kink behind
“It’s not that it has put me off entirely, but I’m ready to do other stuff. And maybe they will be sexy [projects], or maybe they will be the complete opposite. But I do know that I’m ready to move on.”
Dakota on… whether she can ever imagine a time when she thinks: “I wish I hadn’t done those films”
“It comes in waves. But this project is not going to be my swan song. It has put my life on a path that I didn’t plan to go down, but I do feel proud of it. And the films have allowed me to do so many different projects and travel so much. In the end, Fifty Shades has plopped me in a world that I really wanted to be in.”
Dakota on… whether her parents have seen any of the films?
“They haven’t because it’s such a tricky thing. It’s too uncomfortable for them. It’s one thing if a film has one sex scene in it, but with this, a large part of the premise is the arc of their sexual relationship, and I think that’s a little inappropriate for my family to watch.”
Dakota on… her newfound appreciation for the world of sex toys
“Oh some of that stuff is just so beautiful! When we first started on Fifty Shades, that wasn’t a world I was privy to at all, and I soon found out there are all these different tiers. There are some things out there that are really grimy and nasty, and then there are really beautiful, intricate and chic toys. Actually, whole aspects of the BDSM world are truly beautiful.”
“I got you balloons!” Dakota Johnson shouts above a din of barking dogs, her hands cupped around her mouth in the shape of a heart.
As the iron gates of her mother’s Hollywood Hills house creep open, the auburn-haired actress is half-revealed on the stone steps beneath a dense tangle of helium-filled Mylar. She is wearing black Gucci boots and high-water vintage boys’ Levi’s in the ideal normcore wash. “Is this an appropriate outfit for meeting your landscape architect?” she asks, pulling on a crimson mohair sweater by The Elder Statesman (its designer, Greg Chait, is a pal). “Do I look like an adult who can convincingly use words like night-blooming?”
Of course she did not get me balloons. These are the detritus of the twenty-seventh-birthday party that her mother, Melanie Griffith, threw her a few nights before. The festivities culminated at Jumbo’s Clown Room, a strip club in Thai Town where Johnson watched what she describes as the saddest pole dance in the history of pole dances. We are now snaking through the hills in a soccer-mom SUV that has to suffice until the arrival of the forest-green 1995 Ford F150 that her grandfather has promised to send up from his house in Missouri. Our destination: the mid-century bungalow that Dakota, then living in downtown Manhattan, bought last winter in a clear concession to the fact that she was, is, and very likely will always be a creature of Hollywood. It was only the second house she saw, but she fell hard for its modernist pedigree; the architect Carl Maston built it for his own family in 1947.
It seems most improbable in this day and age that the daughter of two of the most charismatic stars of their generation—and the star herself in one of the highest grossing R-rated films of all time—should be a mystery to us. But such is the elusive figure cut by Dakota Johnson that she manages to somehow remain unshredded and undissected by the tabloids and social media.
It’s not as if Dakota’s parents, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, are such white-hot supernovas that she gets lost in the glare of their fame, but nor has she been raised in anonymity: Dakota was Miss Golden Globe in 2006 (one hell of a debutante party for the then 16-year-old), and two of her closest friends are descended from rock-star royalty. Her casting as Anastasia Steele, too, in 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey—after perhaps the most celebrated and scrutinized casting call in the past ten years—should have made her an overnight celebrity, or at least the regular fodder for gossip columns. But, not so much.
What we do know for sure is the work, including her terrific turn as a Boston gangster moll to Johnny Depp’s Whitey Bulger in last year’s Black Mass. In Luca Guadagnino’s sun-soaked A Bigger Splash, out this month, Johnson plays a Lolita-ish foil to an ailing rock-star goddess played by actual goddess Tilda Swinton. It’s a sensational performance in a sensational movie about allure and attraction among a group of lost souls. It probably doesn’t bring us any closer to figuring out Johnson herself—but it may have helped her to do so. As the actress tells real-life rock star Chrissie Hynde, playing a character in dire existential distress helped her sort out a little of her own. But just a little.