PROVENANCE: Aspen, Colorado.
STATE OF MIND: The actress, the daughter of Hollywood veterans Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson—and granddaughter of Hitchcock muse Tippi Hedren—is glad to say that she was reared out West. “People from Colorado have a lot of pride, even if they just lived there a couple years when they were young, like me.”
GREY EXPECTATIONS: While she has already appeared in hit films such as The Social Network and The Five-Year Engagement, it’s her upcoming role as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey that has people buzzing. Johnson doesn’t anticipate talking to her parents about the nitty-gritty of her role, though: “I think that I would love to have them experience it with me, but I can’t really do that, just because of what it entails. I talk to them more about problems with my landlords. That’s my talking point with my family.”
ON THE FAST TRACK: With a new film, Need for Speed—based on the video games of the same name—out next month, Johnson is also anticipating next years saucy Fifty Shades release and the reaction of its fan base with a sense of humor. “I wonder if it will be, like, 40-year-old moms, which I am cool with. I love moms.”
Source: Vanity Fair
It was day one of trying on her new brown locks as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey, a role that could come to define up-and-coming actress Dakota Johnson. The 24-year-old daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson was approaching her first photo shoot and interview for EW’s cover story in a very relaxed manner: joking with her future on-screen boyfriend Jamie Dornan; snapping photos for author EL James who was visiting the set, and trying to stay away from the tempting desserts that filled the craft services table.
The actress did acknowledge that it was a bit strange to embody a character for a role she hasn’t even had a chance to rehearse. “At first it felt like what are we doing because we haven’t done anything yet: How are we supposed to be in character when I don’t even know what’s going on,” said Johnson about the photo shoot. “But then everyone chilled out and that was good.”
Johnson coveted the role of the virginal college student for a long time. Once she found out producer Mike DeLuca was making the movie she quickly emailed her manager pleading with him to get her the part–and she had not yet read the books. Her mindset didn’t change once she perused the popular trilogy.
“I just really understand it,” said Johnson. “I think it’s an incredible love story and that’s why it’s affected so many people. Erica (EL James) did a really good job of explaining how that just can happen sometimes and you have this chemical pull to someone. Adding in the sex makes it perfect. Sometimes you feel a little bit naughty and that’s okay.”
Actress Dakota Johnson is getting down while housecleaning. “Take that, floor! Dirty, dirty floor,” she raps to herself as she scrubs while listening to an iPod. “Say it! Say my name, bitch! Back it up, back it, back it up!”
Sure, she’s talking to inanimate objects in this “Ben and Kate” sitcom scene, but the newly cast “Fifty Shades of Grey” star has clearly got the chops for playing a sensual yet awkward heroine.
“She used to do physical comedy stuff for us that was like Lucille Ball,” says Dana Fox, creator of the short-lived Fox sitcom that starred Johnson. “I try not to fall into writing scenes where gorgeous girls have to trip and fall so they’ll be likable — but she had that thing, so we’d use it.”
Fox recalls one scene in particular that showed Johnson’s willingness to “go there” for a bit. “She was cleaning the house, and I wanted her to be listening to a funny song, like a dirty, sexy song, while cleaning, and not realize that everybody was watching her — she was doing this dance with the mop, pretending to booty-slap a plant. She grabbed this lamp and was on the floor, pretending to hump it.
“It was so awkward and funny. The next day, she was just covered in bruises! We had to use makeup to get rid of them. She was like, ‘I’ll do whatever it takes to make this funny.'”
Now, her pluck has paid off handsomely.
1. She has famous parents. Johnson is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, who were married for six months in 1976 and again in 1989 for seven years. “My beautiful child Dakota has been chosen to play Anna Steele in 50 Shades!!!” Griffith, 56, tweeted Sept. 2. “Look out world! Here she comes!!! #proudmama.” Johnson, however, doesn’t like to brag abut her parents. The actress told Interview magazine in April 2012, “For me it’s just my family, it’s the way I grew up and it’s my mom and my dad . . . sometimes it’s kind of a drag to talk about.
2. She made her acting debut at age 10. Johnson and her half-sister, Stella Banderas, played daughters to real-life mom Griffith in the 1999 film Crazy in Alabama, which was directed by stepfather Anthonio Banderas. Johnson told Access Hollywood in 2012 that Griffith and Banderas, who married in 1996, don’t help her with acting, but do give advice on “normal life things.”
3. She’s slept with Justin Timberlake . . . on screen. The actress played Stanford college Amelia Ritter in 2010’s The Social Network, who introduces Timberlake’s Sean Parker character to Facebook following a random hookup. “[Director] David Fincher told me that I managed to make a thankless character pretty awesome,” she recalled to Interview magazine of her small role in the film. “I thought that was really cool because I think [Fincher is] really cool.”
4. She’s already been a leading lady. Johnson played the lead role of Kate Fox, a single mom to a 5-year-old daughter, in the 2012 FOX TV series, Ben and Kate. “I think that we’re trying to bring back the idea of family being really important, instead of just having a TV show about funny people doing funny things all the time,” Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter. Sadly, the comedy show was canceled after one season.
5. She’s no stranger to sex scenes. In 2012’s The Five-Year Engagement, Johnson shared some outrageous between-the-sheets moments with Jason Segel. “Those things are always a little uncomfortable at first,” she admitted to Interview magazine at the time, “but the whole point of the scene is just to show how ridiculous this girl is, so I made a complete fool of myself.”
Source: Us Weekly
The coveted role of Anastasia Steele has gone to Dakota Johnson in the Universal Pictures and Focus Features adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey.
Johnson, who is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, will star as the young college graduate who has a sexual awakening with Christian Grey, a young industrialist who takes her virginity. She falls in love with him, but his insistence she take the role of submissive and open herself to his S&M fantasies leaves her emotionally torn because otherwise he is the perfect guy. They’ve yet to cast Grey, and rumors have abounded about such actors as Sons Of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam. Word on that is coming soon. [UPDATE: Hunnam has officially won the role.] The film will be released by Focus Features on August 1, 2014 in North America. It is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti alongside author E L James, whose erotic novel trilogy has sold over 70 million books worldwide. Kelly Marcel wrote the script.
The word about Ms. Johnson’s casting in Fifty Shades of Grey first came from the author. Johnson, who was among the young actresses rumored to be in the running has appeared in such films as The Social Network, on which De Luca and Brunetti were producers. Need for Speed, 21 Jump Street, and Universal Pictures’ The Five-Year Engagement are her other credits. She also starred as Kate in the Fox Network comedy series Ben and Kate, which aired during the 2012-2013 season. Ms. Johnson is currently shooting the feature film Cymbeline.
Set for May 16, the one-hour sendoff will include the previous reported appearances from former castmembers and writers Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak.
Also joining the regular cast for the episode are Rachael Harris, Dakota Johnson, Joan Cusack, Ed Begley Jr., Malcolm Barrett, Matt Jones, Andy Buckley, Mike Schur and Bobby Ray Shafer.
“Months after the airing of the documentary, the workers of Dunder Mifflin, past and present, gather for a wedding and a final round of interviews,” reads the synopsis from the network. “Mysteries are solved, hatchets are buried, pranks are prunked.”
There’s no mention of former star Steve Carrell, who has been vocal about his happiness with the way his storyline ended 2011, but there are quite a few guests.
Only two original episodes of The Office remain before the finale.
The stars of Fox sitcom Ben and Kate got some bad news last month when production on the sibling-centered series shut down and the show was cancelled. But don’t cry for Dakota Johnson. The Kate of Ben and Kate is already moving on, having snagged a supporting role in DreamWorks Need For Speed.
Based on the popular EA racing video game series, Need For Speed focuses on speed freak Tobey Marshall, who is a fan of ’70s-style, fast-paced cars. When his best friend is killed, Marshall kicks into gear on revenge, racing at insane speeds from New York City to Los Angeles to get it. Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul is fronting the film as Marshall, and Deadline reports Johnson has signed on to join the cast that also includes Michael Keaton, Dominic Cooper (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Imogen Poots (Fright Night), Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, Ramon Rodriguez (Battle Los Angeles), Rami Malek (Night at the Museum), and Harrison Gilbertson (Virginia).
At this time, no details on Johnson’s role in the film are being released. However, we do know that Cooper will play an ex-NASCAR driver called Dino. Poots has landed the female lead, an exotic car dealer; and Keaton will play the master of ceremonies for an underground supercar race, where the best racers from around the world compete.
The script is penned by first-time scribe George Gatins and his brother, actor-screenwriter John Gatins (Real Steal, Flight) seems a bit of a wild card. But helmed by Scott Waugh, a long-time stuntman who made his directorial debut with the 2012 Navy SEALs thriller Actor of Valor, we assume Need For Speed will be stuffed with kind of high-octane action fans of the game have come to expect.
Need For Speed is expected to roll into theaters on February 7th, 2014.
Source: Cinema Blend
Fox is pulling Ben and Kate from its Tuesday night schedule and replacing the freshman sitcom with extra episodes of Raising Hope, the network announced Wednesday.
Ben and Kate will return at a later date, according to Fox. Throughout February, the network will double up on episodes of Raising Hope in the 8 to 9 p.m. timeslot (except for February 19, which will feature one Raising Hope episode and then a rerun of New Girl). The one-hour season finale of Raising Hope will air on Thursday, March 28 after American Idol.
Source: TV Guide
Kate has a love interest in Will on Ben and Kate tonight, and TV Equals was able to hear from both Dakota Johnson (Kate) and Geoff Stults (Will) themselves! During the call, Johnson and Stults talked about improv, what it’s like for Johnson to lead a series and more.
Coming into an already-gelled cast
Stults did admit that it was different for him to join a cast that had already formed a cohesive unit together. “I hadn’t done that in a long time. It was really interesting…But it was fun,” he said. “This was a wonderful stretch for me. It’s kind of weird to join a cast that is up and running already. You have to kind of hit the ground running, so to speak…It’s been a blast. Especially working with Dakota. I feel like I learn something new every day.”
Johnson on being a lead on a series
This is the first time Johnson has starred as one of the leads on a television series, and she said that kind of responsibility is both daunting and exciting. “It’s still pretty intense. I’ve never actually even been on television before. I’ve never done any sort of guest star [role] on television before, so I never knew what the schedule was like or…how quickly you work in television. So, to go from not knowing anything about it to carrying a television show was a really big, scary step for me,” she said. “Also, [it’s scary] because I wanted to succeed and I wanted to do well and do good work and on top of that, being the one who does everything for the show. It was a lot. [It’s a] little crazy and scary but it’s also really interesting and fun.”