Los Angeles hasn’t produced many homegrown stars as of late, but that’s about to change. Remember Justin Timberlake-as-Sean Parker in a morning-after repartee with a witty Stanford undergrad in The Social Network? That was Dakota Johnson’s breakout film, which she explains in a soft voice, “Could be one of the most amazing experiences I ever have in my life.”
Indeed, it was a strong beginning, but the 22-year-old (who moved from Aspen to L.A. when she was 12) didn’t stop there. She has since appeared in 21 Jump Street, The Five-Year Engagement, the Sundance hit Goats, and is the current face of Japanese retailer Uniqlo and L.A.-based Oliver Peoples. This past spring, Johnson landed the lead role on FOX’s pilot “Ben and Kate,” a comedy about a single mother who works at a bar. She replaced Abby Elliott of “Saturday Night Live” for the part, which was written for a 26-year-old—a gig not even her parents (Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) could have engineered for her.
On her very public upbringing, Johnson says, “I didn’t choose them [my parents]. It can be really difficult. I’ve managed to find some people who treat me like a normal person and give me a shot.” This summer, she’s looking for a new house in either Laurel Canyon or Silverlake and plans to retreat to Griffith and Antonio Banderas’ Aspen ranch to read, hike and watch movies…“You know, normal summer stuff.”
Source: California Style
Ben is based on the life of writer/executive producer Dana Fox’s brother, Ben. It stars Dakota Johnson as a single mother who gets an assist from her brother (The Descendants scribe Nat Faxon) who moves in with her to help raise her baby. Lucy Punch, Maggie Jones and Echo Kellum co-star in the 20th project in association with Chernin Entertainment. Fox penned the pilot and will exec produce alongside Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope. New Girl’s Jake Kasdan directed the pilot.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The Five-Year Engagement is the latest offering from the ever-expanding Jason Segel-NBC comedy crew. Segel himself co-wrote the script with director Nicholas Stoller and stars alongside Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart, and Chris Parnell—a promising line-up of familiar faces. A lesser known face, however, is that of Dakota Johnson, who plays the energetic, aggressive, and generally absurd Audrey. We’re enjoying tracing Dakota’s steady career-rise; in spite of her famous family*, Dakota is moving up the acting ladder the old fashioned way; myriad small (and often unflattering) roles in increasingly bigger films. So far, Johnson’s played Justin Timberlake’s Stanford bed-buddy in The Social Network, a catty cop in 21 Jump Street, and has dipped her toes into the indie-film pool with 2012 Sundance film For Ellen with Paul Dano and Jena Malone. We called Dakota to talk about martial arts, vigorous on-screen sex, her new TV pilot, and Christopher Walken.
*Dakota’s parents are Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. Her grandmother is Hitchcock favorite Tippi Hedren.
EMMA BROWN: I saw The Five-Year Engagement last night. You seem to be popping up in a lot of films recently, how did you get involved in that one?
The Oliver Peoples boutique eyewear brand debuted the Lisa Eisner-directed short film at the center of its spring/summer 2012 advertising campaign during a celeb-studded cocktail party at the Chateau Marmont penthouse on April 20.
The party — a collaborative effort with Vanity Fair, Eisner and Jacqui Getty — marked the debut of Eisner’s short film “Float,” starring Dakota Johnson and Thomas McDonnell (2011’s “Prom” and the upcoming “Fun Size”) spending a good deal of time plunging into, frolicking around — and yes, floating in — a pool.
On paper, “21 Jump Street” was not an enticing proposition. A reboot of a 1980s TV series with a ludicrous premise — fresh-faced cops go undercover as high school students. Produced by Neal Moritz, a man whose last attempt at an action-comedy reboot of a famous property was the dreadful “The Green Hornet.” Directed by two first-time live-action feature directors. Written by the man behind “Project X.” And starring Jonah Hill, coming off a terrible R-rated comedy flop, in “The Sitter,” and Channing Tatum, a man whose previous turns weren’t so much performed as whittled out of wood.
And yet, “21 Jump Street” was a success, opening to a hugely impressive $35 million over the weekend. And more importantly, it was also really, really good, arguably the best studio movie of this young year to date, and one of the funniest comedies in years. So what happened? What separated the film, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and written by Michael Bacall, from the dozens of other R-rated comedies in the last few years? The film’s certainly got problems (a drawn-out ending, a weak villain), but for the most part, it works like gangbusters, and we’ve gone in depth, to examine why the film is such an unlikely triumph. Spoilers ahead.
Actress Dakota Johnson stars as another undercover cop alongside Jonah and Channing and we got the scoop on what it was like working with the hilarious pair, and which of the two lovely men she would take to prom!
Tell me about your character.
I play Fugazy, and she also goes undercover into a high school, and she’s pretty competitive with Jonah and Channing’s characters.
What was it like working with them?
It was amazing they are so cool, and so talented. They made it easy to jump into a scene and make it work.
So, there’s a prom scene, if you went who would you take — Jonah or Channing?
I would take both of them. It would be like a party. I want to have a party.
Image Entertainment has acquired North American rights including theatrical, home entertainment, digital and broadcast, to Goats, starring David Duchovny and Vera Farmiga.
Kerri Russell, Ty Burrell, Justin Kirk, Graham Phillips and Dakota Johnson also star in the film about a new age family, which is the directorial debut of Christopher Neil.
Written by Mary Poirie, the film was executive produced by Richard Arlook, Daniel Crown, Peter Fruchtman, Eva Maria Daniels, Juan Carlos Segura G, River Marker, Michael Scott Saunders, Jai Stefan, Peter Touche and Todd Traina.
It is being slated for a spring theatrical release.
“Goats is a humorous and heartfelt comedy featuring a great cast,” said Image Entertainment’s chief acquisitions officer Bill Bromiley. “I am sure that audiences will really enjoy David Duchonvy’s performance as the Goat Man.”
Dakota Johnson has been keeping busy since playing a Stanford student who sleeps with Justin Timberlake’s character in “The Social Network,” most recently booking the female lead in Lionsgate’s “Gay Dude.”
Chris Nelson is directing with Nicholas Braun, Hunter Cope and Dreama Walker also set to star.
Story follows two guys who pact to lose their virginity before prom, only to have one of them come out of the closet. Alan Yang is penning the script.
Lionsgate had no comment on the casting.
Laurence Mark and David Blackman are producing for Laurence Mark Prods., while Jai Stefan is also producing.
Besides “Gay Dude,” Johnson has recently lensed Sony’s “21 Jump Street,” Universal’s “Five-Year Engagement” and the indie “Goats.”
Dakota Johnson is about to have a busy year ahead — the “Social Network” thesp just booked three roles.
Johnson, the 22-year-old daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, has signed on to “Goats” starring David Duchonvy and Vera Farmiga; Universal’s “Five Year Engagement”; and Sony’s “21 Jump Street.”
She is currently shooting “Goats,” will jump right into “Five Year Engagement” when she’s through, and will follow that up with “21 Jump Street” this summer.
Christopher Neil will helm “Goats,” which tells the story of a 15-year-old leaving his home in the foothills of Tuscon for his freshman year at an East Coast prep school.
“Five Year Engagement” stars Jason Segel and follows the ups and downs of a recently engaged couple. Nicholas Stoller is directing with Judd Apatow and Rodney Rothman producing.
“21 Jump Street” stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill and is a remake of the 1987 Fox series that starred Johnny Depp. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are directing.
Johnson was most recently seen in CBS Films “Beastly” and Sony’s “The Social Network” as the Stanford girl who sleeps with Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) without realizing who he is.
Acting was written in the stars for Dakota Johnson, but she’s not going to be rushed by Hollywood’s expectations (or those of her famous parents).
“I never had that moment,” says Dakota Johnson, about the epiphany of choosing to be an actress. “I was never thinking, I am going to be an actor, I am going to make films.” Nonetheless, Johnson is moving at lightning speed toward the success that many might view as her birthright—her parents are actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith—with only her guts as a navigating force. Through it all, she demonstrates cool humility and self-awareness. On a sunny May day in New York, the 21-year-old actress is exhausted, having slept only three hours the night before. But Johnson was not partying with other famous children-of; she was on set with a fifty-year-old Eskimo.
Her late night was due to her latest movie Theo, a genre-bending film that is part-documentary, part-fiction, about an Eskimo from the Arctic visiting our society to share a prophetic message of the importance of conservation. Johnson plays a homeless girl who befriends him. “It’s about relationships and the way that people are treated,” says Johnson, who prepared for this film by researching the homeless, who were previously invisible to her. Filled with a new sense of compassion, Johnson says the project has made her “more conscious of everyone.” She reaches for her menthol American Spirits in a delirious state of sleepiness and cracks a smile before the interview begins.