Dakota Johnson hopes actor parents don’t see ‘Fifty Shades’
LOS ANGELES—If Dakota Johnson had her way, she’d prefer that her parents, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, don’t watch her first major film, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” “I wouldn’t want them to see this movie,” calmly said Dakota, fresh-faced, with light make-up at the Palm Room of Four Seasons Los Angeles.
The life of low-key, serene and quiet Dakota is about to radically change with the release of the movie adaptation of E.L. James’ steamy novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Dakota, of course, plays Anastasia Steele, a college graduate who falls into a relationship with Christian Grey (James Dornan), a young business magnate with unconventional sexual appetites.
“I didn’t talk to them (her parents) about it before I took the role,” claimed the 25-year-old whose maternal grandmother is actress Tippi Hedren.
“But, the interesting thing is that, both my mother and grandmother are women who had had sort of ‘shocking’ acting careers. If anything, they support me completely. They understand that it’s a job—and I’m not going to do this all the time.”
On shooting the nude sex scenes, Dakota stressed, “I have always been fairly comfortable with my body. I think the female body is the most beautiful thing. But, women should be more comfortable with themselves. The scenes were so technical to shoot that I wasn’t ever really focused on my body image.”
Still, the prospect of shooting the explicit scenes made Dakota feel anxious. “The idea of doing nude or sex scenes was scary and daunting, but it’s nowhere near as scary and daunting as the moment right before,” she admitted with a laugh. “Then, it got a lot easier.”
It helped that director Sam Taylor-Johnson decided to film the sex scenes toward the end of the shoot. “It gave us time to trust and get to know each other,” Dakota explained.
Asked what was the hardest part in her “Fifty Shades” experience, Dakota quipped with a grin, “This (doing interviews).” Then, she said, “Probably, the ending of the film—it’s pretty intense. It was emotionally challenging.”
On her character, Anastasia, she remarked, “I was enchanted by the amount of self-worth that this young woman has in this day and age.
“I was affected that this girl is 100 percent herself and has such honor, courage and experiences. The loss of virginity is one of the, if not the, most profound moment in a woman’s life. She experiences this, coupled with the unique interests of Christian. Throughout the entire thing, she carries such strength and honor with her.”
In real life, Dakota does not want a Christian Grey type, of course. She wants “someone funny and nice.” The kind who will “cook dinner for me” on Valentine’s Day.
While Dakota claimed, “I am with no one,” she is reportedly dating Matthew Hitt of the indie rock band, Drowners.
On her mom and grandma, she commented, “I would like to think that I have a bit of my grandmother’s strength and grace. And my mom is smart and funny. I would like to think that I’m funny, sometimes. I am a bit like both of my parents.”
For Dakota, an acting career was inevitable. “I always assumed that I would be an actress. There was a part of me that thought I wasn’t actually capable of doing anything else.”
She has adopted a practical outlook about how “Fifty Shades” will fare. “I am just going to take it all in stride,” said the actress whose other coming films include “Black Mass,” “A Bigger Splash” and “Chloe and Theo.” “There will be people who won’t like the movie, and that’s OK.”
As for her life changing dramatically with the release of “Fifty Shades,” she kept her cool stance: “That’s a very bizarre thing to contemplate on—to wonder about what my life is going to be like.”
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