Dakota Johnson was a star from the second she appeared in The Social Network. Actually, she was a star from the moment she was born, considering her parents are Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, but the decade-defining birth of Facebook movie is when she got the greatest compliment of her career, courtesy of director David Fincher: “David said that role could have easily been thankless and that I did something different with it. I found that to be the most wonderful thing anyone’s ever said to me.”
Johnson’s first leading role came four years later when she starred in Fifty Shades of Grey. The erotic-drama, which was followed by two sequels, was a huge hit at the box office and, as Vanity Fair put it in a new cover story, “turned Johnson into a globally known name in 2015.” But not a lover of limes. Looking back at playing Anastasia Steele now, Johnson has mixed feelings about the films. “There were a lot of different disagreements. I haven’t been able to talk about this truthfully ever, because you want to promote a movie the right way, and I’m proud of what we made ultimately and everything turns out the way it’s supposed to, but it was tricky,” she said.
“I’m a sexual person, and when I’m interested in something, I want to know so much about it,” she begins. “That’s why I did those big naked movies.” She sips her tea without breaking eye contact. “I signed up to do a very different version of the film we ended up making.”
I ask if the studio or the directors were the problem, or if it was a combo platter.
“Combo,” she says. She leans in. “It was also the author of the books.”
That would be E. L. James, who got the inspiration for the Fifty Shades books after writing Twilight fan fiction under the name “Snowqueens Icedragon.” (Do you think Johnson, Robert Pattinson, and Kristen Stewart, three of the finest — and finest looking — working actors in their 30s, ever text about this? They should.)
When asked if she regrets starring in the Fifty Shades trilogy, Johnson replied, “No. I don’t think it’s a matter of regret. If I had known… If I had known at the time that’s what it was going to be like, I don’t think anyone would’ve done it. It would’ve been like, ‘Oh, this is psychotic.’ But no, I don’t regret it.” She doesn’t wanna live forever with regret.
You can watch Johnson in Cha Cha Real Smooth, now on Apple TV+.
(Via Vanity Fair)