In a recent interview with Vogue, Fifty Shades Darker actress Dakota Johnson dishes her opinion on fame, and the roles she seeks to play.
The quirky 27 year old is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, so she isn’t new to the spotlight. Born in Texas, Dakota was constantly moved along with her famous parents’ acting schedules.
“I never learned how to learn the way you’re supposed to as a kid,” she says, on rapidly changing from school to school as a child.
“I was a distaster, and I thought for so long that there was something wrong with my brain. Now I realize that it just works in a different way.”
Johnson loved to watch movies, always envisioning herself as an actress in the future.
“I thought, this is what my family does.”
After some brief modeling in high school, Johnson tried attending Juilliard, on which she says,
“Juilliard and I mutually agreed that it wouldn’t work out.”
Flash forward to February 2015, the release of the highly anticipated novel to screen adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.
It was the uniqueness of the story, and the timid, yet unusual nature of the character of Anastasia Steele, that drew her interest. She explains her as being hypersexual and tough, yet loving.
“…The thing about Fifty Shades is that even if it’s commercial and mainstream, the subject matter isn’t,” Johnson explains.
“The stories I want to tell, the characters I want to play, don’t typically exist in huge, commercial box-office movies,” she says.
On her sudden explosion of fame, the actress says, “I’m terrible in crowds…normally I’m sitting there thinking, I don’t belong here, I don’t know all these people, I don’t know what I’m talking about.”
The newfound exposure that came with her Fifty Shades role also brought about a new fear of people.
“I noticed myself becoming shut off to strangers, even cold. That’s not my nature. I prefer to be tender.”
Fifty Shades Darker, the second installment in the Fifty Shades series, is directed by James Foley and comes to theatres this February. Johnson spent early 2016 in Vancouver filming for the franchise.
“I finally feel that I’m in the right place in my life, collaborating with artists who elevate me.”
Johnson is relieved to be in a place where she truly feels she can grow as an artist, after spending years fighting for the big roles.
“I’m a pretty sensitive person, and when I don’t feel protected, I tend to close right up. But when I feel safe, I think I can do anything.”
And as we all know, Johnson is very much a risk-taker, performing in the controversial series without batting an eye to all the opposition of her character’s sexual adventures.