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Creator / Dakota Johnson

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Dakota Mayi Johnson (born October 4, 1989 in Austin, Texas) is an American actor and model best known for her performance as Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation trilogy.

She was born to actors Don Johnson (of Miami Vice fame) and Melanie Griffith (making her Tippi Hedren's granddaughter), and Antonio Banderas is her former stepfather. Dakota's debut as an actor was in the first movie Banderas directed, the 1999 dramedy Crazy in Alabama starring Griffith; she played the role of one of Griffith's character's daughters.

After finishing high school, she returned to acting in David Fincher's 2010 film The Social Network, being featured opposite Justin Timberlake as Amelia, the first date we see when his character is introduced. Following this, she had prominent roles in Beastly, 21 Jump Street, The Five-Year Engagement, Need for Speed and Ben and Kate (her first television work).

In 2013, it was announced that she would star as Anastasia "Ana" Steele in the film adaptation of the infamous Fan Fic-turned-erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. The role became her mainstream breakthrough, and she returned for the sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.

Not to be confused with Dakota Fanning.

Selected filmography:

She provides examples of:

  • Creator Backlash:
    • While she doesn't regret starring in the Fifty Shades of Grey films overall, she did state in a 2022 interview with Vanity Fair that she found making the first film difficult due to the constant clashing between Sam Taylor-Johnson and E. L. James, with the script frequently being rewritten or scenes reshot to fit one creator's vision over the other and the actors forced to go along. Johnson stated that she "signed up to do a very different version of the film we ended up making", hinting that she preferred the original script that was thrown out after Charlie Hunnam left the project. She also stated that she felt there were parts of the book that just didn't translate well onscreen despite James' demands for their inclusion, referred to the filming process as "crazy" and "psychotic", and said that if she'd known at the time what it would be like, "I don't think anyone would've done it."
    • In the leadup to Madame Web's release, Johnson expressed some doubts about the film but ultimately placed her trust in director S. J. Clarkson. However, after the film's release, she stated that she was "not surprised" by the film's reception, stating that "[executives] cannot make art based on numbers and algorithms", and that she would not do a film like Web again, as she "[doesn’t] make sense in that world".
  • The Danza: In the The Office (US) finale she plays Kevin's replacement whose name is Dakota.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: In most of her films she keeps her natural blond hair, but she has been brunette in films Need for Speed and Fifty Shades of Grey, and played a redhead in Suspiria.
  • Fake Brit: As Anne Elliot in the 2022 adaptation of Persuasion.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Aside from her most famous role, she's never been shy about showing skin in films in general.
  • Star-Making Role: Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey. Prior to that film she'd had supporting roles in some high-profile projects, but this was her first starring role in a major film.
  • Those Two Actors: She's starred in three different projects with actor Nicholas Braun (Cousin Greg from HBO's Succession): Date and Switch (2014), the short In a Relationship (2014), and How To Be Single (2016).
  • What Could Have Been: She was cast as Margaret in Don't Worry Darling, but had to drop out in October 2020 due to scheduling conflicts, with KiKi Layne replacing her.