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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 film Fifty Shades of Grey.

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 her studies she returned to acting in David Fincher's 2010 film about the origins of Facebook The Social Network starring 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).

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Then she was announced to play Anastasia "Ana" Steele the lead female of the infamous Fan Fic-turned erotic book trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey in its film adaptation, her most famous role to date; 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:

  • Badass Adorable: Often known in reality for being very sweet and cute, and for calling out Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres and her neighbours on live TV.
  • 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 "I signed up to do a very different version of the film we ended up making", hinting 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. Johnson 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".
  • 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.

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