L’Officiel USA | Dakota Johnson’s Web of Truths
Posted on
Apr 8, 2024

L’Officiel USA | Dakota Johnson’s Web of Truths

Known for bangs, candor, and work with auteurs like Luca Guadagnino, Dakota Johnson cements her movie stardom in Marvel’s Madame Web.

You may think you have a handle on Dakota Johnson. Perhaps you think of her as the Stanford student who confidently wins a charisma battle with Justin Timberlake in David Fincher’s The Social Network, or as the humble, blunt-banged bookworm Anastasia Steele who discovers BDSM in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. She’s also an indie film powerhouse: muse to director Luca Guadagnino in A Bigger Splash and Suspiria, and unforgettable as an overwhelmed mother in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s acclaimed adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter. More recently, she starred in Gen Z wunderkind Cooper Raiff’s Cha Cha Real Smooth, which was produced by Johnson and Ro Donnelly’s TeaTime Pictures. TeaTime isn’t Johnson’s only business endeavor: She’s also an investor in and serves as co-creative director for Maude, a sexual wellness brand known for its simply designed, powerful vibrators, which the brand shortens to vibe.

Or maybe you think of Johnson as the Queen of Sarcasm, with her quips about sleeping 14 hours a day, her lies about limes, or her chilling interview with Ellen DeGeneres about an invitation to her birthday party, which set the internet on fire in 2019. Movie stars are rare to come by in Hollywood’s modern age, but Johnson, who comes from a Hollywood family (her mother is Melanie Griffith and her dad is Don Johnson), has the energy, the taste, the versatility, the brutal honesty, and the dry wit of an old Hollywood icon such as Katharine Hepburn.

Marisa Meltzer spoke with Johnson to discuss the upcoming Madame Web, which, for those of you not fully fluent in Marvel, is a standalone superhero origin story. Johnson plays Cassandra Webb, a New York City paramedic who might have clairvoyant abilities and is reckoning with her past. The psychological thriller also features Sydney Sweeney, Mike Epps, Emma Roberts, and Adam Scott.

Read on to hear about Johnson’s inaugural Marvel moment, her personal superpowers, a rant about the cowardly entertainment industry, and her thoughts on the state of sex education in America.

MARISA MELTZER: I’ve heard you like to eat a popsicle while taking a bath.

DAKOTA JOHNSON: Have you done that? It’s a fabulous activity. A popsicle and a hot bath is a sensational experience.

MM: No, but now I need to try it. Let’s talk about Madame Web. How did you end up involved in it? Were you like, I want to be part of a superhero franchise, and now’s the time?

DJ: I’m always open to anything. I don’t discriminate against movie genres when it comes to how I choose things or what I do. I heard that this was going to be made, and it was interesting to me that the main character’s superpower is her mind, and that she is a woman. That is something that I can really get behind. That’s very real to me, and it’s really powerful and sexy.

MM: Wait, can you elaborate on that?

DJ: Well, I think that the minds of women are incredibly powerful, so I think that it’s a more relatable superhero. It is more of a psychological thriller. This film is a really fabulous departure for Marvel, because sometimes it’s amazing to have these other universes and galaxies doing unrealistic things in an unrealistic place. That can be escapism and really entertaining. Before Madame Web becomes Madame Web, she’s a paramedic and she is on the front lines; she is an everyday hero. So I just thought it was different. And I had never done anything like that.

“I’m always open to anything. I don’t discriminate against movie genres.”

MM: How do you decide what parts you’re going to do? Are there directors that you want to work with? Do you think you’ll work with Luca Guadagnino again?

DJ: Absolutely. We’ve talked about a couple of things. But yes, for certain, just the right thing has to come along.

MM: With your production company TeaTime, it seems like you’re taking on really disparate projects. How do you decide who to work with or what you’re working on, and is there a throughline that you see?

DJ: We are starting to see a throughline. We don’t have a mandate or anything. I guess the constant, for me, is that all of our movies and shows have really powerful females at the center. They’re very intricate. They’re very detailed. They’re very nuanced.

MM: Do you have to develop your own projects if you want those kinds of characters? Is there just not enough of them around, or do you just like that side of production?

DJ: I am discovering that it’s really fucking bleak in this industry. It is majorly disheartening. The people who run streaming platforms don’t trust creative people or artists to know what’s going to work, and that is just going to make us implode. It’s really heartbreaking. It’s just fucking so hard. It’s so hard to get anything made. All of the stuff I’m interested in making is really different, and it’s unique and it’s very forward in whatever it is. We made a movie called Daddio that was sold at Telluride to Sony Classics, which was amazing, but it took a lot of fighting to get that made. People are just so afraid, and I’m like, why? What’s going to happen if you do something brave? It just feels like nobody knows what to do and everyone’s afraid. That’s what it feels like. Everyone who makes decisions is afraid. They want to do the safe thing, and the safe thing is really boring.

“I am discovering that it’s really fucking bleak in this industry. It is majorly disheartening.”

MM: What are you working on next?

DJ: I’m going to make a little movie at the top of the year [2024] with TeaTime. It is about grief. It’s a tricky plot to outline, so I won’t even try, but it’s about a woman handling grief and how she does it in a specific way.

MM: How was your strike [SAG-AFTRA strike of July–November 2023]? What did you do?

DJ: Had an existential crisis.

MM: Okay.

DJ: I mean, I didn’t shoot anything, but I was working on production stuff and TeaTime stuff. I was kind of all over the place. I was in Japan. I was in LA. I was in Europe.

MM: You were quoted about sleeping 14 hours. I’m a terrible insomniac, so my dream would be to sleep even seven hours unbroken. Do you want to set the record straight? How much do you sleep?

DJ: I said I could easily sleep 14 hours. I didn’t say that I sleep 14 hours every night. I have a job. There’s no way that I could do my job and do that. So clearly something is amiss with that. I do love sleeping, but I didn’t say that. I think I’m beginning to understand that sarcasm doesn’t translate to journalists these days, or embellishment. I just have to be more literal, I guess.

MM: I also think most actors are not, well… maybe they’re funny privately, but they’re not very funny or dry or sarcastic people for the most part, at least when you’re interviewing them. So maybe you’re–

DJ: Terrified of what happens to me all the time? But they learn and I don’t. [Laughs.]

MM: You just can’t help yourself. Your personality just shines through.

DJ: I’m dramatic. I’m an actress. I don’t know.

MM: There’s a special place in heaven for you being on the Ellen show and talking about your birthday. It was a really winning moment.

DJ: It will haunt me.

MM: You have worked for reproductive rights. Things have gotten dark in our country. Do you see any hope?

DJ: I mean, we have gone completely backwards in terms of reproductive rights, women’s equality, and women’s rights. It is so mind-bending. I think it’s hard to articulate because when Roe v. Wade was overturned, I think everyone thought, okay, well, this is insane, and it’ll be rectified quickly. Of course, we’re not going to be in this position. Of course this is not going to be the reality. But then weeks pass and months pass, and more and more women are denied the healthcare that they need and they deserve. Women deserve the choices that are so basic to being a human being on this planet. I think it’s hard to articulate what I feel and think right now because I am blown away. I’m blown away, and I find it absolutely heartbreaking and terrifying.

MM: You’re also involved with Maude, the sexual wellness company.

DJ: My agency at the time linked me with Éva [Goicochea], who’s the founder of Maude, because I think they thought that we would get along and also that we had similar interests and passions, and it’s been really amazing. I came on as co-creative director, and I’ve learned so much from her. It’s also really cool and really important to be a part of a company for which I not only love the products, and they’re beautiful, but they’re also affordable and they’re quality, and they’re genuinely geared towards wellness. I just love the idea of more people being comfortable with sexual wellness.

MM: How did you get your sexual education? Was it through school?

DJ: We had a sex ed class in school in sixth grade. I went to school all over the place.

MM: Was it weird having to constantly move around and be the new kid?

DJ: I didn’t find it weird because it was what was normal to me, so I didn’t have anything else to compare it to. [If I didn’t move around] I probably would’ve had different, stronger traits like time management or lifelong friendships. I traveled with my brother and it just was what it was. We were on location. If my mom was working somewhere, we were there, and we traveled with a tutor and he and I would do school together.

“I’m dramatic. I’m an actress. I don’t know.”

MM: Do you have a superpower?

DJ: If I had a superpower, it would come up immediately. I’d know exactly what it was.

MM: That’s true. Madame Web doesn’t need to think about it.

DJ: Yeah. I’d be like, “Well, actually, thanks for asking. I can fly.”

MM: Great. I’ll call the Daily Mail.


DEADLINE | Dakota Johnson, Pedro Pascal and Chris Evans to Star in ‘Materialists’
Posted on
Apr 7, 2024

DEADLINE | Dakota Johnson, Pedro Pascal and Chris Evans to Star in ‘Materialists’

EXCLUSIVE: After we broke news of the studio acquiring Margot Robbie starrer Big Bold Beautiful Journey, we can reveal that Sony Pictures has boarded another of the European Film Market’s most in-demand projects: Past Lives director Celine Song‘s next movie, Materialists, which A24 is selling.

In what we understand to be an eight-figure deal, Sony has taken all of international excluding Russia, China and Japan. A24 will handle the U.S. release.

Coming off the Oscar Best Picture nominee Past Lives, Song’s next movie is a rom-com which is attracting A-list talent. Dakota Johnson, Chris Evans and Pedro Pascal are in talks to star.

Past Lives producers Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler of Killer Films and 2AM’s David Hinojosa are behind the movie, which Song also scripts and produces. The team is aiming to start as early as this spring.

Plot details have been kept under wraps, but we hear it deals with a professional matchmaker who gets involved with a wealthy man but still harbors feelings for the broke actor-waiter she left behind.

In Berlin, Sony Pictures’ Joe Matukewicz, President, Worldwide Acquisitions and his team Virginia Longmuir, EVP, Business Affairs, Katie Anderson, VP, Worldwide Acquisitions, Elan Kovo, VP Business Development brought the package to the studio. One minor note: it’s called Materialists, not The Materialists, we hear.

Bustle Magazine | Dakota Johnson Can’t Fake It
Posted on
Apr 7, 2024

Bustle Magazine | Dakota Johnson Can’t Fake It

On set, at junkets and in her relationships, the actor — and literary tastemaker with a new book club — favors blunt truths. And the occasional mischievous fib.

Dakota Johnson isn’t very online, but she’s sometimes tempted. “I occasionally think of something or say something that I feel would be really great on Twitter,” she says, grinning. She’s probably right. Johnson has just wrapped a two-week press tour for Marvel’s Madame Web that was variously calledchaotic,” unhinged,” andrefreshingly honest.” She has the kind of virality that can’t be studied — and to be clear, it’s not. “I live way out by the beach, out in Malibu,” she says of her personal life with her partner, Coldplay’s Chris Martin. “I need to be in nature. I can be out at my house and not see or speak to another human for days on end, and I feel wonderful.”

We’re here to discuss what Johnson does on some of those days at her house: read. On March 1, she launched her very own book club inspired by the work she does hunting for IP for TeaTime Pictures, the production company she co-founded with former Netflix development executive Ro Donnelly. “There are a lot of people who do things like I do and they have book clubs, and I was always like, Oh, the way that I read books, it’s so different,” she says. “I want to fall down the rabbit hole every time I read… to invest in the book, invest in the language, invest in the references. Like, Oh, what is that piece of art she’s talking about? Who’s that musician?”

I’m sitting with the 34-year-old actor at a restaurant on the beach in Santa Monica, California, near where she went to high school. (“Before that, I was all over the place with my parents,” she says, nodding to the acting careers of her mother, Melanie Griffith, and father, Don Johnson.) She looks polished, with Jessica McCormack heart-shaped diamond earrings and her impossibly long hair, due to be cut tomorrow, covering a striped sweater. Her jeans are high-waisted because she’s a millennial, not Gen Z, though she doesn’t want to get into that after her last comments on the topic went viral. She’s already predicting the potential aftermath of today’s conversation. “Like, ‘Dakota Johnson Breaks Her Silence On Madame Web’s F*cking Box Office Failure,’” she says, laughing. “It’s like, ‘No, I’m not breaking any silence. I’m just talking.’”

Part of the appeal of books is that she doesn’t have to engage in any of that nonsense. “TeaTime and I have an Instagram channel where you can have a chat with whoever signs up, and every few days we’ll be releasing a deep dive as we read along together,” she says. This might include a playlist the author made or information about their references. The first book, Beautyland by Marie-Helene Bertino, is a startling novel about a woman who believes she is an alien. It’s an interesting choice — literary, but accessible; concrete, but ambiguous. It feels fitting. “I don’t know if I’m from anywhere or I belong anywhere,” Johnson says when I ask her later. “So, yes, I do relate to the alien.”

I read Beautyland in 48 hours and was so distracted by the ending that I left my passport on the plane. Why did you want to start with that book?

Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but this is a book that I will recommend to people for the rest of my life. It feels like we’re setting the bar so high, which I am proud of. Our book club is literary fiction. It’s not beach reads. It’s not silly. It’s not all female authors, but it is female-forward, and it’s a lot of first-time novelists.

Will the approach itself be different to other clubs?

I’ve found in book clubs that you’re just kind of on your own. You watch someone like me have a conversation with the author, but I don’t feel invested in that. I’m not very good at Instagram and I am constantly trying to figure it out, but the more I’ve learned and seen, something like this is really needed. People need to deep dive into knowledge about specific things rather than talking about what f*cking face serum they’re using and thinking that that’s the most important thing in the world. And… honestly I love a face serum. [Laughs.] But I also want to talk about this world that this incredible woman created.

So, big question — do you think the narrator in Beautyland really is an alien or she’s in a mentally difficult spot?

What’s the difference?


Have you seen Mother God? I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s this documentary on Max about a woman who claims that she’s been every incarnation of God. She was Cleopatra, she was Joan of Arc, she was Jesus. And she’s managed to convince 12 people. So there’s a cult called Love Has Won, and they call her mother or mom. Today I was in the shower and I was like, But what if she was? [Laughs.] Because I’m thinking about [Beautyland protagonist] Adina and I’m like, Maybe? Who knows. But I’m a real sucker. I would be the first one to join a cult.

What kind of cult do you think you’d join?

Any one that was like, this is really good for you and this will make you a better person for other people and it’ll help the world. But that’s what they all say. And then they all end up having sex.

It’s interesting you say that because I feel like your public persona is that you’re a bit anti-authoritarian, or “who gives a f*ck,” which feels anti cultish.

It does, doesn’t it? Maybe I’d be a cult leader. But I don’t think I would do that either. I am a very defiant person. If somebody tells me I can’t do something, I am shaking, even if I had no interest in doing that thing.

Were you like that as a kid?

Yeah. I think I just find rules and some structure really ridiculous, silly and stupid.

Do your friends and family know how to accommodate that?

You would think so… [Laughs.] You would think they’ve learned that by now, but no. But I’ve always been the kind of person who’s going to do what I want to do. I will accept and accommodate everyone’s feelings and ideas and thoughts. But as long as I’m not hurting another human being in some way — even with my work, with agents or managers or whomever — I’ll listen to everyone and take everything very seriously and then I will do what feels really right to me.

That’s good.

But also, publicly… all that stuff is ridiculous. It’s hard for me to fake it. It’s hard for me sometimes to go along with the silliness of doing a press tour.

Have the last two weeks been weird? A lot has happened since I saw you playing with baby animals on set for the shoot.

Yeah. I had the LA premiere for Madame Web and then went to Mexico City. I had pneumonia and was on steroids and the nebulizer and doing all these little things, and I was really, really sick and felt horrible. I looked horrible. I was like, Ugh. And then the movie came out and it was… [Pauses.] Like, I can’t take any of it seriously at all. I dunno.

Does it bother you when people write nasty reviews?

Unfortunately, I’m not surprised that this has gone down the way it has.

Is there a reason for that?

It’s so hard to get movies made, and in these big movies that get made — and it’s even starting to happen with the little ones, which is what’s really freaking me out — decisions are being made by committees, and art does not do well when it’s made by committee. Films are made by a filmmaker and a team of artists around them. You cannot make art based on numbers and algorithms. My feeling has been for a long time that audiences are extremely smart, and executives have started to believe that they’re not. Audiences will always be able to sniff out bullsh*t. Even if films start to be made with AI, humans aren’t going to f*cking want to see those.

But it was definitely an experience for me to make that movie. I had never done anything like it before. I probably will never do anything like it again because I don’t make sense in that world. And I know that now. But sometimes in this industry, you sign on to something, and it’s one thing and then as you’re making it, it becomes a completely different thing, and you’re like, Wait, what? But it was a real learning experience, and of course it’s not nice to be a part of something that’s ripped to shreds, but I can’t say that I don’t understand.

That’s a peaceful place to be in.

That’s why I have my own company. In a movie like that, I have no say about anything.

Are you going to adapt Beautyland?

Well, we don’t have the rights, but I’ve been trying to think of how it could work. There are some books that are really hard to adapt.

Oh, for sure.

I know Margot Robbie’s company is making My Year of Rest and Relaxation. I’m sure you’ve read that. But how the f*ck? I don’t know how you do that.

I know you had the experience with 50 Shades, of an author being very involved in an adaptation. What do you think an author’s involvement should be?

Well… God, it depends. In The Lost Daughter, Maggie Gyllenhaal really absorbed that novel and then regurgitated her vision of it, and it was received so well by the author. Then with something like 50 Shades, the author was extremely precious about words, clothing, anything, everything. And it was really difficult to have any kind of freedom and spontaneity and authenticity because you’re in such a small margin. There’s no room for being expressive or discovering what is present in that real moment that you’re capturing. It’s contrived.

Having too many cooks in the kitchen is an eternal problem, especially with creatives.

It’s a big f*cking problem. It’s also about control and feeling powerful, and that’s not what art is. There is so much room for the author to be present if they’re able to collaborate on what is the best possible outcome of that project. I understand if you’re precious about it being a certain way, but then don’t allow somebody else to adapt your book. Make your own movie.

Do you mainly read literary fiction? Are you a bit of a book snob?


I am too, but all of the momentum right now seems to be in erotic fiction. Or erotic fantasy. In the United Kingdom they call them “bonkbusters” — people are really into it.

Because people are so repressed.

And horny.

People are horny and they feel so much shame about it.

I found it jarring when the main character in Beautyland logs onto Twitter and finds her friend has labeled her as “asexual.”

Yeah, it’s definitely jarring and also sad. It’s not appropriate for us to do that to other people.

I keep seeing these stories about how millennials and Gen Z are having less sex than older generations. I know you’re involved in a sexual wellness company, Maude, but what do you think a sexually well person looks like?

I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a sexually well person. Maybe the idea is someone who really embraces their own sexuality, whatever that is. Or even the idea of acknowledging that you have shame around your sexuality or shame around your desires. Gosh, is it true that millennials are having less sex?

Compared to our parents’ generation, yeah. Do you see all the discourse around sex scenes? Younger people are like, “Why did there need to be a sex scene?”

I feel like people get up in arms about things just to be up in arms about things. This culture of hating — it’s so boring. Because you know those people who are like, “Why is there a sex scene in it?,” are going to go home and watch porn. If there’s a sex scene that feels gratuitous and out of context, then yeah, say that. But if it’s part of the story and it makes sense, what are you going to say? It’s also like, can everyone just f*cking relax and stop judging each other so hard? Everyone’s doing their best. I mean some people are not. Some people are really doing their absolute worst and we see you. [Laughs.]

I did laugh during the one occasion in Beautyland when the main character has a partner and it’s a musician… What is it about the musician thing?

I don’t know. [Laughs.] I’m the wrong person to ask. I love me a musician.

Is it their talent?

I think it’s talent. I think it’s the way that they see the world. But I think it really depends on the musician. I’ve known some shitty ones. [Laughs.]

Do you feel some type of way when you watch Chris on stage? Or does it feel like you’re watching a public figure?

I don’t know. I love watching him. I could watch him every day. I don’t know how to explain it. I feel like, I don’t know… I’m watching my most favorite being do his most favorite thing.

Watching anyone who’s so good at something is sexy.

When people are really good at things, it is [sexy.] Except being a dictator.

Is that shame about sex something you ever reckoned with as a teenager?

Yeah, of course. I was lucky that I grew up with a mom who was very open — at times maybe too open — about sexuality, but it was always like, whatever you’re into and when you want to have sex, you just let me know and we’ll get birth control. It was really healthy, and it made me feel like I was allowed to discover my sexuality on my own, which I think is such a gift. We’ve progressed so much in some societies, for people to be allowed to say that they feel neither here nor there in terms of gender. That’s an incredible thing. It’s such a leap forward. And then there’s Alabama, and Texas, and the rest of the f*cking world that is in complete disarray.

What do you think of the discourse around the rise of polyamory?

I think as long as you’re not hurting anyone physically, emotionally, psychologically, do you. I like that people are exploring existence and how to relate to other people. My stepson had a friend who was saying that at her school, some kids are identifying as cats. And I was like, OK, good for you.

What was their reaction to that?

She’s like, “I guess I have to call [her] ‘Kitty’ now.”

Do you like being a stepmom?

I love those kids like my life depends on it. With all my heart.

You’ve been in blended families your whole life, and people are fascinated by that…

Are they?

I think people are fascinated by your parents being together, then not, and the siblings and stepsiblings. It still feels radical to see blended families where everyone is like, “We’re good.” When Gwyneth Paltrow does an Instagram Q&A, people seem to ask about you a lot. She posted a picture of you holding hands. Did you see it?

[Laughs.] No.

People loved it.

That’s great. [Laughs.] I’m glad there was that positive reaction. I grew up in a family that was so big, and I just believe in the saying “Blood is thicker than water.” The actual saying is “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” which means that the connections with people you choose are more solid than the connections to the people you’re actually born to.

That’s such a big theme in Beautyland, too. Your chosen family can be just as important.

Equally as important, if not more. I have four brothers and two sisters, and my two sisters are not blood-related to each other, but they are sisters and they call each other sisters and they are always together. And my two older brothers are not blood-related to each other. And they are brothers.

No matter how f*cked up it is, or who’s in rehab, or who’s not speaking to whom, or who’s divorcing whom, we’re family. And we are always going to be a family. It’s really real. And most of us are artists. Even in my adult life and my new family, most of us are artists. Even the kids, they’re extraordinarily talented people. So you just are dealing with complex people. You grow and you embrace and you say, “F*ck you and f*ck off,” and then “I love you, come back.” [Laughs.]

Is that something you’ve had to work at or did it come naturally with your new family?

I think because I grew up in it, it’s come more naturally, but I wouldn’t have it any other way really. I really wouldn’t. I love it. It feels very honest. It feels really authentic. No one’s hiding anything.

I watched Daddio, which you star in and co-produced, last night and loved it. How was that to work on?

Well, I went directly from Madame Web to Daddio, and that was my salvation. [Laughs.] We shot that in 16 days, and my company made it, so that means that I was very hands-on. It was amazing. Sean [Penn] was amazing. It was so contained. It was really like a play. We would shoot 20 pages a day.

There’s a point in Daddio where your character talks about the idea that motherhood didn’t choose her. It reminded me of when Adina says in Beautyland that she “doesn’t understand why she always has to be removed in order for her mother to breathe.” How do you feel about motherhood?

I’m so open to that. I’ve gotten to this place where I really want to experience everything that life has to offer. And especially being a woman, I’m like, What a magical f*cking thing to do. What a crazy, magical, wild experience. If that’s meant to happen for me, I’m totally down for it. I’ve been really tripping out recently like, we’re not here for very long. There’s so much to eat up and learn and grow from and experience and feel. That includes all the pain and the suffering and feeling so helpless about the world. Most days I feel like the most useless piece of sh*t. I’m sitting in this dumb*ss chair, talking about this dumb*ss movie, and there are people in excruciating catastrophes, and what can I do? I do have that incredible friction in myself. And then I’m like, We’re not here for very long, so if I’m meant to be a mother, bring it on.

Do you ever write fiction?

No, I could never. I’m so mystified by people who can write. I can write a really good email or a really good love letter. That’s the stuff that flows out of me. But if I have to write something as an assignment, forget it.

Did you find school boring?

I hated it. But I went to an art school, and you did your academics for the first half of the day, and then for the second half you did whatever art you were into. And I was in visual arts, so I was painting and I loved it so much.

Do you still paint now?

Yeah. I love to.

Would you ever sell your art?

No. I’ll sometimes make something for someone or give something away, but I would never take myself seriously if I had an art show. There’s just no way.

I feel that sometimes with writing. There’s something about how earnest the endeavor is that I cringe at myself. There’s something so admirable about, say, Taylor Swift’s lack of cringe. She’s immune to it.

She is… but also you don’t see her. I mean, I guess she was in Cats, but that’s just because she loves cats. I don’t know if this is a bullsh*t belief, but I’m like, I am an actress, I’m a filmmaker, and I will stay in my lane. I will never release an album. I will never have an art show. If there’s a musician who is like, “I’m also an actor,” I’m like, “No, you’re not. F*ck off.” [Laughs.] Like, the only musician who is also an actor that I’m like, OK, is Tom Waits. I’m like, “Fine, you get to do both.” I’m so judgmental about actors, but if there’s a musician who’s like, “I’m having an art show,” that feels OK to me. [Laughs.]

Are you a Swiftie?

Of course!

What’s your favorite album?

I really like Lover. It’s such a great album, but I think all of her albums are really great. I just find her existence really radical in the sense of what it literally means. Not rad or cool, but radical, and I’m totally into it. She’s a fabulous songwriter. She works so hard. She is really kind to the people that love her. I’m just like, do you, girl. I support.

Does being famous sometimes suck? I know that’s a sh*tty question for a celebrity because you sort of can’t win in answering.

Sometimes it’s really tough to deal with, but I also have access to incredible people, and I have the ability to impart a little bit of my experience. But I don’t want to be like that all the time. There’s a set time and place to be photographed for what I do. That’s part of my job. But to be photographed when I don’t know I’m being photographed and it’s a private moment? That feels like the most invasive, violating, horrible thing. People say that’s the price you pay when you’re famous, but I don’t believe that’s necessarily true.

You’ve spoken before about living with depression and anxiety. Is it something you still have to manage?

Yeah. I’ve explored everything, which is such a gift. I’ve started to be less and less ashamed of it. There’s such a weird stigma on depression and mental health. It’s hard. Do you meditate?

A little bit. Do you?

I do TM [Transcendental Meditation]. It is very easy on your nervous system and it just regulates your brain waves. They say that 20 minutes of TM can be like a two-hour nap.

I was cracking up at your responses when someone asked you about the 14-hour sleep thing, and you were like, are you all f*cking idiots?

Truly, but I know I’ve exaggerated in this interview, and you can tell that I’m exaggerating because you see my face. If it’s written down, it’s hard. But it’s fine. I got into a funny little fight with somebody. I was really annoyed by everyone in the world talking about my sleep schedule, and someone that I know was like, “But do you really sleep 14 hours a night? That’s amazing.” And I was like, “Did you read the article or did you just read the f*cking headline? Asshole.” I bit her head off.

I don’t have a nine-to-five job, so I don’t wake up at the same time every day. Some days if I’m shooting, I’m waking up at 3 o’clock in the morning, and I work a 17-hour day, and then when I’m not working, I sleep a lot because I am f*cking exhausted. Or I’m depressed. So just like, everybody, f*ck off. [Laughs.]

Is it ever fun to lie to the press though? Just to shove a little something in there?

The most fun. The most fun. Sometimes when you’re in a ridiculous situation, you just have to be ridiculous.

Join Dakota Johnson’s TeaTime Book Club hereThis interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

Top image: A.W.A.K.E. MODE dress, Bottega Veneta earrings

Photographs by Agata Serge
Styling by Kate Young
Assistant Stylist: Caroline Dejean
Set Designer: Enoch Choi
Hair: Mark Townsend
Makeup: Georgie Eisdell
Manicure: Ashlie Johnson
Talent Bookings: Special Projects
Video: Sam Miron
Associate Creative Director, Video: Samuel Schultz
Photo Director: Alex Pollack
Editor in Chief: Charlotte Owen
SVP Fashion: Tiffany Reid
SVP Creative: Karen Hibbert


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CANDIDS: Dakota Johnson out and about!
Posted on
Apr 7, 2024

CANDIDS: Dakota Johnson out and about!

The month of March was blessed for us Dakoholics, as Dakota presented us with many candids. Check out all the content below:


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Dakota Johnson talks about ‘Madame Web 2’ and warns: “It is not a movie from the Spider-Man universe”.
Posted on
Mar 29, 2024

Dakota Johnson talks about ‘Madame Web 2’ and warns: “It is not a movie from the Spider-Man universe”.

We interviewed the actress on the occasion of the first superhero premiere of the year, a film based on a secondary character from the Spider-Man comics.

The first superhero movie of the year is just around the corner. And no, it will not be from Marvel or DC. Madame Web is a Sony Pictures bet that will hit theaters on February 16, 2024 and will present the character of Cassandra Web, a recurring secondary character from the Spider-Man comics. Dakota Johnson will play the role of the young mutant , with whom we have been lucky enough to talk these days about the project… and the future.
MeriStation: How did you come into contact with the project? Was it presented to you as a part of the Spider-Man universe, as an action movie, superheroes…? How did they sell it to you and what was it about this story that drew you to be interested in it?

Dakohta Johnson: “They sent me the script for what I read and I thought it was very clever, realistic, different. But it is not part of the Spider-Man universe, but a new world within Marvel from the perspective of Madame Web.”

MeriStation: Everyone says that filming a superhero movie is very different from the rest because of the special effects, the importance of post-production, monitoring and the pressure of the fans… Have you felt that way? What has been your experience?

Dakohta Johnson: “I had a great time. I think the movie doesn’t go too crazy with the special effects, which it does have, but the sets were pretty practical and made it feel real so so far it’s been great.”

MeriStation: Have you done any prior research for the role? Have you read any specific comics or seen any movies or references provided by the team?

Dakohta Johnson: “Yes, of course, I’ve read everything I can about the comics.”

MeriStation: Would you like to come back for a sequel? Would you do ‘Madame Web 2’ or has it been a once in a lifetime experience?

Dakohta Johnson: “I would go back… if they asked me to.”

Follow the month of MADAME WEB’s premiere!
Posted on
Mar 29, 2024

Follow the month of MADAME WEB’s premiere!

January was undoubtedly a busy month for Dakota, so I decided to combine all the moments in one post. Check out:


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And on February 12th, the incredible premiere of MADAME WEB took place in Los Angeles.


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And the next day, Dakota headed to Mexico!


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