The Truth About Antonio Banderas And Dakota Johnson's Relationship

Dakota Johnson has certainly made a name for herself. Although she made her film debut at just 11 years old, the actor's true breakthrough came when she starred as Anastasia Steele in the erotic romance series "50 Shades of Grey." Since her breakout role, she's gone on to star in the indie film "The Peanut Butter Falcon" and the 2021's "The Lost Daughter" alongside Olivia Coleman. 

But with a mega-famous family like hers, she's been in the limelight practically all of her life. In case you didn't know, her parents are the acclaimed actors, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, who no doubt played a role in Dakota's interest in acting. Her grandmother also happens to be Tippi Hedren, the star of the Alfred Hitchcock classic "Birds." With parents and a grandmother so heavily involved in the film industry, Dakota Johnson's acting career was seemingly fated to happen — as she told Vogue in 2015, "I thought, This is just what my family does... It's like, my dad's a lawyer, so I'm a lawyer. Except that it doesn't usually work that way." 

As it turns out, she has another very close childhood tie to the world of acting: her former stepfather, Antonio Banderas. 

Antonio Banderas is Dakota Johnson's "bonus dad"

Dakota Johnson's ties to Hollywood run even deeper than her famous parents and grandmother. When her mother remarried in 1996, she gained famous actor Antonio Banderas as her stepfather. Johnson's mother Melanie Griffith had met Banderas on the set of the romantic comedy "Two Much," but both were already married; for Banderas, it was to Spanish actress Ana Leza, and for Griffith, it was Johnson's father. But the pair's on-screen romance turned into real love, and the two were married for almost 20 years and had a daughter together until they divorced in 2015.

Although the pair ultimately split, it's obvious just how large of a role Banderas played in Johnson's upbringing. Banderas shared the children's nickname for him with People in 2019: "They called me Paponio, a mixture between Papa and Antonio." The same year, Banderas was awarded at the Hollywood Film Awards for his role in "Pain and Glory," with his former stepdaughter handing over the award. Johnson gushed while presenting, per E! News, "I come from a family of many a marriage and I got very lucky." She continued, "I got a bonus dad who I realized that, over time, is actually one of the most influential people in my whole life. When I was six years old, my mother married a man who brought an unbelievably bright light, a whole new world of creativity and culture and one remarkably magical little sister in to our family."

Antonio Banderas remains close to Dakota Johnson and Melanie Griffith

While some celebrity divorces can end nasty, that's not the case with Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith. Even after their divorce, Banderas and Griffith continue to speak amicably about each other and Banderas has stayed close to his former stepdaughter, proving their bond to be inseparable. In an interview with Vulture, Banderas went so far as to call Griffith his "best friend." He said, "I am not married with Melanie anymore but she is my family. She is probably one of my best friends, if not the best friend that I have. My family is there, Dakota [Johnson], Little Estella and Alexander."

Additionally, when Vulture asked Banderas whether he was proud of Johnson's budding acting career, he doted on her: "Of course. I met her when she was five years old! I followed every single step of it. I'm so proud of her. I saw her the other day in Toronto, and she looks — as I said in the social networks when I put a picture of her and myself, I put there, 'My radiant Dakota.'" Banderas and Johnson's enduring stepfather and daughter relationship proves to be nothing short of heartwarming.