The Untold Truth Of Dakota Johnson

You probably first became familiar with Dakota Johnson after seeing her star in "Fifty Shades of Grey." This breakout role helped the star become a household name, but the franchise is only a small part of the Texas native's story. As part of an esteemed acting dynasty, Johnson's famous parents, Melanie Griffiths and Don Johnson, and stepdad, Antonio Banderas, gave their daughter quite an interesting childhood. Suffice it to say the actor likely felt right at home when she booked her first roles, having grown up on movie sets and frequently traveled alongside her parents during their work trips.

One of Johnson's earlier gigs was her role on the Fox sitcom, "Ben and Kate." As she told the New York Post, the then-23-year-old was a little thrown by her role in which she played a young mom. "It makes me feel old," Johnson said. "It's nice to get home at the end of the day and not have a kid." She went on to reveal that even her famous family couldn't have prepared her for the challenges of filming a sitcom. "There's no advice anybody can give you at all," the star said. "It's really personal to each actor. It's insane. While people are watching one episode, we're filming five more episodes." 

From steamy romance films to quirky sitcoms, it seems that Dakota Johnson can do it all. Her multifaceted career is only one of the many interesting elements of her life. This is the untold truth of Dakota Johnson.

Fifty Shades wasn't what she expected

In 2015, Dakota Johnson famously took on the role of Anastasia Steele in the "Fifty Shades" trilogy. This was a career-defining opportunity for the star, but it turns out her script wasn't exactly what she had expected. During an in-depth interview with Vanity Fair in June 2022, Johnson explained why she decided to get involved with the erotic movie franchise. "I'm a sexual person, and when I'm interested in something, I want to know so much about it," the actor shared. "That's why I did those big naked movies ... I signed up to do a very different version of the film we ended up making."

The star went on to claim that "Fifty Shades of Grey" author, E.L. James, made many unexpected changes to the film. "She had a lot of creative control, all day, every day, and she just demanded that certain things happen," Johnson said. "There were parts of the books that just wouldn't work in a movie, like the inner monologue, which was at times incredibly cheesy. It wouldn't work to say out loud. It was always a battle." The actor admitted that she wouldn't have done the film if she knew how chaotic the outcome would be, but she doesn't regret it. The first "Fifty Shades" film alone grossed over half a billion dollars worldwide – so hopefully, this offset some of Johnson's frustration.

She comes from a family of actors

As previously mentioned, Dakota Johnson's family aren't strangers to Hollywood. Her mother, Melanie Griffith, is a famous actress who has starred in films like "Working Girl" and "Something Wild." Her father, Don Johnson, is known for his beloved role as James "Sonny" Crockett in "Miami Vice." Meanwhile, Dakota's grandmother, Tippi Hedren, is an iconic old Hollywood actor, who is perhaps best known for her performance in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." However, these are not the only celebs in Dakota's family.

When Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson split, Griffith began dating Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, whom the "Fifty Shades of Grey" star remains close with to this day. Dakota subsequently has two half-sisters, both of which are models, per Vogue. While Stella Banderas is the daughter of Antonio and Griffith, Grace Johnson is Don's child to Kelly Phleger.

Obviously, Dakota's family is Hollywood royalty, so you might think that they helped her get into acting. Surprisingly, they actually weren't fond of her decision to follow in their footsteps. The actor revealed her father's reaction to her career aspirations during an interview with Mirror. "I thought, this is just what my family does," she said of pursuing a career in acting. "My dad tried to make me go to college, but I refused. I wanted to act and that was that." Luckily for Dakota, her persistence paid off.

Her private relationship with Coldplay's Chris Martin

Like many stars, Dakota Johnson keeps her personal life private, especially when it comes to her romantic relationships. As of this writing, the actor has been dating Coldplay musician, Chris Martin, since 2017. He may be one of the most famous musicians in the world, but still, she manages to keep the relationship incredibly low-key. In a rare candid moment, the actor finally opened up about the quiet workings of the relationship during an interview with Elle in 2021. "We've been together for quite a while, and we go out sometimes, but we both work so much that it's nice to be at home and be cozy and private," she told the magazine. "Most of the partying takes place inside my house."

Martin also made a rare comment about Johnson during an appearance on "CBS Mornings." He revealed that she inspired Coldplay to incorporate Subpacs during their performances. These bass-delivering vests can make concerts more inclusive for deaf fans. "My partner, she said, 'I got you a Christmas present, a Subpac," Martin said of Johnson. "She said, 'It's like what Finneas Eilish wears on stage when he's with Billie [Eilish].' And it vibrates, so it's useful for someone like Finneas to hear where the one is on the bass drum." The couple seems so close that their connection impacts their careers. It may be safe to say that when it comes to Martin, the "Suspiria" star truly does have a higher power.

She has non-traditional thoughts on motherhood

It would appear that Dakota Johnson wants society to change its views on motherhood. After playing a mom struggling with the everyday doubts of being a parent in "The Lost Daughter," she reflected on the idea during an interview with The Times. "The film makes it OK to have complicated feelings about being a mother," she said. "For somebody like me, who isn't yet a mother and maybe doesn't want to be a mother, it makes that OK. Complicated, but OK.'" However, she suggested it would be nice to have the option to freeze her eggs and have children later in life. "With technology, you can have a biological child until you're 50," she said. "That's cool."

While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor revealed that she shares a common fear regarding motherhood with her character in "The Lost Daughter," as well as many other women the world over. "I am not a mother, but I know what it feels like to be scared or to be like, 'Will I be a good mother?,'" Johnson admitted. The star went on to question why mothers seemingly aren't allowed to express these emotions. "For some reason, there's this stigma around talking about that." Johnson continued. "And there's a stigma around having just the thought of, 'What if I walked out that f***king door?' For a week or a minute for a cigarette.'"

Dakota Johnson feels sisterly toward Jamie Dornan

If you saw Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan's intimate scenes in the "Fifty Shades" films, there is no denying that the co-stars had chemistry. However, it turns out that their chemistry is far from romantic. In fact, the two see each other as siblings — how awkward is that? Johnson told Vanity Fair all about this puzzling dynamic, and even she admits that it's a bit strange "There was never a time when we didn't get along," she said of her relationship with Dornan. "I know it's weird, but he's like a brother to me I love him so, so, so much," she continued. 

The actor revealed that she and her co-star would often advocate for each other on set. If one person was uncomfortable with the way a certain scene was being filmed, they would both speak up. "We were really there for each other. We had to really trust each other and protect each other," she said. Back in 2017, Johnson suggested she felt lucky to have landed upon such a supportive co-star in the risqué project — particularly when she could have been stuck with a bad alternative. "There were no inhibitions, and it was very honest, very trusting," she told Vogue. "But I mean, what a gamble!"

Well, now we know that Dornan and Johnson's relationship was nothing like their "Fifty Shades of Grey" counterparts, it's understandable that the two never dated in real life.

Her childhood was complicated

Growing up in Hollywood wasn't just glitz and glamor for Dakota Johnson. As she told Vogue, living under the shadow of her famous family, the actor didn't enjoy a normal childhood. She also struggled with the instability of her family's fast-paced careers. "I was so consistently unmoored and discombobulated. I didn't have an anchor anywhere," she explained. 

Even school couldn't provide the stability Johnson craved. As a child, she questioned whether she was actually benefitting from what she was learning given all of the chaos that surrounded her. "I never learned how to learn the way you're supposed to as a kid," the actor said. "I thought, why do I have to go to school on time? What's the point when you're living in Budapest for six months while your stepdad films 'Evita' and you go to school in your hotel room?" Experiencing significant challenges, the star began therapy at just three years old.

Unfortunately for Johnson, her teen years weren't much better. She attended a Catholic boarding school during the beginning of her high school years, and she didn't have the best experience. "I was just miserable there," the star revealed during an interview with Elle. "It was a great school, but girls in that concentration are so horrific, just horrific." She went on to share that her teen years were also difficult because she was tormented by classmates who brought up rumors about her parents.

The Juilliard School wasn't impressed by her

Although Dakota Johnson struggled with the social aspect of high school, it was during these years that she concluded a traditional career wasn't for her. As a result, she began to make a name for herself outside of her parents' fame. According to Vogue, she accomplished this in part by working as a model. This also allowed her to earn enough money to move into her own apartment with her then-boyfriend. After graduating high school, Johnson applied to Juilliard, but she wasn't accepted. "Juilliard and I mutually agreed that it wouldn't work out," she reasoned.

The star detailed her cringeworthy Juilliard audition during an appearance on "Late Night With Seth Meyers." "A lot of things went wrong," she said of her performance (via ET Canada). "They ask you to choose two monologues ... I chose one that was written by Steve Martin. They didn't understand the Steve Martin one. But I think he is the best!" To Johnson's surprise, she was then asked to sing. The star didn't have anything prepared in advance, prompting her to perform a Radiohead song. By all accounts, the esteemed performing arts school wasn't into it. "... I was just far too indie for Juilliard," the actor joked.

Dakota Johnson earned her own wealth

Dakota Johnson didn't benefit from her parent's wealth as much as you might think. When she chose acting over college, her parents stopped financially supporting her. Don Johnson, explained why the family decided to cut the aspiring actor off during an appearance on "Late Night With Seth Meyers." "We have a rule in the family that, you know, if you stay in school, you get to stay on the payroll," Don said. "So, you go to college, you get to stay on the payroll. Toward the end of high school, I went to her and I said, 'So, do you want to go visit some colleges?' ... And she was like, 'Oh, no. I'm not going to college, no way.' I went, 'OK, you know what that means? You won't be on the payroll anymore.'"

Even without financial support from her parents, Dakota went on to do incredibly well for herself. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the actor is estimated to have $14 million to her name. The "Fifty Shades" franchise alone grossed over $1.325 billion, so Dakota likely brought home a hefty paycheck for the gig. It seems that the star isn't afraid to reward herself for her hard work because her gorgeous home is said to be worth $3.5 million. "It's like a tree house. On a boat," she said of the property to Architectural Digest. In 2021, she and Chris Martin also bought a gigantic $12 million home in Malibu together.